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Interviews: Kaki King

Kaki King at Byron Community Centre on Thursday 16 August. 8pm.

King Amongst Women

Byron Community Centre | Thurs 16 August | 8pm | $42.30

Provocative and moving, surprising and beautiful, The Neck is A Bridge to the Body is Kaki King at her visionary best: deconstructing and redefining the role of the solo instrumental artist through virtuoso technique, insatiable imagination and curiosity, and a boundless humanity. The Echo spoke with her ahead of her Byron show.

Your style is incredibly diverse. How would you describe it?

I asked a very smart person the same question recently. You can tell that he’s very smart because he runs a company that sends rockets into space. He said, ‘Uhhh, classical something? I’m not sure what it is you’re doing but it’s absolutely incredible.’

Who have been the most influential musicians to you and the development of your music and unique style?

Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, PJ Harvey, All those sad Russian composers who lived in France.

Did you grow up in a musical household or was it something you came across outside of your family influence?

My dad loves music more than anything. I mean, set our house on fire and he’d have to think seriously about saving his family or his CD collection (yes, CDs, he’s in his 70s). So he filled our house with all kinds of music constantly. You should check out his air guitar moves. Incredible.

Have you learned or played other instruments or has your musical experience been exclusively with guitar?

I play drums and honestly I think that drumming has informed my guitar playing in ways that I am still discovering how to explain.

In a TED in an interview you did for Ovation Guitars you mentioned that when you were eight someone showed you a power chord and that was all you needed for the next couple of years. Can you remember who that was?

I wish I could remember! I owe that guy some money.

Where is your music going? It is something you push in a particular direction or is it something that grows spontaneously through inspiration from the world around you?

Listen, the guitar has its own GPS set to head directly to the end of the world and I am just being dragged along. I am the kind of person who usually only understands about half of what is going on around me anyway, and with the guitar and what I’m playing it’s about one-tenth of the entire picture. I have no idea where any of this is going but it is amazing fun.

Are there other particular achievements that you aspire to, a boring desire to do, like playing with an orchestra, or at a particular venue, or winning some industry award?  Do these sorts of things inspire your playing and drive you forward or is your process more internal, more focused on your process of expression?

I hope I never win any awards. I’d like to be better at doing multiple things at once. And I’d like to grow some juicy tomatoes in my garden some year. My ambitions are pretty lame.

What’s on the horizon for you and your music? Any big shows or new albums coming up? What can fans expect to see / hear from Kaki King in the future?

I’m developing a new multimedia show. It’s going to be unreal. Don’t miss it.


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