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The Kite Machine have a chat to Jen ahead of their upcoming tour.

THE KITE MACHINE prove that they’re one of Australia’s most diverse and talented bands on their self-titled DEBUT ALBUM.

A no holds barred love letter to riff-based groove and alt rock; the self-titled debut album from Geelong power trio, The Kite Machine, is a ten track monster that leaves nothing left in the tank.

After a number of years riding the wave of acclaim given to previous singles, ‘Charlotte’ (+450k streams on Spotify) and ‘Lunatics’ (#1 on the Triple J Unearthed charts), the band recently announced their return with the boot stomping lead single, ‘Sinister Sound’. The trio celebrated the release of the track by embarking on a tour of South East Australia, selling out The Workers Club, The Gasometer, and Halls Gap Hotel. Now The Kite Machine are ready to do it all again with the release of their self-titled debut album.

Acclaimed second and third singles, ‘Paper Plains’ and ‘Walls’ reveal a tender side of Anderson’s writing, with intimate explorations of disillusionment, guilt and anxiety. ‘Walls’ in particular takes the listener on an exhilarating and explorative musical journey which is further enhanced by it’s dreamy and surrealistic music video. The track even caught the attention of Triple J Unearthed music director, Dave Ruby Howe… “Some stirring rock sounds coming from this group. It’s got the feel of some big ’90s alt heroes all over it.”

Jen got the chance to ask some questions about The Kite Machines album and tour. Not only are they super talented musicians, they are really down to earth nice guys. 

Your album has been released now, after a few years playing them live, has the release met or past your expectations of how fans received it?

It’s been great, we had a listening party a few weeks back at Analog Academy in Geelong to showcase the new tracks and we got lots of awesome feedback. I’d say we knew people would get excited about our album because everyone’s been waiting so long to hear it, and if we’re honest, we think it sounds amazing. The thing I think that has surpassed our expectations is probably the variety of positive feedback we’ve gotten, everyone has completely different favourites and every individual song is getting love by different people which couldn’t make us happier.

After listening to the album a few times, my fav is still ‘Walls’. Such an intimate look at anxiety. Super connectable to me and so meaning.  I mean it is one of my fav songs anyway…

Thanks! We’re glad that Walls is really connecting with folks, it means a lot for you to say so!
Taking ‘Walls’ out of the picture, I think that ‘Top of the Hill’ would be my favourite. I really like the bass in it and how it drew me in right from the first note. Can you take me through the writing of this song and give me some info on the background?
Top of the Hill is one of our personal favourites, a real beast of a track, it took us a while to lock it down. It started of as 5 song ideas that were like Prince meets Rage against the Machine and somehow got blended in together. We love playing it live and it’s so exciting for us that people can now here it whenever they want.

Can you choose one other song from the album and do the same?

 Charlotte is another song that almost never came together. In its early life we really didn’t think it worked and we couldn’t get it to groove. It was in the studio, just before we started recording the first drum take, that we tweaked a few tiny beats here and there. All of a sudden, the whole thing just clicked for us and immediately we were all like “oh, we’re onto something here.”

Today, even more so, discussions need to occur about emotional health. I admire you for doing so.

It’s interesting as we never set out to make these grand statements when we started the album. Those songs just came from a positive and honest space, the fact that people are connecting with them on that level is really special for us. As of yet we haven’t had anyone reach out but we hope that anyone who’s maybe struggling or living with these mental health issues can take something away from the songs that’s constructive!

Has songs like ‘Walls’ and ‘Paper Plains’ opened up dialogues about depression and anxiety with people you don’t know

 I think that with the way these songs have been received we’ve entered the conversation in a way. We want to create art that’s positive and put on performances that are fun and safe for people to enjoy, that’s our main responsibility.

Do you feel a certain sense of responsibility to your fans to do so?

We tend to get inspired by new sounds, so we sort of follow the song to its own natural conclusion. A song like Paper Plains is going to be different to Makeshifter which is again different to Sinister Sound as they’re built from completely different sonic elements. That’s the most exciting part of the new album for US, we’ve really run wild with these diverse and crazy ideas over the years we’ve been playing, and we view this album as a melting pot of the absolute best sounds we’ve come up with.

I really like the contrast within the album for example ‘Sinister Sound’ is totally different that ‘Paper Plains’. Was the writing process for these songs similar or is there a contrast?

 Our two favourites at the moment are Top Of The Hill and All In My Head… we’ve been rehearsing for this tour for a while and get a bit of cabin fever. These are the best ones as we get license to jump around like fools! Later in the tour we’ll probably change our minds.

You have a tour coming up that even includes Halls Gap. That is one of my fav places in the world. I went there every year as a kid and it has amazing memories for me. Including meeting my hubbie there! Does Halls Gap have memories for you or was it just an idea to play there?

 My family used to go there each year for the jazz festival as my grandfather would play with his bands. It’s fills me with lots of happiness that we get to play there pretty often. Any tour we do we make an effort to play there – we’ve got an amazing friendship with the owners of the pub that has lead to lots MORE amazing friendships with the locals.

You must do some bush walking while you are there! I am in a wheelchair now due to an illness but in my head, I can still climb Elephants Hide at dawn like I used to.

 We often try to do a pinnacle walk the morning after the gig with varying degrees of success…

Can you tell us in 7 words why people should head to one of your shows?

 Seven words… ballistic, loud groovy tunes make brains happy???

Good answer! haha!
Thanks for chatting with us!!
 Thanks to you too. All the best with your tour. 

Friday 26th April – Geddes Lane Ballroom, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th April – Mt Beauty Music Fest, VIC

Thursday 16th May-  The Marlborough Hotel – Newtown, NSW
Friday 17th May – Howlin Wolf, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 1st June – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 7th June – Halls Gap Hotel, VIC
Friday 14th June –  Barwon Club Hotel, South Geelong, VIC

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