"We wanted to develop a sound that was creepy, loud, heavy, pretty, and quiet."
King's Daughters & Sons are Todd Cook, Joe Manning, Kyle Crabtree, Rachel Grimes, Michael Heineman but you may already know that seeing as I (as if you could attain this information anywhere else...) have been harping on about their seemingly divine abilities since their debut album was released on the Scottish independent label Chemikal Underground in November.
Michael Heineman and his fellow daughter and sons were kind enough to take part in the most recent G-Man interview which is pretty special seeing as If Then Not When scooped top prize in the "lauded" G-Man Top 50 Albums of 2011 which you can view by clicking here.
Read the full interview with King's Daughters And Sons below.
To cut right to the chase - how did King’s Daughters & Sons come to be?
The short long of it is that Joe & Michael formulated a project sometime in 2006 that they hoped could combine several of their influences and perspectives in one place, namely: shared conceptions of traditional and folk forms, participation within and adoration of the punk/hardcore/rock/post-punk scene in Louisville and curiosity regarding the narrative possibilities of ghost stories and murder ballads within said musical dust-up. Briefly stated we wanted to develop a sound that was creepy, loud, heavy, pretty, and quiet.
Can you recall how the name came about?
There used to be an assisted living home at the end of Michael's street bearing the same name and all of us agreed that the elderly and convelescent are criminally under-represented in post-rock band names. Also the names 'Stubblefields' and 'the Great Dads' were struggling to convey the underlying theme of the project, namely, how to terrify while remaining very polite.
The album was recorded in 2008 and 2009. Why has it taken so long to see the light of day?
In the two years that we were intermittently working on the record, we were continuously knocking on doors, looking for someone who was not only interested in our music, but also had the financial means to release it. We were on the verge of putting it out ourselves when we were blessed by Chemikal Underground's interest. Since they became involved, everything's moved much faster.
Chemikal Underground seem to simply allow their artists/bands to get on with making their art which should always be the case but rarely is. What has it been like working with the Scottish record label?
It has been a really great experience. It just never hurts to have someone step up and say, effectively, "Hey. We think that you are doing something good, and we'd like to help." Coming so close as we did to self-releasing, to have the gents from CU appear like a genie from a bottle was a real treat.
King’s Daughters & Sons are being billed/hailed as a supergroup. What do you make of that tag?
Does it come with Dental or a good co-pay?
Tag. You're It.
Is King’s Daughters & Sons a complete democracy or is there a particular Daughter/Son that drives you on more than the rest?
As Churchill famously said, "Democracy is the absolute worst for of governance except for all the rest." KD&S is powered by a very thorough democratic process.
What was it like working with Kevin Ratterman (engineer for California Guitar Trio, My Morning Jacket and Wax Fang as well as If Then Not When)?
Kevin is very handsome, a great friend and, simply stated, an absolute natural at his work. When we finished mixing Kev said the following. "I think we should find an enormous warehouse with six doors. We should come in, sit on the floor, and listen to this record together on very large speakers. When it's over we should stand up, each walk out of a separate door and never speak to one another again."
Rachel, Joe and Michael share singing duties across the record. Did it come naturally (such as Rachel on 'Arc of the Absentees') who would sing which part or how was it decided who would sing what?
Joe wrote the lyrics for 'Arc of the Absentees' with Rachel's voice specifically in mind. Outside of that we tend to figure out where and when harmonies are going to take place as the song develops during the writing.
What did it feel like to sit back and listen to the finished version of the emotional behemoth that turned out to be 'The Anniversary'?
Passing a stone?
Was it intentional to follow 'The Anniversary' with an instrumental allowing the listener to catch her/his breath?
The delivery of the chorus in 'Volunteer' floors me every time. What did it feel like to let rip at the end of that track?
Joe always particularly loved Michael's harmony part there because it kind of reminded him of an unsettling little segment from a Scott Walker song. But come to think of it, pretty much every segment of every Scott Walker song since the last Walker Brothers record has been pretty unsettling.
2011 has been another incredible year for new releases with Bon Iver, PJ Harvey, Bill Callahan and Tom Waits all releasing impressive new material. What albums/artists have impressed King’s Daughter’s & Sons over the course of 2011?
Secret Chiefs 3, Yes, The Shipping News, R. Kelly, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Chet Baker, Cocteau Twins, The Delgados, Archie Fischer, Gillian Welch, Neko Case, Kinghorse, Doug Paisley, John Fahey, Bill Callahan, Seluah, Nathan Salsburg, Evergreen...
Being on the other side of the Atlantic I was unfortunately unable to attend your November gig in Louisville. How are you gelling as a live act?
Still working on the tandem trampoline acrobatics, but at least the pyrotechnics display has finally come together.
I took a quick look at the venue, the 21c Museum Hotel (a boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant and cultural civic centre nestled in the heart of Museum Row in historic downtown Louisville), which seems like a fascinating place. How did the gig come about?
It's a one of a kind venue. 21c was voted the best hotel in the world by Conde DeNaste last year, so I'm sure their patrons found it intersting to hear us tearing ass at sound check, and were likely down right frightened by the merciless destruction of our friends Seluah. Guests had already started to complain during the 4pm sound check and the hotel had to comp some rooms that night. I don't know that we'll be invited back.
Can we expect to see King’s Daughters & Sons touring in Europe in 2012?
Working on it.
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of King's Daughters & Sons so far?
Please be gentle with my heart on this one - as you all have your other responsibilities and obligations is If Not Then When a once off collaboration or can we expect to hear more from King’s Daughters & Sons in the future?
We are headed back to the studio with Kevin Ratterman in February to begin work on a new record.
Ever played the animal game before?
No, but do you have any food?
- 'If Then Not When' can/should be purchased in your local record store or via Chemikal Underground's online store here
-For more details see www.kingsdaughtersandsons.com