Blog interview: Kololo

Describe your sound in 3 words.

Smooth. Computerised. Catchy.

Congratulations on the release of “Vitamins“, how does it feel?

At this point, it’s all just very new and exciting! We’d given up on music for a couple years each individually until the band came together, so we haven’t really felt this kind of excitement in a long time.

What’s the story behind it?

The song is about how great vitamin D feels when you soak in this sweet sunny rays. The song came together by dragging drum patterns weirdly around a loose 4/4 time signature and experimenting with synths. The short vocal melody had been sat on Danny’s hard drive for a long time, so it felt lush to finally get something done with it through the power of collaboration!

You are a three piece from Bristol. Who’s in the band how did you come about?

The band is Josh (guitar), Zeus (keys + vocals) and Danny (beats/percussion + vocals). Us coming together as a trio was a very drawn out process – Josh and Zeus grew up in Chepstow (just across the bridge west of Bristol towards Wales) and Danny had met Zeus at uni. We hadn’t made music together our whole time at uni but had a lot of fun. 

A couple of years after graduating and mid pandemic misery, Zeus and Danny reconnected over the love of Oldschool Runescape, a very old/lame game that we’ve put hundreds of hours into. After gaming together for a while we started sending beats to each other and Josh sent some our way too and we were like ‘we have to get this guy on the team’. After writing to each other’s beats, we realised how natural and fun it was and thought FRICK; we could do this properly (even though at that point the music industry was still on its knees). And that was the birth of KOLOLO.

What were your influences starting out?

A friend, I (Zeus) went to school with was really good at the drums. I wanted to be like him. I thought he was really cool. So I bought my own drum kit. Started wearing the same clothes as him. Cut my hair like him. Learned to smell like him. I used to look in the mirror and press a hand upon my reflection and whisper “Soon.” He stopped being friends with me when he thought I was wall hacking on Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 1. So here I am now, playing the piano.

The bands influences are hard to say because all of ours individually are different. We’re inspired by boss fights in video games and underground artists we meet and gig with in the vibrant Bristol music scene!

Your sound goes through a metamorphosis as evidenced in “Vitamins”, how does a typical writing session for you start?

Like Gregor from the play Metamorphosis, we all curl up into little balls and like to pretend that we are beetles.

Then it usually starts with an emailed beat from another member. Zeus is the instrumentation and chord man of the trio and Danny brings a lot of the lyrics to the table. Josh is constantly coming up with riffs and is more into the production side of things.

You have a big gig coming up on the 24th November, how are preparations going for that?

Practice practice practice. Rehearse. But most importantly, be nice to each other. Liking each other is our main priority, we want to be on stage together, rather than against each other.

Your sound is based around electronic sounds what’s been an essential part of your set up for you?

An SPD (drum pad) when we play live. It plays the basslines in our songs / percussion and electronics. 

We thought about getting a 4th member to play bass when we started out but when we have trust in the 3 members all pulling their own weight efficiently, it feels good to keep the team small. Better to split the huge profits from Spotify streams between the 3 of us.

COVID has impacted the creative industry in a big way what has kept you motivated? 

This band. We played Oldschool Runescape for so long, not really getting anywhere but this project has dragged us out of the dark pit of level up addiction and made us attempt to level up in music, rather than in a game. Hopefully at a perfect time, what with gigs back on and COVID hopefully dying out.

2020 was a time to reflect, what did you learn about yourselves?

Watch out for the 20’s every century folks, they cursed! 

I don’t think we’ve learnt much about ourselves.

Did you pick up any new skills?

We’ve brushed up on production because it’s an absolute necessity to produce yourselves! And the skill of collaboration between the 3 of us writing tunes and planning ahead. Although when collaboration is at its finest, it’s more like a feeling than a skill. We went to uni and studied music to try learn the secrets of songwriting/the music industry and realised half way through – ohhh we’ve made a mistake. You can’t teach this, they’re just pretending that you can for that sweet £9K a year.

We’re using a calendar correctly too for the first time in our lives with is mad useful, I finally get why people use them all the time.

What are you listening to at the moment?

To our hearts.

What’s next for you?

Our 3rd single ‘Granted’ hits the world in January, it’s our 1st collaboration with an artist outside of the trio – Rosie Patton! And a few gigs here and there and then a much needed rest around Christmas. We’re then getting together a remix EP of musicians and friends we’ve met and love and also working on a couple music videos. Once we have those out we can focus on phase 2 of Kololo with some fire we are really excited to release, ‘Sea Shanty 3’ and ‘Catch Tails’ then maybe, an original EP!



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