Kids These Days Q&A
Chicago-based, eight-piece band Kids These Days are taking audiences by storm with their fresh and original fusion of blues, rock, rap and brass, not to mention a little soul. With their first EP Hard Times now out to great reviews, it’s only a matter of time before these Kids' careers are full-grown. Find out more in this Kidzworld Q&A with vocalist Macie Stewart!
KW: How did you all first meet and form the band?
- Macie: Lane, Liam, Greg, and Nico met at the Merit School of Music and decided that they all wanted to form a band just for fun. I went to school with Nico and Liam, and Victor was a friend of Nico's from childhood. We all met mainly by playing music together. The band formed by jamming in the basement of Liam's old house. Thats really where everything started. Liam's house was pretty much the birthplace of KTD.
KW: How would you describe your sound?
- Macie: Our sound is a mixture of everything that inspires and moves us. Each member has a completely different musical background, and I think that it really shows through in the way that we present our music. Rajiv's intense jazz background comes through the same as Vic's hip hop background comes through and the same as Liam's blues/rock background comes through. There is a little bit of everything for every music lover.
KW: What has been the craziest thing to ever happen at one of your shows?
- Macie: The craziest thing is probably at the Metro when literally half of the band stage dived. Even Greg. He got someone to switch playing the drums with him so he could jump into the crowd. Greg didn't tell anyone he was going to do that so I didn't even notice anything happening until suddenly he was crowd surfing through the front of the crowd.
KW: You’ll be appearing at Lollapalooza this year, are you excited?
- Macie: I know were all crazy excited. Personally I've always wanted to go to Lollapalooza but I've never gotten the chance. I know many of the band members have tried to sneak in the last couple of years, but now we actually get to play the festival. Its a really crazy turn of events, and such an amazing opportunity.
KW: Your music is gaining popularity, and fans, what has that been like?
- Macie: Unbelievable. I remember starting the band and just thinking it was just a fun jam band. I would never have expected 2 years ago that we would be in a position like this. We've got amazing fans from all over the United States, as well as fans from Canada and even overseas in places like London and Russia. Every time we find a new article written about us we all get so excited because it just means were that much closer to our dream of making this band our livelihood. Its been happening so fast that I almost haven't even had any time to look back and reflect on it.
Check out KTD's song "Darling":
KW: Who are some of your musical influences?
- Macie: My musical influences come from all over. As of right now I'm really influenced by artists like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald as well as Fiona Apple, Portishead, and Metric. I looked up to them a lot for songwriting as well as the way they phrased every line of what they sang. I'm also extremely inspired/influenced by classical composers/performers such as Schumann and Bach because classical piano/violin is my main musical background.
KW: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
- Macie: Most people don't realize that my first instrument is classical piano, and that I am also a classical violinist as well. I've been playing since I was 3 years old and thats how I really started to get to know music. Its crazy how different and yet how similar classical music is to every other musical genre. I think that being able to appreciate and love genres like classical music make you a well-rounded and an overall better musician. You can't just listen to one style of music and think thats all there is. Theres so much to learn from every different genre, that you would be missing such a huge part of your musical education by cutting out any one thing.
KW: Who would you like to work with in the future?
- Macie: I would love to work with someone like Erykah Badu or Stevie Wonder. They are both great songwriters and performers and I feel like they would have such amazing ideas to contribute to whatever music is being written. Also, I've always loved Stevie Wonder. I don't think he's ever written a bad song.
KW: What is your song writing process like? Do you ever disagree?
- Macie: When we start rehearsal, sometimes we just start jamming just like we used to do at the beginning of KTD. We might come up with a cool idea and then keep running with it. Sometimes someone will bring in a killin' horn line or an awesome idea for a chorus. We just run with whatever idea that is and then continue adding on until we have something that resembles a song. It usually takes a week to about a month to write a song just because there are so many of us and so many ideas we need to get through until we get that perfect sound that were looking for. Of course we disagree, it would be impossible not to since there are so many ridiculously talented and headstrong people in one room. It just takes time to play through the ideas so we can find the exact one that we're all happy with.
KW: Your song “Hard Times” is available on iTunes, what is it about and what inspired it?
- Macie: Hard Times is essentially the first few songs we had ever written. It was such a long process getting it out there, and it was our first experience recording together. The entire CD took so long to record that some of the vocals were recorded back in the beginning of 2010 and didn't get out until the beginning of 2011. Its almost a look in the past of KTD. The song Hard Times was written by Liam Cunningham, and if I remember correctly that was the first original by KTD. I remember learning that song at the first rehearsal I ever went to.
Check out KTD's soulful song "My Days" off of Hard Times: