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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Kisschasy drummer - Karl Ammitzboll

By: Anna Kosmanovski

Kisschasy is definitely one of those Australian bands that are rising like a warm sunrise and shining as beautifully. Their debut album “United Paper People” was released in 2005 and that same year they were ARIA nominated. Since then, they have been nominated for MTV Australia's Video Music Awards’ Best New Artist, have recently been on Sunrise TV show, and co hosted TV Hits. They have just completed their Shaken and Unplugged tour in Australia, and are now off overseas to play SxSW and do a show with The Living End in Los Angeles. And that’s just the next couple of months…

I spoke with the band's energetic drummer Karl, who has already been up since 4.00am. Kisschasy may be a young band, the average age is 20, but they have the dedication, professionalism and passion that earnt their success. Maybe the secret to their success is in their cheeky mantra, “you can’t take yourself too seriously,” warns Karl.

Karl chatted to MediaSearch about Kisschasy’s latest single release ‘The Shake', his passion for performing, musings on music philosophy, and of course, whether or not the boys do infact play the game of ‘kiss chasey’..

Big things happened for Kisschasy in 2005 with ARIA nominations and lots of touring. 2006 already has an Australian MTV Video Music Award nomination and an overseas tour… do you think that 2006 could be even bigger than 2005 for you?

2006 will be even bigger than 2005 for Kisschasy. If this next month's schedule is anything to go by, we will be really busy this year… we still have to tour the USA, play with The Living End, then Texas, New York, then chill out and do some writing, and record the second album…do it all again!

I love the film clip for The Shake, you guys did that yourselves…

The concept was our idea. …Being a slow ballad it would have been really easy to fall in the clich√© - Darren in the rain, singing…It just wanted to show we who we were as people and show some of our artistic stuff. We had a lot of fun filming the clip… The clip might pick up influences like Napoleon Dynamite, we had a great time filming it.

The Shake is a beautiful slow ballad, do you feel it may have personal meaning for you? (Vocal and guitarist Darren Courdeu wrote the lyrics)

Well, the actual vocals I can identity with, because I hear them so much! (The song) It’s about being really comfortable with the situation you’re in, and then something throws it out of whack. Like…, the best example is when you fall asleep and you then jolt, that’s what it’s like, the jolt….A quarter of our album is acoustic, so we wanted to show some diversity.

There are a lot of young Aussie bands out there, how will Kisschasy take a step further?

For us, the next level is to solidify the touring presence. To keep the quality of songs out, keep writing, keep your band, keep everyone’s attention and …

How do you unwind?

2005 was that full on we didn’t really notice… we didn’t really notice how busy we were until we would see a newspaper article saying all that Kisschasy has done this year. We kept surfing, catching up with people. But on tour, it’s getting out of everyone’s hair, going for a run…

What do you enjoy most about performing?

It’s the live aspect, for sure, the ‘full rock’ for sure… the spontaneity… Sometimes something doesn’t happen but it’s good… In Brisbane, we were half way through our first song in a show when the power cut out, for like five minutes. It was a very long five minutes. They (the crowd) were wondering ‘are they going to play?’ The energy as ecstatic, the power came back in the end and played, and then were was a thunderstorm as well…. It was the one of the best live shows we’ve played.

How much do you practice?

Two or three times a week. We up it a couple more times a week before a tour, and lock yourself in a studio for a whole day.

You guys have been together for almost four years, do you feel like you are family now?

We see a little too much of each other!, …We’re flat chat touring with each other, we are like a little family….Joel and Mic (our manager) are like Mum and Dad, they sit in the front… and then the kids in the back me, Sean and Daz… we are a big family!

If you weren’t doing music, what else might you love to do?

I always wanted to be a drummer, or a muso…If I wasn’t in Kisschasy, I’d be probably studying, doing a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Music, studying to be a music teacher. There is no other option, this is it, this is what you what you want to do.

You guys have had a chance to see awesome places in Australia while touring, but do you ever miss home, the Mornington Peninsula?

We do miss home…But the reason you start a band is to tour. If you’re complaining about being on the road, then you shouldn’t be in a band. And when you’re home, like two days later, you think, ‘when am I on tour again?’
We’ve all got girlfriends, family to catch up with… but Kisschasy is not settling down just yet.

No dogs and white picket fences just yet?

(laughs) We’re not settling down just yet. We never thought we’d see so much of Australia and also the west coast of America. We’re pretty lucky.

Do you think music can change the world?

Music makes people happy, and it can remind you of a time… like when you were ending a bad relationship, an uplifting song is good, or a sad song can let your emotions come out…I guess, Michael Jackson, he changed the world….(laughs) back ground noise, a young male voice jokingly shouts out “Cold Chisel!!)

Cold Chisel?

(muffling laughs) Nah…Music is a huge part of the human expression. Bands like U2 are definitely major influences on a lot of people.

Did you ever play the game ‘kiss chasey’ when you were young?

Definitely! (laughs) That’s why we named the band. I mean, each state has different names for the game, Brisy and Adelaide call it ‘Kiss Catchy’ I think… We needed a name that was about fun and immaturity, it was only a joke… a really good excuse to have fun. We were really embarrassed about it for a while… the first six months or so “did you say Kisschasy!?” … but no, we don’t play kiss chasey together.

"The Shake" single is out now through Eleven/Virgin Records.

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