Photo by Fabiola Menchelli
Four years ago Kill Boogie were called Solar Crete. Back then the three-piece lived in Brisbane, in a house where Kylie Minogue filmed part of The Delinquents. When their original bassist (a trained sax player) left, awesome guitarist Thomas Madden was recruited to play bass, while Jack Farley continued to play guitar, even though he’d never played it before. Confused? Well, that’s the simple part. In the last three years since Thomas joined, the Kill Boogie boys have swapped and dropped instruments as often as girlfriends: two guitars, keyboards, no guitar, drum machines and experimental cabaret sets. Now, having been in Melbourne for a year, Kill Boogie is back to how it began and heading in a direction they call ‘blues disintergration’.
Vice: So you’re back to how you started.
Jim: Yes: Jack guitar, Thomas bass, Jim drums and vocals.
I saw one of your ‘no drums’ shows but, really, you can’t beat a singing drummer.
Jim: Yeah, we tried this thing where I went to the front of the stage with a drum machine. It was woeful.
Jack: We’ve done everything. There was another gig where I played the organ, another where me and Thomas both played the guitar, which was pretty woeful as well.
I saw one of your cabaret gigs, which was amazing.
Jim: The whole reason behind that was venue decibel restrictions.
Jack: One of those gigs I didn’t even play. I actually sat at the bar and wrote an essay cause I had an exam the next day.
Jim: Blues bands shouldn’t play cocktail sets.
So you’ve finally settled on: Jack on guitar, Thomas on bass...
Thomas: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 and I only took up the bass to fit into the scheme of things in Kill Boogie.
Jack: I’m in the band cause I lived with Jim and he didn’t have anyone else to play with. Jim got stuck with me and Thomas got stuck with us. It works but accidentally.
Jim: Jack’s a good guitarist.
Jack: I didn’t play guitar before Kill Boogie. I just started playing one afternoon and Jim sang and I happened to record it and we went “that’s an all right song”. But prior to that point, I had never played an electric guitar before.
Jim, you never used to sing before KB right? How did that start?
Jim: Just because no one would sing. So I started screaming and carrying on just to fill in what seemed like a void.
Are you used to singing while drumming now?
Jim: Fairly used to it but there’s still a lot I notice when concentrate on one or the other. When we were first playing I was obsessed with jazz and was playing a lot of white funk stuff and it only got heavier when I started to sing and then couldn’t do the white funk stuff. It requires too much brainpower to do both at the same time.
Jack: He still has his lyrics written on his drum skin.
You’re lyrics are great. How do you write?
Jim: We work on the idea that there’s no need to dumb yourself down just cause you’re playing rock music. A lot of rock bands are ‘hey now baby, come on get on this train, you know you want to’ sort of shit. That appeals to the drunk in me but not to the person sitting at home wanting to listen to some rock music that doesn’t make me feel like a sheep.
Kill Boogie’s new EP Black Beauty is out in September.