2003 has seen Kinesis go from a hotly-tipped local band to a baby rock behemoth with a reputation for incendiary sloganeering and rabble-rousing live performances. Their ‘Billboard Beauty’ video found constant rotation on MTV2 and their relentless touring schedule saw them support the Manics at Brixton Academy – “Just to play in a theatre that size that was sold out was incredible”. A surreal jaunt to Texas, saw the band visiting trailer-parks, partying with their mates And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead and of course dishing out more fiery Polemic in the bizarre clubs of Dubya’s heartland…
A scorching hot Friday afternoon in June, Friday 13th no less, I’m sat in a cramped and sweaty dressing room with Kinesis singer Michael Bromley and guitarist Conor McGloin (“I’m the one with the camp voice!”) It’s the final night of the tour (or rather, of the latest leg of Kinesis’ seemingly endless touring schedule). So how’s it been going?
“It’s been alright. It’s a weird time to play, coz it’s
exam season, but the turnouts have been alright,” says Conor, “we’ve enjoyed it all-in-all.”
“It’s been good to get out, try some new stuff out live, play some longer sets,” adds Michael.
Of their best gigs, “headlining the Academy 3 in Manchester was really good, closest thing we’ve
got to a homecoming gig,” reckons Michael.
“Also it's just confirmed the fact we were a proper band – playing in a university!” says Conor.
“There were even bootleggers outside,” recalls Michael.
After their debut Mini-LP 'Worship Yourself' sold out its entire first pressing, catching the ears of Kerrang (“Kinesis can do no wrong”) the band hooked up with Crystal Songs and Pixies producer Chris Sheldon for a thrilling brace of singles. Packed with ferocious guitars and mosh-pit igniting dynamics ‘And They Obey’ and ‘Everything Destroys Itself’ dealt with NAFTA, the rise of neo-fascism, the co-option of youth culture by the corporate sector and the Nation’s mindless obsession with celebrity. Not exactly “Girls don’t like boys, girls like cars and money”…
On the absence of political comment from most pop music,
including rock music: “Ninety Percent of musicians are stupid” thinks Conor, “they just want to take drugs and fuck girls and don’t have any
“Well,” he says, realising the implications, “there’s just so much apathy, people don’t think that they can make a difference, that having a social conscience makes any difference… Most bands will only get signed if they don’t offend anyone, if they’re as safe as possible, will sell to as many different markets as possible…”
‘Billboard Beauty,’ the first single for Independiente, continued the assault, taking a sideswipe at impossible images of beauty perpetuated in the media. It is not then, without irony, that the video found heavy rotation on MTV. “The music industry lost touch when it saw the Internet as a threat instead of something it could use… sadly it hurts bands mainly; the music biz will always make money, but if people are just downloading tunes, then fewer bands get signed.”
Kinesis remain unfazed by their burgeoning popularity. “We
don’t see ourselves as having achieved any great fame yet,” says Michael, “there’s
a hell of a lot of work to be done yet.”
Conor: “If Rage Against the Machine and the Manics can fill stadia – bands with a political agenda – then hopefully so can we”
New single ‘Forever Reeling’, released at the end of yet another jaunt up and down the country, deals in more personal themes - “From the singles we’ve released, I see why we might be categorised as a political band, but that’s only one side of us, we don’t have a manifesto, we don’t feel any pressure to address particular issues unless we want to express something about it. If you don’t care about politics and just want to make beautiful music, that’s fine, but I think a lot of bands suppress their political views because they’re scared…”
Musically speaking, however, ‘Forever Reeling’ hardly lets up the blistering, coruscating assault, adding a classic rock swagger to the band’s more abrasive elements. If Kinesis really want to fill stadia, then this is a massive step along the way. “We’ve got a load of demos for new songs we’ve just written, which are moving on even from the first album that’s not even been released yet.”
A few hours later Kinesis are tearing up the Highbury Garage, whipping the small army of school kids taking a night off exams into a frenzied moshpit. With their energy and conviction plus a slew of great tunes not seen since the Manics got fat or Fugazi went all ‘experimental’ on our ass, it’s hard to imagine anything stopping Kinesis barrelling out of the clubs and into the big boys league. And the big boys better watch out, coz they’ve got some serious competition on their hands.