Hello and thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Kaiser and the Machines of Creation! The new album, Flowers and Lies, has a sound rooted (to this listener at least) in great British rock of the seventies covering everything from Mott The Hoople to Rainbow, yet sounds incredibly fresh and not very much like anything else doing the rounds in Australia today– what are your key influences, and how do you mould those to create the music we can hear on F&L? “Thank you for your observations! That’s really great to hear! You are right in picking Rainbow out of the mix, or more so (Ritchie) Blackmore, who has been a big influence over time. Although, I think this album draws on such a wide range of musical experience rather than influences per se. But people having been picking a lot of common influence out from our sound, perhaps Bowie in particular. But the comments have also been as wide ranging as Queensrÿche, through to Iron Maiden. I mention more so musical ‘experience’ because we draw our influence from anything and everywhere, whether it’s movie or TV soundtracks through to any piece of music that might catch my ear just in my movements throughout the day”.
The COVID situation seems to have spurred musicians on to create new music over the last twelve months – have you found yourself in a creative purple patch over that time? Was this album written before the various lockdown situations? And have you been able to stockpile new material thanks to enforced periods of leisure time? Some people I’ve spoken to have amassed enough material for another three or four albums since last March! “Well, I am always writing so I couldn’t pin it down to the last twelve months, but for instance, the song It’s All A Lie was written during this period, after what we thought was the completion of the album, however it was a song I put together entirely in my home studio. We sent it over to Leon Zervos at Studio 301 in Sydney to have it mastered and sonically it stood up to the rest of the tracks that we had recorded at GhostNote Studios here in Adelaide so it was decided it would be a good fit for the album. The rest of the album was written pre-lockdown so to speak which wasn’t fantastic timing for us as we were planning on being able to tour to support it. Instead with have spent that time heavily promoting it online”.
Tell us a little about the writing and recording of the new album track-by-track, starting with Flowers and Lies. “This song was premier in the construction of the band’s image and focus. It shaped the idea for everything from photographic imagery, wardrobe, presentation and direction”.
“The general concept behind this track is we all have our mad house. It’s one of the ‘heavier’ tracks on the album. It is also shaping up to be the next video from the album (the first being the title track). We are currently conceptualizing that at the moment in fact. It was mastered by Steve Smart at Studio 301 in Sydney, who as worked with artists as wide ranging as The Living End, Midnight Oil to bands like Parkway Drive“.
We’ll Climb The Mountain
“A positive message here of perseverance and the ability to get help. It seems from the feedback we receive this is one of the favourite tracks for listeners of the album. Maor Appelbaum mastered this track in Los Angeles and we love the polish he put on it. The bongos in the verses are one of the very few samples we used on the album”.
In The Mist
“In short this track is about not being, or not to hang around where you are not appreciated. Adelaide vocalist Jennifer DeGrassi really adds some nice harmony textures to this track, it’s one of the six tracks she contributes to on the album”.
It’s All A Lie
“As mentioned, this was written after what we thought was the completion of the album and closer to the start of the COVID situation. Its about the world we live on. I put this song together entirely in my studio at home and played or programmed all the instruments on the recording. Therefore it’s the last I have written that’s been bought fully to fruition so it could be said we may carry this direction forward into the next stage of KMC3‘.
“It’s general theme is a mixed bag of situations occurring simultaneously, mostly in metaphor. Very hooky and a lot of people really like this one!”
“This is another track we sent over to Maor Appelbaum in LA and we love the job he did on those two tracks. When we record again, he will definitely be our go to man to work on those songs. I have conversed with Maor over time and the fact that he has worked with Yes, Faith No More and Dream Theater as well as so many other huge artists, it was great to have him on board. The icing on the cake so to speak was the contribution from Alex McLeod and his sax solo that really sets the song apart. The song essentially asks are you thinking for yourself?”
It’s OK to Wake Up
“In this track it’s waking up to the reality of the world that will completely shatter your world. It’s a lo fi drum sample at the start before it opens up to the full force of the instrumentation. Maybe KMC3’s most ‘proggy’ song? Certainly a wide range of instrumentations used. Group handclaps and James Balderston who engineered and mixed the album adds the tambourine to this track!”
Not Tonight Josephine
“The second of the nine tracks that was completely put together by myself in my home studio, although Joe James contributes the piano on this one. This was a song I had recorded prior to the writing of the other songs on the album. I found it again amongst my catalogue, sent it out to Leon Zervos to have it mastered and it became the ideal song to close the album. It has a similar theme to a couple of the other tracks on Flowers and Lies being, things are not what they seem. Everything is actually the opposite”.
As situations ease across Australia, bands are looking forward to booking shows and ours again – will you be taking to the boards across the land in support of the album? “Most definitely. We really want to be able to present the songs though in the best possible setting with a stage production that serves to enhance the music – big sound, lighting and atmospherics so the hardest thing is in the timing of when this can occur. It looks like it’s getting closer though in terms of crowd size or social distancing restrictions et cetera so we have turned our attention again to getting all this in order and hope there aren’t any further setbacks”.
Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about the band? “We’ve had the individual tracks played all over the world on radio and available on line for awhile now, drip feeding them as singles but we are thrilled to be able to finally release the album as it was conceptualised, in a limited edition physical format, with artwork and the intended running order of the songs. So if anyone wants to grab a copy, we’d love the support! There is also the ability to grab the digital downloads there as well so hopefully the readers will head over and check us out! Thanks Scott for having the chat as well! Your site is awesome!”