Interview with No Kill

We recently interviewed Brooklyn-based dream pop band No Kill! Check out No Kill on Spotify here, and on Bandcamp here.

What’s your star sign, and do you feel like it represents you as an artist? Why or why not?

I’m a Scorpio. I’ve been told that this sign can be creative, loyal, and a bit hard to know. Artistically, I tend to work with a close circle of collaborators, and I’m a pretty private person. My record, Gold Chorus, talks a lot about the dynamics of vulnerability and power. It was definitely a challenge to put my emotions out in the world with this release, but it’s all good things!

Your album art seems very 60s-inspired. Who are some of your favorite vintage fashion icons, from the 1960s and beyond? 

Thanks for noticing that! The album art was created by collage artist, Michelle Meged, who works from vintage magazines, many from the 1960s. I wanted the art to be timeless, feminine, and strong. As far as my personal style goes, I love the 60s mod look. I wear a lot of monochrome (read: all black) and maybe a geometric pattern or floral. As for style icons, no one can beat the sequin stage looks of the Supremes.

Your Spotify bio mentions 90s grunge— if you could tour with any 90s grunge band, who would it be and why? 

I wouldn’t consider them grunge, but I’d love to rewind the clock and tour with the Breeders. They have so many great songs.

Your bio also mentions you moved from Maine to Brooklyn. What do you miss most about Maine, and what do you like best about Brooklyn? 

I love living in NYC. It’s all about community, and knowing that there are people nearby making their way, making art, and having diverse ideas. Not to mention, being walking-distance from everything. I miss being near the forest and ocean, but it’s fun to visit.

With “Gold Chorus” having been out in the world for about 6 months now, do you look back at this project from a new perspective different than when you were recording it?

I’m just glad to have finally released this record. Leading up to COVID, we weren’t sure about the timing of the release, and if live shows would ever return. Obviously no one can predict the future, but when recording Gold Chorus, I had no idea that it would be such a strange road to putting out this record. The release show was in October and I’m so glad to have gotten to celebrate with friends and partners who helped to make the record possible.

Which song of yours do you believe best captures who you are as an artist and why?

One of my favorite songs on Gold Chorus  is “Sleep Sounds.” The song has this sneaky build and tension that kind of explodes by the end of the track. I love the tremolo effects on the guitars during the bridge. It’s super fun to play, and as an artist I want to pull that kind of energy into everything that I create.

You still play music by ear since teaching yourself guitar as a teenager. What freedoms and challenges does this tactic offer you?

This is my way of saying that you don’t need to be classically trained to make art. Teach yourself an instrument, start a band. If you have an idea, it’s okay to experiment instead of aiming for perfection.

“Gold Chorus” has been pressed and released as vinyl. Do you believe listening to it in a physical form alters the listening experience?

Definitely. With vinyl, you’re invited to spend time with music in a personal environment. Most people listen to vinyl at home, instead of, say, walking around listening with headphones, or hearing a song in the background at a bar. In that way, I think the experience is much more personal and intentional.

What are some of your non-musical influences, such as literature, films, etc. that translate into your music?

I look to cinema a lot, especially experimental works of filmmakers like Maya Deren. I’m also a big fan of David Lynch, especially the surreal worlds he creates around his characters thorugh music. Performing at the Twin Peaks roadhouse would be my holy grail live show.

What can we expect to see from No Kill in the future? 

Right now I’m focusing on playing live with the band. It’s been great to be part of a community of artists again, and I love performing the songs on this record. I look forward to writing again and getting back in the studio with some new ideas.

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