Interview: The Kontours
Published on May 15th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
When The Enemy front man Tom Clarke saw The Kontours soundchecking in a Leamington pub, he was sufficiently impressed to invite these bright young things to support them at their recent show at London’s The Borderline venue. Curiosity piqued, Rocksucker fired over some questions to the Kontours kamp and received back the following set of replies. First, though, have an earful of their minimalist garage-rock for yourselves…
How do you know each other, and when did you get started as a band?
Kiera: I’ve known Jack through school for years, and when I decided I wanted to start a band we met up at our local studios to see how it went. After a month or so we started looking for a guitarist and it turned out Jack knew Ollie from playing football so he came along and we all worked well together straight away. I’d say we began writing songs as a trio in late 2009.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
Ollie: It’s really hard to put a specific genre to our style, because we’re all influenced by such different types of music and we incorporate all of our preferences into our own songs. If we had to, though, I guess it would be quite a heavy, alternative and indie mix, just below the label of screamo. Maybe.
Who or what are your primary inspirations for music making?
It’s really varied between us all. For Jack: Joey Jordison (Slipknot), Tony Royster Jnr, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Ollie’s favourite band is Arctic Monkeys, but loves lyrics from Peter Doherty and his style of writing, and loves the guitar sound from Nirvana. Kiera’s favourite and most inspirational band is The Subways [click here to read Rocksucker’s interview with The Subways’ drummer Josh Morgan], closely followed by Foo Fighters, Jay-Z and Mew.
Where can we hear your music?
The best place to listen to us is probably on YouTube by simply searching ‘The Kontours’. Other than that, we have our first single out on CD, which is available at shows and by post on request. We’re shortly releasing our second single, which will be available for download soon!
Which have been your most exciting gigs so far? The Borderline show supporting The Enemy must have been quite something…
Yeah, supporting The Enemy was incredible! Being singled out by Tom out of all the great bands around was a total confidence booster! Other than that, our few dates with The Subways last year were fantastic, along with being main support to Cage the Elephant! Not only have we really enjoyed supporting such a great range of bands, our own headline shows have been totally mind-blowing! Our most recent headline, at the Coventry Kasbah, was almost a sell-out and the crowd was totally unbelievable! It’s the shows like that which make us determined!
Tell us about the night that Tom Clarke spotted you [click here to read Rocksucker’s interview The Enemy’s bassist Andy Hopkins]…
It was August 2011 and we were in Leamington about to sound-check in The Exchange, we didn’t realize until he walked in that Tom was actually doing the sound-checks! We quickly went through some of what are now our oldest songs and we noticed straight away that Tom seemed to be getting really into it! His reaction was totally surreal to us ‘cause as a young trio from Coventry, The Enemy are exactly what you aspire to live up to. When we saw him chatting to our manager it was crazy, but we never thought he’d want us on shows with them!
Got any more big gigs or festival dates coming up?
We’ve just confirmed shows with Twisted Wheel and Arrows of Love and we’re in the process of booking up some quite big shows for throughout the rest of the year, but for now we’re regularly playing some local shows. Some pretty big announcements will be made on our Facebook and Twitter pages soon, though!
Do you all still plan to finish your A-Levels? If so, what are you studying?
Kiera: Yeah, I definitely intend to finish my A-Levels! I’m studying English Literature, Sociology, Psychology and Citizenship.
Ollie: I’m still doing my GCSE’s at the moment, but will be going to sixth form in September to study History, Politics, Sociology and Psychology.
Jack: I’m still doing GCSE’s too, but I’m going to college in September to study Music.
Are there any other up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
They’re not exactly up-and-coming, but The Antics have been a real help out and actually a bit of an inspiration to us all, so yeah, The Antics! Other than that, some more local bands we really love include Sixtyfours, The Prospects and Flygone!
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire back catalogues of five different musical artists along to tide you over, whose would you take?
We can’t decide on five between us, so here’s our separate choices!
Ollie: The Beatles, Eels, Arctic Monkeys, White Stripes and The Libertines.
Kiera: The Subways, Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Mew and Biffy Clyro.
Jack: Slipknot, Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Tony Royster Jnr.
The Kontours, thank you.
For more information, please visit The Kontours’ Facebook page