COVID-19 brought all of our lives to a halt just over three months ago, and although some businesses are finally starting to reopen, the live music scene is still on lockdown. No live shows means no touring… no touring means no face to face radio or press interviews… no radio or press means you don’t get to hear about great new bands like The K’s, a young, four piece indie rock band from England.
Lucky for you, however, this pandemic has happened at a time where we have online options available for us all to stay connected, so with a little clever planning and scheduling, I was able to put together a Zoom “virtual face to face” interview with the band so you can all get to know them a little bit better.
The K’s are no strangers to Zoom meetings. In fact, they regularly host live Instagram and Facebook events inviting their fans to ask questions and comment. They have even included their roadies and parents on some of their broadcasts, which leads to much hilarities, such as their t-shirt guy’s attempt at fire breathing.
Now, before I get to the interview, let me give you a little background on the band. Initially, they were called The Kaleidoscopes after their local record shop in Earlstown (halfway between Manchester and Liverpool), but they decided to shorten it to The Ks, adding the apostrophe since there was another band called The Ks (no apostrophe) on Spotify.
During my Zoom meeting with the K’s, I was joined by – Jamie Boyle (vocals/guitar), Ryan Breslin (guitar), and Jordan Holden (drums), but unfortunately Dexter Baker (bass) couldn’t join us, because he was busy working on the front line for the NHS (National Health Service), saving lives.
The K’s Zoom interview with Leeza London
Leeza: Jordan, I hear that they call you Jord. Do any of you others have nicknames?
Jamie: Ryan gets called Paddy [because of his red hair], and the others we wouldn’t really like to say on video (they all laugh).
Leeza: I understand, Jaime, that you met Dexter in school?
Jamie: Me and Dexter met when we were in nursery. So we’ve been friends since we were three years old.
Leeza: You guys look pretty young, so when you were three years old, was that 10 years ago?
Jamie: (laughs) No, it’s been twenty years this year, so were 23/24 years old now.
Leeza: And then Ryan joined. Ryan, you were playing and your brother’s band, weren’t you?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s right. I was playing in my brother’s band, but I knew these guys in school. I was a couple years above them in school. We actually met at an after party in a kitchen, and just started chatting.
Leeza: So, Ryan, what made you decide to leave your brother’s band, and join these guys? You had a successful career ahead of you. You opened for The Who, right?
Ryan: Yeah, we did a lot of shows with The Who in American, and Canada and Europe, but I was doing both bands at the same time. And then they [my brother’s band] took a break for about a year, so I’m now just with The K’s anyway. I was in another band as well, but I left them straight away.
Leeza: I thought it’s usually the drummer that joins multiple bands.
Jamie: No one else would have him. [They all laugh.]
Leeza: Except for, apparently, that girl… I watch that live video that you guys did, where Dexter was saying that this girl in the audience kept asking Dexter to move over on stage so she could see Jordan.
Jordan: Oh yeah, that’s right. [They all laugh, while Jordan blushes]
Leeza: You released your debut “Sarajevo”. How did you record that? Did you have access to recording studios, producers?
Jamie: We just wanted to get some stuff down, so we went into a studio in Wiggin, which is just a little town near where we live in Greater Manchester; it’s about half an hour outside Manchester. We just got in touch with a bloke on Facebook who turned out to be alright. We ended up spending about 50 quid a day ($65) on our recordings, which was really cheap. That was the first song we put out, and it just blew up; It’s got about 2 million plays, or something. Crazy.
Leeza: And also it was used for the trailer for the film “To Be Someone”. Is that in the film itself, or just in the trailer?
Jamie: No, we’re all in the film.
Ryan: All three tracks are; three or four tracks actually.
Leeza: Wow, I’m dying to see it. I love Perry Benson and Ray Burdis [who are in the film], and in fact, that’s how I found you guys; it was from watching that trailer. So, how did they find you?
Ryan: We just got a random email saying that you want to be in a film.
Jamie: It literally was like that random. Just got an email one day, and we said, yeah, we’ll be in it.
Leeza: Is that how Alan McGee got in touch with you? Did he randomly email you?
Jamie: Alan McGee had come to do a DJ set at this competition night that we had been asked to play. But then he revealed that the only reason he actually came was to watch us, because he wanted to sign us.
Ryan: We have a mutual friend who, sort of, introduced us to him. We had met him a couple of times, and then he came to watch us, and just signed us right there.
Leeza: So, from that you released [your single] “Aurora” with him, right?
Jamie: Yeah, that’s right.
Leeza: That was 2019. So when did you release your single “Glass Towns”? Was that before or after “Aurora”?
Jamie: That was the year before. That was in October 2018, and “Aurora” was 2019. We just can’t wait to get the new tunes out, now. We’ve just booked to record our next two singles next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at Parr Street in Liverpool.
Leeza: I really like you did with your latest release “Valley One”. You had a lockdown situation, and you made the most of it. You did a more acoustic version, which was very cool. That came out in May. Now, I know it’s really hard with the whole live situation being stunted. What are you guys doing to get around that? I know you’ve done a couple of live streaming shows, right?
Jamie: [turns the camera to reveal the live band set up] We’re doing one now. We’re setting up at the minute. We’re just doing a sound check for a gig we’re doing on Friday. We’re all set up in Ryan’s granddad’s garden. We’re just doing little bits like this, but it’s so frustrating when all you want to be doing is play live gigs. We are a live band, and without sounding arrogant, we can do it all. But what we enjoy doing most is playing live. And that’s the thing we are definitely missing. Like the weekend that’s just gone, when you know we should have been playing the Isle of Weight Festival, those sort of things, it’s a killer. But everyone’s in the same boat, and we just looking forward to getting back out as soon we can, whenever that might be.
Leeza: Is this one of the first few times if you guys have actually been together? Because I know you all had to self isolate.
Jamie: This is the second time. We had one practice last week altogether, and that was the first time in 12 weeks that we had seen each other since our tour ended in March. And yeah, today’s a second time. So, it’s good to be back. But when Dexter gets here, we’ll all probably regret it. [They all laugh]. I’m only playing.
Leeza: I love all the stories you guys tell on your Facebook and Instragram live posts about your touring, and the story about the pee cup out the window. [they all burst out in laughter]. Why don’t you tell us all about that, for those who haven’t heard it yet.
Jamie: I feel like I have to clarify every time that’s mentioned, because people actually think that I drank this urine on purpose. But what happened was we were going down the M6, a big motorway in England, driving to London to do a show. And Ryan needed a toilet, but there wasn’t a service station for like 20 miles. So, he went in a McDonald’s cup and then threw it out the window. And when he threw it out the window, it just blew back in my face. [We all laugh and cringe.]
Leeza: Oh no. And there’s nowhere to wash your self in a van. Did you have any water available to you?
Jamie: I used orange juice and coke. Anything I could get my hands on.
Leeza: These things happen when you’re on the road. I’m looking forward to hearing about all the new antics that you guys will get up to when you start touring again. So, tell me what you have coming up.
Ryan: We’ve got a show on Friday, June 19th. Tickets are on sale now. We’ll be doing a full band set with local band supporting.
Jamie: And then, like I said, we are in the studio next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday recording “TV” and “Landmines”, which are going to be our next singles. And hopefully when this is all over, we can come to the States and see you.
Leeza: Absolutely. Do you have a producer working with you on the songs, or are you just self producing?
Jamie: No, it’s Chris Taylor who’s going to be producing. He’s done the likes of The Blossoms’ albums, he’s done Coldplay, he’s done Cast, he’s done a load of stuff. We’re excited.
Leeza: We look forward to you guys coming out here. We look forward to the new singles. I’ll let you get back to rehearsing, but say “hello” to Dexter for me.
Jamie, Ryan, Jordon: We will.
The K’s will be performing live on Friday, June 19, 2020. The event kicks off at 9:15pm (GMT) / 1:15pm (PDT). The Thieves are live at 9:30pm (GMT). And The K’s are live at 10:30pm (GMT) / 2:30pm (PDT). Tickets are £6/£8.