Freddy Kwon returned to Toronto with the rest of The Kents for their first official sold out show, and EP release, at the iconic Horseshoe Tavern. I sat down with him before the show to talk inspiration, Canadian music, and more!
Tonight is the EP release, how’re you feeling about it?
Great! Very excited. Should be good. Our first EP- we released last winter, and we released another EP just a month ago.
The shows have been getting bigger?
Yeah, totally- It’s sort of building a small fan base and then everytime we go to a new city, we do it again, get some more people out there.
Within Waves has been out for a month, what has the response been from fans?
It’s been great! It’s very different from the first EP, it’s a little more mature and has a little more integrity behind the music. It’s been a different response because we’re moving away from the indie pop sound into more of an alternative rock sound.
What was the inspiration behind the EP cover?
We actually used another painting- it’s our friend that did both of our paintings for the EPs, Robyn Scott. She basically does this abstract art, and she paints a lot of our stuff and we attached onto that. We had an experience as a group in Quebec writing a lot of this EP, we kind of segregated ourselves away from everything, rented a cottage, and started songwriting. I guess three out of five of the songs on this EP came out of that week, it was a very special experience. That painting from the EP paints that scenery we had- we were on a corner of a lake and that’s one of the most vivid images we saw there.
Tell me about the playlist you made of songs you listened to while writing the EP?
A lot of Canadian artists. Canadian artists have a very specific sound. We took a lot from Canadian artists, it means a lot, being in the Canadian industry. We’re kind of like a little speck compared to the American industry, so some of our favorites are Land of Talk, Arkells, Colorado, and Arcade Fire.
So you’re trying to stay consistent with the Canadian scene, as far as keeping a specific sound?
Totally. Yes and no, just because we do want to branch out into a different genre, but obviously we’re small town Canadian guys, so we will take inspiration from that kind of sound.
What was the process for writing the EP?
The process has been completely different from the first EP, we were all in university for the first EP so we would just constantly be sending each other voice notes while we were in our dorm rooms. This year, we’ve been in the same room songwriting, so it’s a completely different collaborative process.
Do you have any stories to go along with any of the songs on this EP?
We have tons of stories. The first song is called From the Start, so that kind of paints a picture of one of our times a year and a half ago. We did a trip to Thunder Bay, and we stopped by a small beach on Harmony Bay, and it was one of the best times on our tour there. That chorus is very uplifting, it’s a very positive song.
Do you have a song or lyric that you’re most proud of- one that is most telling to the direction you want to take the band in?
The final two songs off our EP are the most fun to play live. It is that kind of genre that we want to attach to and grow as a band with. They’re called Distant and Low Light. Warren has a very special place in his heart for those because he wrote the lyrics. It’s really emotionally driven, we want to keep writing songs like that.
What is your favorite thing about playing shows?
Playing our own songs. It’s always cool to get a reaction from the audience, playing stuff that you wrote as a group, and it’s always fun playing to a new crowd.
And this show is sold out!
Yeah! This is our first official sellout show. Bucket list for sure.
If you were a cover band, what would you cover?
That’s a tough question. All of the guys listen to different types of music. Funny thing is, I don’t know if this really translates much with our music, but we did a whole front to back Weezer. So on paper, we would be Weezer- Weezer equals The Kents.
But if it was just up to you, what would you say?
Well we really like this band called My Morning Jacket, pretty similar to what we write and strive towards, it would be awesome if we were a cover band of that.
Listen to Within Waves HERE