The Little Kicks are a band I’ve been a fan of for a long time now.
The Aberdeen four-piece have been at the pinaccle of the Aberdeen music scene for many years, and have proven to be one of the best groups the city has produced in the last ten years.
Ahead of shows in the central belt this weekend, frontman Steven Milne answered some questions for the blog, and it’s a great insight into a successful band situated up North.
The tune below, Don’t Give Up So Easily, is a personal favourite from the band’s debut album, and further on you can listen to the latest single, Call Of Youth, which is available as a FREE download.
If you had to introduce folk to The Little Kicks in one tweet (140 characters or less) what would you say?
Upbeat Melodic Indie Pop band from Scotland that make music you can dance to.
The Little Kicks have been a massive part of the Aberdeen music scene for a long time now, what do you think has fuelled the longevity of the band?
To be honest, although we’ve been around for quite a while – we took a long time to find our feet. Its only of late I think maybe we’ve properly matured as musicians and our writing has become more what we feel represents us, so there is a big time of the band and lots of old songs that we don’t even think about.
Weve changed members here and there and the sound has changed with that so in hindsight we could have changed the name but we always liked the name and had worked hard on getting it out there so we stuck with it.
All bands will say their current or new output is their best, but I think in our case it’s true. We played some huge shows a couple of years back – T in the Park, Maximo Park at Caird Hall etc – and we don’t play any of the same songs as we’ve moved on! I think the best thing for us to do is to get this new album out as its going to be very different and likely convert a few folks who previously wouldn’t have been keen, and if it does well and we keep playing as much as we can out-of-town we’ll hopefully lose the stigma of being an Aberdeen band. We love our hometown crowd and you can’t take it for granted, but we would love to be more known outside of that, and that will maybe involve a jump away from the North East.
How do you think being based in Aberdeen influences the band? and is it harder to become successful being based there?
I love Aberdeen, I really do. I was initially brought up in a very small village, so moving to Aberdeen (which is what the song “Do Something New” is about) was good for me, and working in the music scene there, as I do, certainly helps the band’s cause a lot. In that respect we can do well in Aberdeen, and although we like it, we’re totally aware that there is a much bigger scene elsewhere and that in order for us to get noticed we need to get out as much as possible. Id like to think it doesn’t affect the way we write songs, but it probably does.
We’re not really part of any scene up here, whereas in other places you can see a lot of bands emerging at the same time who sound the same because something is currently the flavour of the month (there’s a lot of bands who sound like Biffy for example). I guess we just do our own thing and have always sounded different to folks up here, so we just keep doing what we like and hope people like it.
What were your thoughts on the loss of the city’s Northern Lights Festival?
I think it’s a terrible shame. I was personally looking forward to going, but I’m as bad as anyone else as I hadn’t bought a ticket! I hang my head in shame there as im as bad as anyone else. I think the line up was great, the people running it had the best intentions, and the city needs it. It’s a terrible shame. I really hope even at this stage they salvage it/something, but as far as i hear it’s a no go.
I think the worst thing about it is that it will likely put anyone off trying again in future, and I don’t blame them. It’s a very expensive business to put on a festival and if your crowd don’t support it then why bother! I thought the price was good, the line up was great, and all in all it looked great. Sad times.
Your latest single, Call Of Youth, is still available as a FREE download. Why did you decide to give the track away?
We had people saying they liked it after we played it live, and style wise its similar enough to the old stuff and still fits with the new stuff, so it worked as a nice bridging track. We also felt, although we’d been very busy behind the scenes, people thought we were likely doing nowt, so it was maybe time to remind them of our existence and start word going on the new album. It’s the first time we’ve given a track away and at first I was a bit unsure, but if we get some new converts out of it then that’s exactly what it’s all about! And Soundcloud is an amazing format for music, bad for record shops, but great for us music lovers.
You are playing Edinburgh and Glasgow this week, what have you got in store for these shows?
Edinburgh is always a lot of fun. Toby lives there so he has a squad coming, and most of my close mates moved there after school so I have a good crowd too. Sneaky Petes is great too – the small, sweaty shows are always the best, which is why The Captain’s Rest on Saturday will also be equally fun! Well be playing 6 songs from the new album and two oldies! Cant wait.
Your list of achievements as a band is extremely impressive. What have been the biggest/most important moments for you?
I think this new album will be of great note for us. I’m really proud of our first one, but due to various circumstances it was a bit rushed on our part, and we lost our drummer as it was completed, so it was a weird time for us. We didn’t really get the release or the subsequent promotion right, whereas this time I think we are in good shape and we know a lot more about what we’re doing.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re still learning about it and very much having to embrace the internet release style/downloads etc with a fresh head, but I feel we’ll do more of a proper job this time, so to speak.
Gig wise I always think back to T in the Park as a big buzz, and also when we played with Maximo Park at Caird Hall. They were big shows, but truth be told we play better at the tiny wee ones in 13th Note or Tunnels, and they mean a lot too.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer and beyond?
Well, im en route to the studio as I type to spend two days tweaking and finishing parts on the album; after these weekend shows that will be our main concern over summer – to finish and get the CD’s made.
Show wise we are playing the Edge Festival in August with Aerials Up at Liquid Rooms, then we play Aviemore and Inverness. Waiting on a few festivals to come in also but I think the main aim will be the album and planning a tour/ launch date, and organising all that comes with it. So lots of coffee, meetings, and endless lists of tasks, which will hopefully get scored off this time.
If your music could be the soundtrack to any film or TV show, which would you choose?
God, good question! I think I would have to say The Office (American Office), as I’m currently obsessed with it. Would love to somehow play on the show and get to meet Micheal Scott and Dwight (although I know they’re not real like!). That would be good, and I’d imagine the money would be decent too!
If you could steal a song from an unsigned act and have it as your own, which song would you take?
I love a song by a band called Rescue Party called Derelict, it’s amazing. It’s like New Order’s Ceremony but punked up and very catchy. A great band who don’t do enough. My friend JJ Bull’s song Tommy is one of my favourites also.
And finally, a random question from Discopolis: How on earth did Dupree ever think it was going to work?! Molly and Karl were newlyweds for Pete’s sake?
God, that’s random! No idea, but leave Owen alone – he’s had a hard time, and Marley died for God’s sake!
July 15th – Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s w/ Discopolis + Fridge Magnets
July 16th – Glasgow – Captain’s Rest w/ Fridge Magnets
July 29th – Aberdeen – Cellar 35 (DJ Set)
August 12th – Edinburgh – Liguid Rooms w/ Aerials Up
August 18th – Aberdeen – Dirty Hearts Club @ Snafu (acoustic) w/ John Knox Sex Club + Over The Wall
August 19th – Aviemore – Old Bridge Inn
August 20th – Inverness – Hootenanny’s
August 26th – Aberdeen – Dirty Hearts Club @ Snafu – Last DHC!