Return of the King

KINGSWOOD will play Fremantle for the first time in six years, showcasing material from their divisive new album, After Hours, Close to Dawn.

The band last played the port city in 2011, supporting British India, but this time they will headline the Metropolis on October 6 as part of their 2017 national tour.

When the Chook caught up with Kingswood lead guitarist Alex Laska on Skype, he was in Nashville, writing more new tunes and enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes.

• Kingswood

He said the band was “incredibly proud” of their new sound.

“This album has just pissed off a whole bunch of people and we didn’t do it for any other reason but the fact that this was exactly the album we wanted to make,” Laska said.

“Everyones says, now you’ve made all these songs that are more commercially viable you’ve sold out.”

After Hours, Close to Dawn is a move away from the band’s rock ‘n’ roll roots, incorporating horns, distorted bass riffs and a focus on deeper lyrics, inspired by the band listening to a lot of soul music.

“We’ve created an audience who know us and respect us for a specific kind of sound,” Laska said.

“Once we established that and developed like a brand trust, the next thing we do is release something that completely contradicts that, we know it’s dangerous but they’re not commercial songs at all.

“If you had half a brain you would appreciate the ability to change directions.”

After Hours, Close to Dawn was named in Rolling Stone Australia’s 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017 and like the band’s last record Microscopic Wars, it’s likely to be ARIA-nominated.

The band’s progression has divided some fans, but most are delighted with the change in direction, claims Laska.

“It’s only a small portion of people who have said this, everyone else has been really loving the album which has been incredible, but if you think about it, what radio station is going to play these songs?” Laska said.

“Show me a pop song that had a 16-bar distorted bass riff.”

Hit-single Golden has a slow intro that showcases bass guitar and a lovely high-pitched keyboard transition, but also features an excellent rock’n’roll guitar solo in the bridge.

“If you look at the progression of the Beatles from Please, Please Me to Abbey Road, it’s like they started off as NSYNC and ended up as Tool, it’s that drastic a difference,” Laska said.

“I strive for that, I find it really impressive. It shows versatility and maturity as a band. We love diversity in music.”

Kingswood’s live show has also evolved and now includes two back-up vocalists, another keyboardist and guitarist, a bass player and a horn section.

The band will be supported by The Vanns and Dear Seattle at their Metropolis gig.

Tickets via Oztix and Metropolis Fremantle.

By JACKSON LAVELL-LEE

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