I got the chance to catch up with the band Kieff following a cozy gig at the Tyne Bar in Newcastle.
These shoegazy noise pop lads from The Netherlands trekked all of the way to the North East of England for their first international tour with their mates Bull.
Interested in how Kieff were finding the UK so far, and how they were getting on with their first tour, I asked how different the North East was to their music scene back home...
"A big thing for us is that here in England there is usually 3 or 4 bands on at gigs, whereas in Holland its just one band and a support band.”
"I also get the feeling that here bands do a lot more themselves, whereas in Holland I think its more the venues and the booking agencies who put a lot of work in".
I went on to ask them how 2018 had been for them, and what they had been up to...
"We got a booking agency, it was the first one we've had. We also recorded and mixed our mixtape, which is going to be released this year... Quite a few fun shows too, its been a really fun year".
The band took quite a few big steps this year, furthering their careers monumentally and becoming “a lot more comfortable” with how they sound.
And I couldn't agree more. After listening to their demo, contrasting with their newest releases, Kieff's sound has evolved a lot with their guitars becoming more distorted and their songs more structured.
I asked the band about the instrumental journey they've been on since their first demo, their EP and their two newest releases.
"The week after we started the band we recorded the demo, so we were just messing around a bit and writing songs really fast, we didn't really think about it that much”.
We did it all ourselves, just put up a couple mics in the room and recorded it. But yeah I think we all just experimented with pedals a bit more too. We got to know each other better music wise".
At this point the guys had ordered pizza and it had just arrived, so we talked about what their 2019 was going to look like over margarita and garlic bread.
"Its started off already pretty crazy”.
Like, our first tour! Our mix tape, and a few festivals in the Netherlands which we're very excited for".
I asked further about their mix tape. What did it entail?
"It is a new sound. It was the next step from our first EP. We're continuing our sound".
I then went on to ask Kieff about how their EP 'Noise/Relapse' was received in January 2018, right after they offered a local homeless man a slice of pizza, which was very wholesome to behold.
"EPs most of the time don't actually get that much attention. When you release an album, someone will review it but EPs are pretty lowkey. People at home were quite stoked for it and I think that those people are the main reason that we're growing, because back at home the whole scene is just hyping each other, it's a pretty small scene in the Netherlands and we're all good friends which is really fun.
"You've got a lot of small bands, and there is definitely a scene. For example, The Homesick, Iguana Death Cult and The Klittens. Theres loads of bands that have the same members just overlapping. Everyone knows everyone."
The band said that through 2018 they took a step onto a more professional level and, thanks to other bands, they've evolved and are trying out more "experimental methods like math-rock, instead of just “bunching some chords together and creating a song".
Kieff said they like to make it so "people can't dance to our music", with a hint of sarcasm.
They all collectively share the responsibility within the band, and ensure that it's always fun for each other, so that they can all stand behind their music.
It was really fun getting to know the guys from Kieff and understanding them as musicians, I hope 2019 is as promising as it sounds for them.
Check out our review of their gig at Tyne Bar here:
Photography by: Megan Bruinen