Interview: The Kooks Down Under

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Ahead of The Kooks upcoming tour, Glam Adelaide had the chance to catch up with Luke Pritchard, the front man of the English indie rock band. We chatted about the band’s upcoming shows in Australia at Beach Life Festival, their new album Let’s Go Sunshine, and their songwriting process.

J: You guys are going to be coming over to Adelaide and headlining Beach Life Festival. It’ll be you first time over here in five years, are you looking forward to that?

Yeah, it’s about time! It’s really exciting, we’ve worked really hard to get to where we are, it’s really nice that all the work is paying off. We’re at the best place we’ve been in our whole career. We’re excited to get down there and play our biggest and best shows ever.

J: Have you got any fond memories from your last time inAdelaide?

I still can’t believe it’s been five years, time goes so quick. It’s great to be able to go to Adelaide, because it’s not always on the tour circuit in Australia. Last time we played with Tame Impala, it was really cool. I remember Adelaide being a really awesome city, and I’m looking forward to exploring it more and seeing what else it has to offer. It’s so far away, I hope they invent a supersonic jet so we can get down there more.

J: This time you’re playing alongside a bunch of great artists at Beach Life Festival, such as MANE, Winston Surf shirt and Last Dinosaurs. Are you familiar with any of them?

I haven’t even checked them out yet to be honest, but I need to do that soon. I’ll definitely be doing that before we head down there. I love those festivals where you get to know the other artists, when you do a bunch of shows with the same line up. It’s always good fun.

J: In August this year you released your album ‘Let’s GoSunshine.’ How’s that being received so far?

It’s going really good, I feel like we did a really great job with it. We’re in a time where our kind of music is really appreciated, we’re really grateful for that. It can take some time before you know how your music is going, it might take six months or so for people to catch on, but initially it’s been really good, I think it’s got a nostalgic feeling to it. It’s feels like we’ve gone back to our roots and our first album. It’s a musical journey,and we took a step back to reflect on where we’d been so far. I’m really enjoying the journey at the moment, and I feel great about the new album.

J: Have you got a favourite track from the new album?

It’s hard to pick one track, but there’s a couple that mean a lot to me. ‘Honey Bee’ is one of them, it’s a cool moment on the record, I like the simplicity of it. It’s sort of a legacy song for me, my dad actually did some vocals on it, and it gets me going. I wouldn’t say it’s super intense or emotional, but it’s a cool piece of music. My favourite track changes every day,but that one is special.

J: Do you have a favourite track to play live?

I’d say ‘Chicken Bone’,that one is a lot of fun to play live, it’s got a cool groove. One of the things I really wanted to do on the album was to put a bit of quirky humour in,and that’s something we did on that track. It’s proper Rock n’ Roll with a bit of cheeky humour in it, a bit Monty Python-ish, I think ‘Chicken Bone’ has a good level of cheek in it.

J: This album is a continuation from your last record ‘Listen’, does it kind of continue the story in a way?

In some ways it does, I think this one is about falling in love and finding some stability. I feel like ‘Listen’ was an album about running away from your problems, I was a bit all over the place at the time, I had some shit in my personal life, some people who were treating me badly, I felt a bit lost in the industry. ‘Listen’ was fun because we worked on it in a completely different way, but lyrically, on the new record, I felt more confident in my skin and had let go of all of the shit, so it does continue to story in a way, and shows how we’ve grown on our musical journey. It was written in a natural way, with an acoustic guitar, pen, and paper, rather than getting really deep into Pro Tools and the electronic side of production. I wrote a lot of ‘Listen’ in the studio, whereas with ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ I worked on the songs on my own a lot before bringing them to the band.

J: Was there anything else you did differently on this new record, aside from the writing process?

Yeah, it was an interesting experience, I was more involved in the orchestration. I was a bit more involved in this record than any of the others that we’ve done, so that was a bit different. Everything was kind of mapped out and better thought out. We worked with a different producer that we haven’t worked with before, which gave it a fresh sound. It felt like a very well planned record, and the recording process was very quick and well organised, and there were less disagreements. We were quite calm and in tune with each other for this record, we had a lot of creative control. I think it was very old school and classic, especially in the way the producers approached it.

J: What have you got planned after this tour?

We’re doing some stuff in the UK, we’ve got some shows and a festival with a bunch of our friends. We’ve also got a bunch more dates for this album tour which are yet to be announced. Next year we will be touring a lot, I’m really looking forward to it.

J: Have you got any music videos in the works for this new album?

Yeah. We’ve done got one for the song ‘Pamela’ which is really fun, it’s not a big budget one or anything, but it’s kind of like an old Beatles video, it’s really fun. We’re gonna drop that one soon, and then we’re gonna do one more that has quite an ambitious plan for ‘Weight Of The World’,but we may change our minds on the song, there’s a lot of cool songs to choose from on this record. So yeah, there’ll be some videos very soon, definitely one before we get to Australia.

J: Have you got any final messages for your fans inAustralia?

Thanks for waiting for us, we can’t wait to come over there. It’s always a great time down under, so we’ll see you soon!

The Kooks’ new album Let’s Go Sunshine is out now. You can catch The Kooks in Adelaide on December 28th at Beach Life Festival, alongside a bunch of other great artists. You can get tickets here.

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