By: Chris Coutsoukis
HeadRush TV had the chance to catch up with Canvas/Island Records band the Karma Killers, who won over U.S. audiences across the country on the mammoth 42-city, 21st annual Vans Warped Tour 2015. The Karma Killers includes Micky James (vocals/guitar), Mango (bass/vocals),Billy Stevens (guitar/vocals), and Josh Grigsby (drums) are heavily influenced by classic rock, punk rock, and soul, which has guided them to creating their alternative sound, described by them as “Night Pop.”
1) Alot going on for the Karma Killers, you guys are coming off a summer long run on Vans Warped Tour, enjoying success with your EP Strange Therapy, now on the road on your own, what have the last few months been like?
It's been amazing. A long time coming for us I feel. We've been writing for the past few years, so it feels good to finally get released from the cage.
2) You guys made a big splash on Vans Warped Tour this summer, but for those who haven’t heard of you, what can people expect when they come out to one of your shows?
3) Sticking with Warped Tour, what are some of your best memories from this year's tour?
Well, because it was our first National tour, everyday was an eye opener for us. Everyday was one to remember. Some shows were definitely better than others. Warped Tour is just this big communal tour. You make a ton of friends with the bands and crew. It's a blast.
4) Warped Tour has seen a lot of changes in its identity over the years, moving from a very punk environment to recent heavier trends. What was your take on playing to a crowd as diverse as Warped?
It was fantastic for us. It was a challenge but we love that. We love having to constantly prove ourselves. Going into the tour, I wasn't expecting the response that we received throughout warped. The kids were super open minded. They wanted to give every band a chance. They gave us a chance. I feel like that's always been the vibe Ive got at warped tour. They wanna hear new music. They wanna find they're new 'secret' favorite band. It did a lot for us.
5) Let’s talk about Strange Therapy, what did you guys want to achieve with this album both musically and lyrically?
Overall, we just wanted to give the listener a little taste of what we are. We didn't want to spread ourselves too thin.
Diversity, honesty. And I think that was achieved.
6) The band has seen a lot of great things come out of just this EP, two video premiers for “Coming of Age” and “Domino”, as well as some franchising what has the experience meant to you personally?
Personally, all that is just a stepping stone. I feel relieved that we finally got to put out music that we worked quite some time on. But I am already on to the next. I feel like that was just an introduction for everyone to know that we exist.
7) From your catalog, what songs are you guys playing live, and what songs are receiving the best reaction?
We play all of 'Strange Therapy' as well as a new song and a cover. I think live Domino, Coming of Age, and My Killer Queen have had the best reaction.
8) Now that you guys are getting used to life on the road what are some survival tips or stories from the road you have for the next generation of up and comers?
Hmmmmm. If you like clothes as much as I do then bring a lot of clothing. You don't really sleep on the road so Drink a lot of coffee. Don't get wasted every night and work hard. Meet everyone. Stay humble.
9) What are some of the sources the band draws musical inspiration and influence from? What sounds and ideas you are experimenting with for the next record?
We draw influence from many things. Including film. We love sound tracks to film and the certain esthetics film makers bring to a film that we want to introduce into our music or image. Musically, it goes across the boards what were influenced by. Pop, new wave, punk, funk, alternative. It's still in its infant stages for the album. Still writing. Sculpting its identity.
10) Going forward what’s next for the Karma Killers?
We're on tour right now with The Struts. Then heading back into the studio in November to start writing more and demoing. Then I'm sure we'll be back on the road.
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