Kingswood
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Kingswood

First arriving on the scene in the mid noughties Melbourne-based rockers Kingswood have well and truly solidified their place as one of Australia’s best rock bands. Forte caught up for a chat with guitarist  Alex  Laska to talk about touring, Quentin Tarantino and the daily grind of all things Kingswood.
The lads have been very busy over the last few months after gaining the opportunity to support AC/DC on their most recent ‘Rock or Bust Tour.’ According to Laska, the experience was surreal.

“Seeing how something of that scale gets put together and the amount of work behind it was pretty special,” he chuckles.

“What’s really weird about it is, every city you go it’s all the exact same – the exact same stage with the same layout and props, because everything has to run really smoothly. And then you get out on stage and you could literally be in the middle of nowhere but it feels the exact same as the last show – it’s really wild.”

Their debut LP Microscopic Wars was released in 2014 to critical acclaim scoring the boys an ARIA nomination for ‘Best Rock Album’. The album, which was re-released last year including a couple of previously unreleased tracks and a handful of live tracks, was recorded in Nashville by Grammy-winning producer Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Beck).

“Nashville has this really cool alternative rock ‘n’ roll thing going on. It was kind of like the Nashville rock ‘n’ roll scene focuses more on musicianship as opposed to what’s going on on the radio,” Laska reflects on the recording process.

“Because it [Nashville] was so diverse and different, we got a bit more experimental. It was kind of like, ‘let’s put a piano with cups and rocks on the strings on the record’. That came through in a song like ‘Tremor’ where you can hear a really weird piano sound.”

But Kingswood are not only pushing a bit of experimentation in their music, now turning two music videos into short films, including the band as gun-slinging bikies and the Tarantino-esque ‘Some Motherfuckers Gotta Pay’ for hit single “Ohio”.

“It’s a tribute to Tarantino. I love all his films but there is something about the Kill Bill series and the Death Proof movie that has that kind of spaghetti western b-grade influence in a production that is a-grade. They have that rough edge twist to it. They are incredible,” he says.

Making the trek down to some more regional locations, Kingswood will be hitting the shores of both Torquay and Warrnambool to deliver some killer sets, and Laska is a bit of a fan of the more intimate shows.

“Smaller shows are really personal. You can see people’s expressions really clearly and can feel the heat of the room. Especially when the crowd is getting a bit rowdy, the energy exchange in a small environment is hyper intensive because it’s so contained,” Laska says.

With more touring and a new album on the horizon Kingswood are definitely one to keep an eye out for in 2016. When asked about the new album Laska is very ambiguous, only giving away sparse details.

“What I will give away about it is that it will push people’s expectations of what we are, and what we do and what people know us as. It’s very different.”

Written by Alex Callan

When & Where: Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool – March 26 & Torquay Hotel, Torquay – March

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