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WITH: Simon Wood



Richard Hawey - March 2018

To get started, thank you, Simon Wood, for agreeing to participate in this interview.

SW - It is my pleasure! Thank you for supporting Australian progressive rock!

Profil - As a first question, can you tell us about the group? How was the idea of creating Kettlespider (short history) born?

SW - The roots of Kettlespider actually go back a long way! The band was formed way back when we were all in high school. We used to play covers of Iron Maiden and Dream Theater songs under the band name “The Mirror’s Truth” at school events and concerts, before eventually writing our first original song….

PR – It is often interesting to know how the name of the group was chosen?

SW - The name of that first original song was “The Kettle Spider” – which I think you can find somewhere on Youtube. Its title came from an incident I had when I was making some coffee for the band – a spider came out of the kettle! No joke! When we wanted to change our band name to something more permanent than The Mirror’s Truth – our friend Mardy, who was the truck driver of the camping shop I was working at – suggesting calling ourselves Kettlespider. The rest is history!

PR – Your music is described as a progressive style seventies, with a touch of fusion and metal? This description suits you, you can add some details?

SW - I think that is a very true description of the band’s sound. We all grew up on metal when we were learning to play, but we now listen to a wide range of records and have many influences coming into the music. The jazz/fusion tendencies are prevalent in the music of many of Australia’s pioneering progressive rock bands that we like too, such as Ayers Rock, Tamam Shud and Sebastian Hardie. Maybe it’s from living near the waves!? Whatever the case, we always enjoy experimenting with these influences in our own compositions.

PR – Do you want to introduce us to the other members of Kettlespider?

SW - Sure – Kettlespider consists of two guitarists, Haris Boyd-Gerny and Scott Ashburn, Colin Andrews on bass guitar, Geoffrey Fyfe on Keyboards and myself on drums and percussion.

PR – Your two albums are totally instrumental, why this choice?

SW - That is correct, I think that’s just the way that our musical journey led us! We all genuinely like singing, it just wasn’t something that has ever felt natural in our composition. With that said, we still place an enormous emphasis on melody!

PR – Your first album "Avandate" was released in 2012, we didn't get a chance to listen to it. Was the distribution rather local? or other reasons why we didn't have information at the time?

SW - When we released the album, Avadante, we were fresh out of high school and very young (18-19 years of age). We recorded the album ourselves using pocket money from our day jobs at the time and didn’t have a label – so we just pressed 500 copies of the album, played many shows in Australia and thought we might just see what would happen! Some of them did make their way overseas.. I know there are a few copies in Germany and Japan, but we didn’t really know what we were doing then! So sorry we missed you!

PR – Do you think you can make "Avandate" available one day?

SW - The album is actually available digitally online – and there are a few physical copies left for sale from us directly! But as for a new distribution of the album, we’ll have to wait and see. If there happened to be enough demand for a re-release one day, that would be really fun!

PR – Last year you presented your second studio album entitled "Kettlespider". There have been several chronicles written on your second production, for those who want to know more about your eponymous album, what would be your comments?

SW - Yes, we have recently released our second album, which is self-titled as you said! We are very proud of this work. The album has eight tracks, or as we have called them, eight “legs” of the spider. The idea behind Kettlespider was that we recorded and released a new song each month for an eight month period last year, in a project that we called “Building a Spider”. At the end of the process, in order to present the songs as a complete album, we remixed the songs and came up with the best track sequence possible for them to flow together as a complete album! This is the finished product.

PR – Until now are you satisfied with the reactions of the public (comments, sale)?

SW - Yes, there is no doubt we have been delighted with the public response so far! Some of the reviews have been really quite humbling to read. We have had the album distributed around Europe, in Japan, the USA and sent copies to various other awesome places. There’s nothing better than hearing from a new fan who has been enjoying the music.

PR – At the moment you don't have a label that supports you, have you had contacts with a few record companies that might be interested in signing you?

SW - No, we haven’t really received much label interest so far, but it hasn’t been the end of the world for us. We have enjoyed the challenge of doing things ourselves and having control of our destiny as a band. When a new fan finds us, it makes it even more rewarding!

PR – In a nutshell, why should the music lover buy your album?

SW - The music we make is simply the result of our own love of music and of playing with each other.. what happens with it after it’s recorded is always hard to predict! But I’d like to think that some music lovers can tell that we are a band full of music lovers ourselves. We try and acknowledge the history of progressive rock, while still taking in as many modern influences as possible to push things forward. We hope that blend of current and classic influences is something progressive rock fans can appreciate when they listen to our music!

PR – What are your musical influences? Is it the same that you regularly listen to?

SW - Within the band we do have a wide range of musical influences and everybody brings their own tastes and ideas to the rehearsal room. That said, some of the bands that come to mind that we all share a love of include Opeth. Camel, King Crimson, Snarky Puppy, Enslaved, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dream Theater and Rush.

PR – What's next for you?

SW - We do have quite a lot of material ready to go for a third album, which is very exciting! There is talk of doing things quite differently this time around. For starters, we’ll try not to take five years between albums! We are also talking about exploring the idea of recording live to tape to achieve a more warm, wholesome and unedited sound. We will have to keep you updated as this unfolds!

PR – You have the word of the end...

SW - Thank you very much for having us for the interview! We hope your readers like the music!

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