Still delivering

27. 09ARTS

THE Kill Devil Hills frontman Brendon Humphries won’t be rushing to the southern US town the band is named after.

A resident of Kill Devil Hills in North Caroline sent hate mail to the muso, who as a self-confessed film geek immediately thought of the slack-jawed yokels in John Boorman’s film Deliverance.

“Your music is the worst thing I have ever heard,” Humphries mimics, putting on a comical southern American drawl.

“You should be ashamed of yourself – you are bringing disgrace to our town.

“You are shit.

“This guy thought we were bringing disrepute to his lovely little redneck town.”

While the five-piece outfit won’t be heading to the area known as the “buckle of the bible belt” any time soon, it is jetting off to Europe in July for a string of festivals.


Humphries said the band needed to take “something with them” so is planning to record a live show at the Fremantle Arts Centre inner courtyard on March 9 and turn the tour into an extended CD release.

The rawkus, rollicking rockers haven’t put out an album since the acclaimed 2009 release Man, You Should Explode.

The menacing live shows they’re notorious for will be “stripped-back” to a more acoustic, lo-fi gig.

“You need to have something behind you otherwise people are not that interested,” Humphries told the Herald.

Roll of the dice

“We’ve been to America and Canada once and realised unless you’ve got some kind of business plan in place it’s pretty hard.”

The Beaconsfield local said recording an album in one night “was a real roll of the dice”.

“Normally you might record over two or three shows, but we needed something out, so we said ‘let’s just do it’,” he said.

“We have recorded some shows before and we haven’t been happy with the results.

“I think you just you want to be careful of extraneous sound or talking shit over the beginning of songs. But once you start playing live you forget about its being recorded.

“I think one of the band’s strengths’s is playing live.”

Since starting out some 10 years ago the portsiders have been trying to shake the alt-country tag.

Musical landscape

This is despite the group in the last decade traversing the musical landscape of blues,  dark folk, swamp music, and roots.

“Musically when we started it was kinda blues with a country tinge and a lot of people like that but we are kinda bored with it,” he said.

“I think the music we are writing and playing is going down a another path at the moment.”

Humphries said despite a number of line-up changes over the years and band numbers swelling, he said “five was a good number”.

“I think the more people you have the harder it is, as there is more noise and there is more going on,” he said.

He said the longer his career stretches, the more he appreciates smaller groups.

“Everyone is playing their small part but the overall synergy is what you are hearing.

“It feels like everyone is doing a lot but they are not because it’s just that full sound.

“And that’s what we are trying to find more of.”


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