Laura Pleasants - Kylesa

May 19, 2005

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Tell me about Kylesa and how you guys got together.

We started in 2001 and we formed out of the ashes of another band. The other band was called Damand also from Savannah, GA. The musicians of Damand basically broke off from their singer. They just broke up and they wanted to start a new band and I'd been jamming with Phil Cope for a couple of years. I'd been friends with Brian Duke the bass player. We did some demo versions that were going to be for our full length so we recorded the songs and we played a show. Then after our first show the bass player was epileptic and he had a seizure and passed away. That was really, really tough to get through that. It was so devastating. We didn't think we were going to continue obviously but we decided we owed it to him to finish up the recording and release it whether we stayed together as a band or not. We finished up the record and we planned to release it. It wasn't going to come out for a while as a friend was going to do the artwork. He knew Brian and was friends with Brian so it didn't really matter when it came out. It took about a year to come out. During that time, after several months, we decided to continue as a band. We began to look for a new bass player which was tough but we decided that we wanted to play. Eventually we found another bass player. We found Corey who is our current bass player and we recorded some more material. We started to tour a lot and to sell a few more records. Our original drummer quit mainly because he just couldn't tour as much as we wanted to tour. So we got another drummer. Brandon, me, Corey, and Phillip make up the current lineup. Together we wrote the record for Prosthetic To Walk A Middle Course. We've been touring a lot since Brandon joined the band which was last April. We've continued to tour basically.

You're a mixture of several different types of music. Punk, hardcore, metal, and whatnot. Who are some of the bands that influence you guys?

There are so many. I know early on Black Sabbath and Black Flag were an influence for me as a young guitar player. From record to record I guess it depends on what we're listening to. There are so many influences it's hard to just pick out one.

I like the way you and Phillip trade off vocals. Did you start off doing that or is that something you did for this record?

That's probably evolved. Our vocals have definitely evolved since our first release. We probably do the most trading off on the new record. It has more of a fluent kind of feel to it than maybe some of our other stuff.

Did you guys decide early on that you didn't want to be labeled as one genre of music or another?

Yeah, definitely. We knew from the start that we didn't want to be limited by any genre limitations or specifications. We just wanted to play music we liked and what we felt was right. We didn't want to write them and be like "oh that's too metal" or "that's too punk." We wanted to basically write in a freeform manner so that whatever came together would come together naturally rather than being forced to play a certain kind of music.

That opens you up to being able to tour with different types of bands as well.

Yeah, that's a deep thought. It keeps things fun and interesting. It doesn't get boring or monotonous at all. We haven't pigeonholed ourselves which is I think a lot of bands run into.

Tell us a little about the new release, To Walk A Middle Course.

It just came out March 23rd. We recorded it in Los Angeles in October. We've never traveled so far to record before. It was all quite new to us. We had a large budget for this record which is really cool. The production is superior overall to the rest of our records. We recorded with Alex Newport at Hot Head studio in L.A. and it was pretty intense but it was a great experience.

Who does the majority of the songwriting? Is that you or does everyone contribute?

Phillip and I write all the lyrics and work out all the vocal patterns. We all contribute musically.

Are there any songs on the album that are personal favorites?

I like "Motion And Presence" a lot. That came out to be one of my favorites. I like "Shatter The Clock" and "Train Of Thought". Maybe the last one I like a lot too. It's an instrumental called "Crashing Slow". That was a spontaneous song.

Are you guys looking at any touring coming up pretty soon?

We've been touring basically since the end of January. We're taking a break right now. We just needed to take a little bit of a break. We're going to be doing some regional shows this summer and we're going to tour Europe in the Fall. We're real excited. We've never been to Europe before. We're going to go over there for six weeks and then when we get back we'll do another U.S. tour in late October.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Thanks for doing the interview. I appreciate it.