They have been off the radar for a little while but with a new album on its way, backed by a world wide tour, Cold War Kids will be back in your face (and ears) soon enough. Have a listen and read to Killyourstereo.com’s chat with Matt from CWK below to hear all about it.
What’s happening in the world of Cold War Kids at the moment?
We are currently on tour right now out in Michigan in a hotel room, day off, we’re supporting the record, currently making music videos for most of or all of the songs on the record, yeah.
Wow, music videos for all of the songs?
Well we are trying to, I think we have three or four fifths of it done.
Cool, what’s the reason behind doing that?
Why not? I don’t know. I’m a big fan of PJ Harvey and I know she made videos for all of the songs on her last record, you can buy the DVD of it, and we’re trying to do our own version of that maybe.
So what can you tell us about the new record, what is is like compared to previous Cold War Kid’s records?
I think it’s kinda like a mixture of the last three styles and ways of recording all rolled into one. We did stuff very much in the same vein as traditional Cold War Kids, very much live, four guys in a room playing together not too much overdubbing. Then we did some songs where it was very opposite, we wrote the song in the studio from the ground up, layer upon layer upon layer on the track, then some of the songs were a mixture of both where we put a lot of live stuff and layered a lot of synth over it. In a lot of ways it sounds like our first record again, it was a really funny record to make. We lost a guitar player and gained a new guitar player, Dan, and he ended up producing the record as well. It was the first record that we made in our home space which was a new way of doing things for us, it was great.
So having done both, live recording and studio recording, which do you personally prefer?
I like them both, I think that I prefer them both firing all cylinders, a lot of songs, like Fear & Trembling and Jailbirds, are very much live, four guys playing live, but then we took a long time and put layers over it and added thinsg to it, so I think that right in the middle is where I prefer.
And do you think that when it comes to playing these songs live that layering makes it harder to synthesise that feel in a live version?
You know, we don’t think about it too hard, you don’t have to play the song exactly how it is on the recording which is what a lot of people do think and for awhile we thought that, songs sound very much different live as to what they do on the record and I think we see people responding to it just as much as they do to the record. I don’t think you have to play the same way.
Now that you guys have a few albums under the belt, do you ever see a drastic change for Cold War Kids to be out of the ballpark trying something new or do you think you’ll stick to the similar formula?
I think in a lot of ways on this new record we did, at least for us, we did a lot of things that were out of our comfort zone, saxophones is pretty out of our comfort zone, that’s on there. I think this record is a big departure from our previous sound so I think we’re doing this now, I don’t think it’s "shocking" I don’t really know what that means but I think we are growing and exploring new alleyways.
How is the tour going so far?
It’s great, I’ve slept in my own bed very little in the last few months but it’s great. Tonight is a night off so we’re taking it easy but we’re opening for a band called The Lumineers right now, we’re doing about ten dates. I like opening spots, it’s nice to play short sets and meet new people.
The Lumineers have probably got a pretty big following at the moment, I saw them play at Coachella this year and they had a massive crowd.
Oh yea, they are cool, I enjoy them, they are nice guys.
Cold War Kids can sort of toggle the line between the softer folky stuff and heavier rock, which shows do you prefer?
I don’t know, I feel like we are in a scene of our own so I enjoy playing all the time with all kinds. Two of my favourite tours I’ve ever done was a band called Pink Mountain Tops, we toured with them in Europe, they are actually one of my favourite bands and another band called We Barbarians, they are from Brooklyn, they are two of my favourite bands who have toured with us, I think we fit each other very well.
You guys are coming to Australia very soon, excited?
Yeah, very much, I’m glad we get to go to winter where it is summertime here, I’m always a bigger fan of the colder climates than the warm, even though I’m from Southern California I’m always glad to ditch the summertime.
What is the plan for this tour, it’s been awhile since you guys have been out here?
I haven’t really looked at the schedule, I think it’s a few shows and festivals, just making the rounds but we always have really fun shows in Australia, I think that Paris and Australia are the two best places to play in terms of crowd. Really responsive in a good way, they have a good time but not too good of a time.
Does it get daunting knowing that you will be away from home for a long time touring?
Yes and no, I definitely look forward to it, I like touring, it’s really rewarding getting to play your songs for different people every night and meet people. I have a good time doing art on the road, it’s fun being in new places every night but it is also very wearing and lonely and I kinda view touring like eating birthday cake all of the time, it tastes good but it also makes you sick.