Interview with Kid Kapichi

Another mega moment for Record Weekly incoming…

I managed to have a chat on the phone with Jack Wilson, frontman of the epic Kid Kapichi, one of my favourite bands of the moment by a country mile. But I won’t ramble any longer, as they really need no introduction. 

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Kid Kapichi. Image credit: Nick Suckak

RECORD WEEKLY’S INTERVIEW WITH KID KAPICHI

Hiya Jack, how are you? I need to just compliment you on the [leopard print] hair. Incredible. 

Yeah, good thank you! Haha thanks. I actually shaved it off recently — it was growing out and didn’t look as decent, but I kept it for the shows. Give the masses what they want. 

Haha absolutely. How are things feeling at the moment then? Tell me how the shows went. 

Things are as good as they can be really. We’ve had that long string of gigs, so it now feels like we can get back to normal a bit. We’re just trying to keep positive really! 

We had the two in Bexhill, which were amazing and at a venue we always wanted to play. Then we did the Brighton one at Concorde, which was really nice as well. 

We also did two gigs in one day for the first time ever, which were both at Werkhaus. They were really cool. It was quite a learning curve haha. I thought it’d be easy-peasy, but then doing gigs again after a year-and-a-half, we were pretty knackered from bringing all the energy. It was the constantly being around people that really tired us out. 

Ah man, they all sound really great, despite the tiredness! I can’t wait to get to a show of yours again — I was gutted that I couldn’t make any of those. I last saw you at Oporto before the pandemic kicked off!

Oh yeah, Oporto! By far the smallest venue we did on that tour.

Haha yeah, it’s like an actual cloakroom. It’s absolutely miniature. 

I used to work there actually. I went to Leeds for uni and needed work, so yeah, I got a job there. The guy who runs it, Ross Millar, is a legend. Such a cool venue as well, even if it is the size of a shoebox! I used to really rate there and The Wardrobe, actually, which is the bigger one, isn’t it? Hopefully we’ll play there at some stage! It’s The Key Club next for us.

Now, let’s take things back to the very beginning — how did you all meet and when did you form Kid Kapichi?

We all met in Hastings. Me, George and Eddie all went to the same school and, then when we were around 16 and started having house parties, that’s when we met Ben. I think I just walked to the end of a garden, really drunk once, and there he was, playing a guitar. It was really cringey haha, but I started talking to him.

From there, I was doing music at sixth form college and one of the things we had to do was put on a gig. So I got the three lads involved and we started doing that and, well, it kind of never ended haha!

Haha still going strong. 

Yeah, I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we kept going haha.

What inspired the name choice?

I wish this had a cooler story or a better meaning, but we used to be called something else and discovered another band had the same name. They were doing better than us, so we decided we needed to change ours. One time, we were in the studio recording a song and there was a little loop of a vocal part that kept replaying, and it sounded like it was saying, “Kid Kapichi, Kid Kapichi, Kid Kapichi”… 

Hahaha, that’s brilliant. 

We just figured we’d call the band that. Nobody else had it, but nobody could also spell or pronounce it haha.

I think that’s a good story! You undersold that entirely. I thought it wouldn’t be that fun at all haha.

Haha I like to downplay it. 

Just to manage expectations haha.

Exactly, yeah. But it has been an issue with spelling, though it’s fine once people know it. There are big benefits to nothing else appearing when you search for us. 

Which artists have been the most influential to you? 

It was definitely an amalgamation of influences. When we started wanting to play music, before Kid Kapichi even existed, we were all into the Arctic Monkeys. Ben and I bonded over The Libertines, so they remain special for us, but then new bands have come along since then. We’ve just taken influences from lots of artists along the way. For instance, Queens of the Stone Age and Slaves have definitely been in our melting pot. 

We get so many different fans saying we sound like such-and-such, and they’re all totally distinct bands. I think people almost hear what they want to hear though, as similarities. Oddly, a lot of people say we sound like Blur, yet none of us was into them beyond the well-known hits. Kasabian get mentioned as well. I think it’s often people’s laziness that draws those comparisons though, as they’re the only other guitar-led bands they’re into. 

That’s an interesting point. When I first heard you guys, I think it was via Spotify Radio or something. I feel like it was ‘Sardines’ that came on initially, then I went back to explore the rest of the catalogue and became a fully-fledged fan from there. It was weirdly like you guys filled a gap that I didn’t realise needed plugging! Blew my mind. 

Oh that’s good to hear, I’m glad! When you hear us, which bands are you reminded of?

You know, I really don’t get that ‘who do they remind me of?’ thing at all. That’s why you stand out so much to me — there aren’t the comparisons. 

That’s good! That’s the right answer haha. 

Yeah, that’s the truth though! You just align well with what I want to listen to. 

That’s what we want to hear really. A lot of other people also say we have a really original sound. I mean, if you mix enough of your influences together, then you do end up making something unique, that doesn’t sound like other bands. That’s the aim, anyway, haha. 

No, I definitely get that! I have that vibe with Fudge., too, who I know fairly well and supported you at that Oporto show. 

Oh nice! Before you go on tour, you get like a million bands sent to you as potential supports who really want the slot. You go through the whole list and I remember checking out their social media and thinking they were funny, so we just knew we had to get them haha. 

They stuck in our minds and gave us a box of fudge as well! It was really good stuff. 

Haha yeah, I was a bit dubious at first about whether they’d put anything in it, but no, honest fudge. 

Haha yeah, we were driving around and tucked in because we were all starving, but we did wonder whether there could’ve been something dangerous in the fudge for a laugh. But no, no, all good haha. 

Haha, so confectionary aside, talk me through the trials and tribulations of the past year and how it felt to finally release the debut album, ‘This Time Next Year’

It’s been a weird one for us. At the time of going into the first lockdown, it came as a shock and we had one gig left to play before things shut down. We’d been around hundreds of people every night, then it suddenly went to not seeing anyone, not leaving the house, and freaking out about how serious it was or could be. We had no reference point. We also had to cancel the European leg of the tour, which sucked a lot. 

But, having said that, there were some blessings or silver linings. For us, we managed to make something out of it that we may not have ordinarily been able to. We had a lot more time on our hands and the pressure was off without gigging. We got into writing and recording the album all ourselves, which was a situation we didn’t expect to be in, but we’re also really glad we did that.

We’ve actually grown on- and offline in terms of social and Spotify numbers. That’s a good thing, but it makes me wonder whether they’d have been even stronger had there not been the pandemic. 

It’s been hard on our brains, but good for everything else haha. Getting to do those gigs the other day provided the release we needed. Now, we’re ready to wait until November to go on a proper, proper tour. So yeah, it’s been interesting — maybe more good than bad. 

This is really nice to hear! Obviously it has been a hard time for everyone, but listening to tales of positivity is very encouraging. I know I feel it’s had its perks in parts.

There hasn’t been as much in the way of new music or films, so I think we’re on the brink of a massive influx of creativity. All this stuff people have been working on but haven’t put out yet. The next 18 months could seriously make up for how sparse it’s been lately. I see it being bang, bang, bang with new stuff. 

For sure! It’s so exciting to even consider who’s sitting on a bank of cool new stuff. 

Yeah, there must be so much that’s just been brewing away. It’s been a ‘brewy’ kind of time haha. 

Definitely! So, which venues have been your favourites so far, and where do you look forward to playing?

Oh, MOTH Club is among the favourites. At the point we played it, it was the biggest we’d done, with a 350-person capacity and we’d sold it out. This year, we’ve got 800-cap Skala coming up, and that’s nearly sold out as well. It’s just mental. In August, we’ll be playing — fingers crossed! — White Rock Theatre in Hastings. It’s a 1,000-person-plus hometown venue that’s also close to selling out, which is very cool. 

In terms of older favourites, certainly Oporto. It’s just got a fun vibe and it’s one for the Leeds lot. 

What’s next for the band then? 

Other than the tours once things open up properly, we’re just working on album two. We got straight into it, despite me naïvely thinking we’d be sitting there for six months, sipping margaritas on the beach or something. So yeah, we’re doing that and it’s going in a really cool, but slightly different direction. I think everyone will be really into it, though we aren’t in a rush to put it out. We want to make sure that every single song is absolutely ace and couldn’t be bettered. 

Without adding anything I shouldn’t, I’ll be all mysterious and say we’re working on lots of things that involve outside entities that could elevate the Kapichi machine. Lots of tequila-fuelled meetings happening right now.

Well, that sounds very exciting and intriguing — it’s wide open for some great stuff! 

Yeah, hopefully by early next year, there could be some related announcements, so watch this space… 

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Image credit: Nick Suckak

So, there you have it, all the latest from Kid Kapichi. It sounds like some immense things are coming our way, so you’ll want to be following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all the news. And to sink your teeth into their tunes, head to Spotify.

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