Canberra artist Kirklandd sits down with Boo Seeka to explore their incredible fast-paced beginnings, the evolution of their live set and what fans can expect from their tour.
Kirklandd: How was the experience bringing your album on the road for the first time?
Sam: Pretty mindblowing. It really excites the boy inside you that’s wanted to make music and play it for crowds live in so many ways. You work on these songs for months and years on end and get to perform them firsthand to so many people, it’s incredible.
Following that tour you guys played Ability Festival; a first-time event with all proceeds going towards young Australians with disabilities. How was the energy there amongst the audience and artists performing at the event?
That was really special. We got asked to play a couple of months beforehand and we said yes straight away. Dylan Alcott put together an amazing festival and every artist that played had such a positive vibe and the crowd was beautiful. Any opportunity to do something positive with the music is a blessing.
How has your live setup evolved since your earlier days touring?
For the first two years when we were playing shows, like at Splendour, I just used an MPC and a keyboard. As time went on, we wanted to give the best live performance we could so Ben and I gradually updated our tech. I’ve since incorporated some synth pads with some cool trippy sounds as well as drum pads, and Ben’s on guitar and bass.
When did your experiences touring really start to kick off?
Almost immediately. When I first met Ben, it was in December 2014. I was playing in a band and Ben was playing guitar in a few other bands. Neal Hunt, our current manager, introduced us and suggested we start making music together. We had a cup of tea at Neal’s place and made Kingdom Leader almost immediately. A few weeks later that was picked up by the J’s and shortly after we were asked to tour with Kim Churchill. It all happened within a few weeks of our first song being made.
So you wrote your first song together in December and pulled off a national tour support in January?
Yeah, it was wild. Given Ben and I had only just met a few months earlier, throughout the Kim Churchill tour we really had to get to know each other for the first time on the road. We were literally writing songs the day we would perform them.
When did you start touring your own shows?
So that tour was January/February, then in March, we did the Kingdom Leader single tour. We played a few small venues in Sydney and Melbourne and following the Kim tour we managed to sell them out. After that, we dropped Deception Bay and Fool.
How did you go about building your sound following those three singles?
After those songs, we had some time to sit down and build our sound more carefully. Those three songs were very different to what we aspired into crafting in the future, and we wanted to keep it fresh, so we made an entirely new album. That’s why we called the album Never Too Soon – the philosophy we had to adopt from the start was exactly that – none of these opportunities ever came too soon, we just had to embrace them straight away and adapt.
I love that the concept projects your own philosophy and experiences over those two years. What have you got in store after the Canberra show?
We’re heading straight to Bangkok from Canberra – diving in the deep end from there and seeing how it goes.
Will you share any new tunes with the Canberra fam?
We do have a new single on the way soon… maybe Canberra will get lucky.