I first heard of Arizona band Kinch when they opened for Local H on last year’s tour. The band quickly won over the crowd with its nods to British and Southern rock, and I have been keeping an eye on the band since. I recently noted that Kinch will play in Austin during this year’s SXSW and asked lead singer/pianist/guitarist Andrew Junker some questions about South By Southwest and the band’s plans for 2011.
Houston Calling: What are you looking forward to most at this year’s SXSW?
Andrew Junker: Well, we’re playing a bunch of shows, which is exciting. And there are so many shows that we can go see, which is exciting but also a bit overwhelming. Last time we were at SXSW I ended up not making a very good plan of which bands to see when, so I ended up not seeing a ton of sets, which was a bummer. I’m hoping to be more organized this year.
HC: Any bands in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing during SXSW?
AJ: I think Yoko Ono is a featured speaker. It’d be pretty rad to hear her talk. It’d be cooler if she were performing. Maybe she’d do this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s1a5sJwDq0
HC: What’s your most memorable SXSW experience?
AJ: We played there in 2009. The thing I remember most is how ridiculously crowded 6th St. was during the day time, and how there was a different band playing about every three feet down the street. That, and we ate a lot of cheap, crummy pizza while we were there. Oh, there was a great taco truck. Some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. Wonder if they’ll be back …
HC: I caught you guys opening for Local H in Clear Lake last year and was impressed. I felt your music was more “organic” than the rock anthems of Local H, but it was a nice contrast. What do you consider to be your primary musical influences and how do you think they play into the music you make?
AJ: Growing up, I listened to all of my Dad’s old records: mostly The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Then, I got super seriously into Radiohead and Weezer. I think all those bands have influenced our songs. Also, since I play a lot of piano in our band, I think that the Ben Folds Five records influenced me a lot — their chord progressions and melodies.
HC: What’s your favorite part of touring?
AJ: Just the traveling itself. I love seeing the similarities and differences throughout the country. Traveling dispels a lot of preconceived notions, too. For instance, Florida was nothing like I thought it was. That goes for almost every part of the country we’ve been to. Thankfully, everyone in the band likes traveling, which makes touring a lot more enjoyable.
HC: How has digital technology changed the way you create your music?
AJ: Well, we record all our music ourselves via ProTools. So, everything we record is basically thanks to advances in digital technology. It allows bands like us to make records very inexpensively that still sound professional. Digital technology has also helped us distribute our music. We have a gifted web programmer in the band, so we also have a very well designed website with easy access to our music (which we give away free digitally right now). Digital technology makes you free to create and distribute music without a record label, which is very exciting.
HC: Other than SXSW, what’s on the horizon for Kinch in 2011?
AJ: We have a new record recorded. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to put it out. It’s called The Incandenza, and we really like it. We’re thinking it’ll be out by this summer. Other than that, we hope to tour, write some new songs and then make another record.
HC: Any music you’ve been listening to lately that you’d recommend?
AJ: I really dig the new Telekinesis record called 12 Desperate Straight Lines. I’ve been listening to that a lot.