Interview With Katherine Kelly Of Sons Of Hippies

Posted: 07/16/2013 in Music

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
KK: I’m Katherine from Sons of Hippies. It is a pleasure to meet you, please drink this Kool-aid.
MW: How did the name Sons Of Hippies come about?
KK: Jonas and I were at a music festival in Tennessee talking about all kinds of things: music, faux finishing, how to barter a pack mule for a milk sheep. When it came up that his father once made a living as a young man wandering through the Andes selling his art and jewelry. Incidentally my mother went to art school in Mexico and dropped out to drive a VW bus to Woodstock. True stories. So we drew conclusions from there.
MW: How long has Sons Of Hippies been around?
KK: Jonas and I started the band in 2008 as a two-piece and its current incarnation with David Daly on bass and synth has been since December of 2011.
MW: How would you describe the sound of Sons Of Hippies?
KK: We’re a rock band, there’s really no doubt about that, and there are space and psych influences throughout. Gene, our dealer, likes to tell people we’re The Bangles on acid.
MW: How did Sons Of Hippies get involved with Tom Klimchuck of Pro-Pain?
KK: I met Tom a long time ago in 2007 when I was in a different band. The drummer of that band contacted Tom to record a demo for us and I had an instant connection with him. He’s a wise and super balanced person.
MW: What has Tom Klimchuck done for Sons Of Hippies?
He has recorded all of the material to date that we have released independently and through Cleopatra. He also mixed and mastered everything but our current release on Cleo (Griffons at the Gates of Heaven). In addition to that he’s been a constant mentor and guide to us musically and personally.
MW: Please tell me about the following?
KK: Warriors of the Light – Our first release. It’s my favorite album. The songs are so pure and innocent and free of expectation. There’s a track on this album of rare birds in the Amazon freaking out and having a good time called “Ornithologicus Orgicus” – “Birds F*cking”.
      Invisible Personalities – This EP was never officially released because we did not have Tom available (he was on tour) to record it and attempted to do it ourselves. The result was a poor-quality representation of our material. Not horrible by any means but sub-par and we decided against releasing it. Our second single from Griffons, “Rose,” first appeared on this album in a completely different incarnation.
       A-Morph – Our most polished and over-produced album. We wrote this album with the hope of scoring a hit on the radio. That was the mind set we were in at the time and it resulted in a collection of slightly forced material that was way too pop oriented.
       Fade To White – The last EP we released before signing with Cleo. It’s a space rock concept album comprised of five songs that plays for roughly 18 minutes with no track breaks. There’s a lot of synth intro/outro and Kaos pad doom apocalypse shit. The B-side on our “Spaceship Ride” 7″ – Mirrorball – originally appeared on this album as a song called, “Somnambulist.” which means sleep walker. The song is about turning into a vampire. Folks at the label thought it was too hard to pronounce and suggested we change it to Mirrorball, a lyric throughout the song.
MW: Tell me about the new Sons Of Hippies release Griffons at the Gates of Heaven?
KK: We’re very proud of this album and see it as a culmination of everything we’ve produced the last five years. We recorded it in a big house in the woods in Florida and shipped it to Seattle where we went and met it and Jack Endino to mix it. Billy Sherwood from Yes plays moog and mellotron on it. It was mastered at Abby Road Studios in London.
MW: Tell me about getting signed to Cleopatra Records?
KK: It came out of nowhere and was the best thing that has ever happened to us. They’re an incredibly supportive team who encourage us to be as weird as we want. And they know how to party.
MW: What is the first video from Griffons at the Gates of Heaven?
KK: It’s called “Spaceship Ride.”
MW: What are your plans for a tour?
KK: We just did 30 days in the mid to East US. It was awesome and ten of the dates we supported UK prog legends, Nektar. We’ll be touring the US pretty much the rest of 2013 and maybe overseas next year.
MW: If you could go on tour with any band who would it be?
KK: The Flaming Lips, Band of Skulls, Metric, Silversun Pickups, or Pixies.
MW: Will Sons Of Hippies be doing any festivals this year?
KK: We’ll know for sure soon but Pop Montreal, CBGB, CMJ, and Noisepop are all possibilities.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?

KK: If you’re lost, turn around.

  1. Bob Menser says:

    Smart lady. Slightly twisted sense of humor. Great interview. This band has some seriously good songwriters with an original bent in their music. Saw them open for Nektar and was truly impressed. Buy their stuff. There is wonderful stuff on each release.

  2. Jim Brown says:

    I played on the same bill with them at a couple of WMNF-FM fundraisers in 2011, and I was instantly a fan. Very original, a great post-punk feel to their music.

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