American duo Kidd Bayou unveiled their debut album “Sticky Stars” on March 16th.
Recorded between 2013 and 2016, the 11 track album includes their lead single “Gold”.
Formed by Luke Hall and Joey Colando, the two musicians established an original indie-rock sound influenced by the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, The Shins, Wilco, and Elliott Smith.
Released under Perch Dog Records, their debut album “Sticky Stars” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Introduce the duo. Where are you from?
Luke - We met in Los Angeles after college sometime in 2010, but Kidd Bayou came to form in Portland.
When and how did you start making music together?
Luke - We jammed without any framework here and there when we lived in LA. Back then there was no concept of starting a band or even making music together in an official form. Once Joey left LA for Portland in late 2012, and Luke followed suit soon thereafter, we dove straight into collaborating together with the intent of releasing music. We lived together for a little over a year and rented studio space together, so most of our creative efforts were spent on our music.
What’s the story behind your band’s name, Kidd Bayou?
Luke - Luke lived in north Florida when he was young, on Kidd St. in a neighborhood called Cinco Bayou. That’s the simple answer, but we entertained hundreds of (horrible) possible band names, and actually used two others, before settling on Kidd Bayou and finding our identity.
Joey - We had a huge list of band names. I think Luke kept it in his pocket or it was on his phone. But, anytime we would hang out and something funny would happen or someone would say something that sounded like a sweet band name, we would add to the list. Some were really bad and some were really funny… to us.
How would you define your sound?
Luke - Derivative of our influences.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Luke - Each other.
Joey - I think we really inspire each other when we are in the studio together.
Could you tell us about your new single “Gold”? How did the recording process go?
Luke - Which version of “Gold”? We first started writing and tracking the song in 2013, and the final product is the result of multiple re-recordings over a couple of year. Not the most efficient way to make music.
Joey - Initially, when I started writing for this album, I wanted it to be kind of removed from my personal life. It was more of an exercise writing in a different perspective rather than first person, which is how I often write. In the beginning, the way way beginning, the idea was to write an album full of historically significant events. We got as far as the first track before we abandoned that idea and we just started to write whatever felt natural.
What’s the story behind this record?
Joey - We just wanted to make something that people would like. The album was done in a super relaxed way. We would write the songs and let them evolve in the studio. We didn’t really have any timeline. It took a few years (maybe a little too long). But, I think that makes the album better. It’s not rushed.
What appeals you the most about making music?
Luke - It’s a way to capture a moment in time in a way that conveys emotion and thought over multiple mediums: writing (words) and music.
Joey - It’s a way to say something without having to actually say it. It’s always easier to hide behind music. I find it incredibly cathartic. It’s definitely a release for me.
What makes music so special?
Luke - The impact that music can have on someone is hard to define in a concise manner. You know it when you feel it…it can be healing, cathartic, terrifying, enraging, hopeful…or just in the background. Music possesses innumerable positive qualities and is essential to joy and happiness.
Joey - It doesn’t need context. It just exists on this level where you hear it and you build your own story in your head.
What do you think of today’s music industry? If you had to change one thing, what would it be?
Luke - More opportunity than ever before for folks to get into music production and distribution. I think it’s fantastic that we’ve moved away from mass producing waste products like CDs. The disruption of the industry is an opportunity for reinvention, and for the first time in a while it makes more sense for the artist to be in control of their rights instead of signing to a label. Pretty exciting, if not a bit stressful for those making a living from it.
What are you currently listening to? Any artist you’d like to recommend?
Luke - Haley Heynderickx, Futurebirds, Ratboys, Diarrhea Planet, Now, Now, [E]mpress.
Joey - The National’s new album Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst, Julien Baker, Dr. Dog. Been revisiting a lot of older stuff like Paul Simon, Neil Young, and Van Morrison.
As artists, what are the biggest challenges you’ve ever overcome?
Luke - Coming to terms with the realization that I most likely won’t ever earn a living from being an artist. It can contribute, for sure, but I must find meaning in other kinds of work to lead a balanced life.
Joey - Yeah, that’s a particularly hard realization to take. It’s getting easier now that I am in my 30s with a consistent job and responsibilities. But, not being the famous musician I dreamed of when I was young is a hard pill to swallow.
Why do you make music? What keeps you going?
Luke - I have to, otherwise I don’t feel good. It’s necessary for me.
Joey - I don’t think there is a choice for me either. It’s just something that I need to do. Whether or not someone listens is secondary. Music is one of the things that keeps me going.
What are the ultimate goals for Kidd Bayou?
Luke - Continue to create thoughtful songs.I would ideally like to play this record live.
Any upcoming projects?
Luke - Luke is currently playing bass with a band called Quiet Type, mixing a new full-length from Forest Veil, working with the wonderful youth of Portland at My Voice Music, and hopefully making room for his solo project, Last Home.
Joey - Nothing outside of Kidd Bayou for me. I’m just going to keep writing songs and hopefully, if we get enough, we will release another album.
What’s your purpose?
Luke - To do right by others, contribute positively to my community, and be mindful of my actions. And make music that I like!
Joey - I think Luke’s on the right track there.
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