Sparks and Nerves’ favourites I Kill Giants recently announced the release of their self-titled debut LP. We caught up with them for a chat about the LP and some of their previous work.
S&N: First up, can you just give us a quick introduction?
IKG: I’m Dylan, I play guitar and sing in I Kill Giants. I’m originally from Seattle, WA and moved to Boston for school. That’s where we all met. Sander and Chris are from Jersey, and Nick is from Mass.
S&N: Last year’s EP ‘We Can Live in the Exact Same Place’ was something of a mystery to me – basically how can something be so short yet so full of ideas, and so memorable? What was the writing process for the EP? Was it a conscious decision?
IKG: The EP started as an idea I had that I got listening to the band Sidetracked. They’re a hardcore band from Tacoma, WA that is known for their absurdly short songs. Like, 10-30 seconds on average. I loved the idea of getting the point across that fast in our sort of context–the whole concept of writing a riff or motive that stands up on its own, and cut the process of making something a conventional song. We wanted to challenge what a song is defined as. With that in mind, things came really naturally. After throwing about that idea with the band, we had a few songs already written in the course of a week. Chris and I loved writing in that format. We packed every bit of emotion we had into those songs. Sometimes there’s a point you want to make that doesn’t require any more than two lines of lyrics.
Anyway, we recorded everything in my bedroom as we wrote it. We loved how it all came together to one cohesive piece. We named it based on the premise that we, as well as any band or artist or whatever, have the ability to do anything that makes sense to them. Whether or not it makes sense to other people. A lot of people were turned off by the briefness of that EP, but at the end of the day we still love it and are proud as hell of it.
S&N: Your new LP comes out on April 19th, what can we expect? Did you attempt to do anything different?
IKG: The new album is pretty natural for us. We had no specific ideas about what we wanted it to be, we just wrote. We had been writing for it for about a year. It’s a lot more punky, I think. I’ll probably get shunned for saying that, haha. But the songs are in more of a 3-4 minute length range, which I hope people are happy about.
We recorded it with Ryan Stack at Format Audio in January. We loved the dude, and he really understood what we were going for. We’re stoked about how it turned out.
S&N: What’s your recording process?
IKG: Our recording process isn’t crazy. We lay down scratch guitar tracks, Sander tracks drums, then bass, then it’s Chris and I’s guitars. We have everything completely written before recording so it’s usually pretty streamlined.
S&N: You’ve previously released split EP’s with Sinatra and Cerce, how does something like that come about? Especially the Cerce EP in which you cover each others tracks. Plans for any more?
IKG: Well our first split with Sinatra (now My First Castle) came about when we wrote two songs after our first EP, and wanted to put them on a smaller release. We played a show with them and after the show we asked if they were interested, and they were down. Cerce, on the other hand, have been our best friends for years. We all met at school and have been hanging out before either bands even started. Zach Weeks and I always had this goofy idea of covering each others songs, and when they got signed to Mayfly, the opportunity presented itself to record and release it for charity. We played those songs live once and it was a blast, haha.
S&N: Anything else we can expect from I Kill Giants in the future? Huge world tour maybe?
IKG: We have a two-week tour planned with Old Gray in May, and after that we’re taking a small break. We’ve already started writing for our next release. But no, nothing too huge. Keep an eye out for something potentially big in August.
S&N: I’d say that you guys are somewhere in the math genre, which is growing bigger and bigger by the week, why do you think this is?
IKG: I think math rock is pushing the boundaries of what is considered musical. It’s a genre that is so interesting and sporadic to listen to, and I think more and more people are starting to appreciate that. It’s almost a challenge to listen to, I guess. We’ve always liked putting those elements in our songs to keep them interesting and different.
S&N: Finally, we’re all about sharing new music, who should we be listening to who we may not have heard?
IKG: Speaking of mathy stuff, Buttons & Mindy is absolutely killing it. They’re good friends of ours and have an EP coming out soon that is incredible. Toasted Plastic, Rookie Town, and Burglary Years are all doing rad things as well. Also, JT’s new album is a fucking BANGER.
Thanks to Dylan and I Kill Giants!
The LP will be released on April 19th. The vinyl will be released via Broken World Media.