Article Archive

Kid Confucius - Confucius Say...

Author: Daniel Crichton-Rouse
Friday, 31 August 2007
They may have been recognised as an RnB group at the UMAs, but Kid Confucius have more in common with Aretha Franklin than Guy Sebastian. In fact, they want Australians to give Soul music a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 3D’s Daniel Crichton-Rouse caught up with drummer Bart Denaro.

Congratulations on picking up Best RnB Group at the UMAs – how does it feel getting this recognition-
Thank you, it’s a funny one because we don’t really see ourselves as an RnB act. Over the years, the term RnB has come to represent a very specific sound and scene that we don’t really feel a part of. We’re trying to establish ourselves as a Soul band and as the Awards themselves defined Urban music as hip hop, RnB and Soul, to get the gong in the absence of a ‘Soul’ category was totally great.

Your brand of RnB is a lot different to what most people would necessarily call RnB nowadays. Would you care to explain the KC style of RnB-
It’s a valid distinction to make: RnB ‘nowadays’ as opposed to RnB at its beginnings. We feel a much stronger lineage to the past masters of RnB like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles… You know, soul music’s heyday. I guess our style is a melding of an old school Soul sound with a hip hop/pop-rock approach. 

You must be pretty pleased with the success of Stripes. Did you ever imagine it-
You never dare imagine what could be. just in case you jinx everything and end up living in your own filth, squatting in a burnt-out crack palace. But in this case we were genuinely excited about what we produced. When we listened back to the things we were putting down, we were surprised every time. We could only hope that people would hear the same things we were hearing.

What’s the idea behind your Street Corner Soul tour (other than to play shows!)-
In a nutshell, it’s about bringing Soul music to people that may not ordinarily have had the exposure. We got our hands on a copy of Aretha’s Live at the Fillmore West disc and it started the wheels in motion. In an unprecedented move she sold out two nights in a row at one of the America’s great bastions of Rock music, bringing Soul to the rock masses.
This really appealed to us mostly because of the rockcentricity of this country. So we’re kicking off the tour with two nights at The Annandale, Sydney’s rock music Mecca. And going along with the whole ‘getting-the-word-to-the-masses’ credo we are gonna be jamming on street corners all over the country, until we inevitably get arrested for public nuisance. Viva La Revolution!

Is there another single to be released from the album-
Well we’ve just done a live recording of a few of the songs from Stripes, and Sky Is The Limit from that recording has been getting some play, but Last Straw has just been added by triple j and we’re pretty happy about that. The clip for that song was a labour of love for us. Brilliantly directed by Armand De Saint-Salvy, it was pretty much produced entirely by the band. It’s on our MySpace page so please check it out.

Are you working on any new material already-
We haven’t gotten together and said, “Okay, next album” yet, but the seeds of ideas are starting to sprout. The focus at the moment, though, is making this tour as groundbreaking as it needs to be.

You worked with -uestlove, D’Angelo and Raphael Saadiq on Stripes. How did all that come together-
It was actually famed engineer Russell ‘The Dragon’ Elevado who mixed the tracks and made the magic happen at Jimi Hendrix’s own Electric Lady Studios. He is working constantly with the guys that you mentioned - he’s the real unsung genius behind the American soul and hip hop scene. He’s the guy at the controls, pulling the sounds and creating new things while -uestlove is off blogging on MySpace. But, man, I love -uestlove so much.

Where do you want to go with your sound next-
We are actually getting into a lot more rock: ’70s heavy metal, garage, alt country… So there’s a big chance that that will permeate the new wave of music. I think there’s going to be a much clearer picture at the end of the tour though. We are a band that likes to discuss and theorise about everything and I think being in each others’ pockets for a couple of months will bear fruit as far as the next direction goes. We’re definitely not interested in covering old ground. Whatever the case, there will be a marked shift in the next record’s sound.

WHO: Kid Confucius
WHAT: Play the Annandale Hotel
WHEN: Friday 7 September