Kill to Kill on their reunion after a three-year hiatus
Rock trio Kill to Kill might just be the anti-buzz band. After forming in 2007, the band built a devoted fan base via their intense live shows and eventually joined Guilt Ridden Pop's diverse roster. In 2009, they released their debut EP Fighter and Gimme Noise called Kill to Kill a band to watch. Employing no traditional electric guitar, they're comprised of drums, bass/baritone guitar, the fairly rare Bass VI, and the raw, emotive vocals of Sylvia Izabella.
Primed to record an anticipated full-length and plotting a national tour, the band split late summer 2010 when Izabella suddenly moved to New York. But in late spring, hints of a reunion were dropped on their Facebook page. Rather than creating any hoopla, they appeared in town for two brief four-song warm-up performances, revealing that Sylvia had in fact returned to the Cities to reform the band.
Gimme Noise met up with Izabella on a rainy afternoon at the Black Forest Inn, where she works as a cook, along with Bass VI player Chad Weber and drummer Joe Gaskill, to talk about the band's return, their unique sound and their first full-set performance this Friday, June 21 at Nomad for the Mouth by Mouthwest Benefit show. Despite Izabella's self-proclaimed shyness, the three chatted and laughed freely about their back story and mishaps over beers, bread and jam.
Gimme Noise: Let's start at the beginning, when you two -- Chad and Sylvia -- first met at the guitar store in 2006...
Chad: So Sylvia came into Encore and asked for a capo and I told her electric guitars were cooler.
Joe: And she said... "Fuck you." [everyone laughs]
C: That's pretty much how it went.
Sylvia: I don't remember saying "Fuck you."
C: You totally did.
S: But I might of...I don't deny it.
C: And then I plugged you into a fancy guitar and amplifier in the corner and let you sit there and play.
S: I sat for hours...
So, you're at Encore, you're playing for hours, but you're playing guitar not bass yet...when does it move to "Let's start a band?"
C: Literally, when she brought the guitar back to the counter, she said "You're right, they're cooler" and then you just asked me if I wanted to start a band. [laughs]
S: I don't know what brought me to say that or why I did. Sometimes I don't even think about my words, they just come out and that was one of those cases. Just like when I came back to Minneapolis from New York, the same thing came over me. I go, I do, and I don't even think.
C: But we hung out that same day and played guitar for hours and hours and it became a reality shortly after that. We had different drummer for awhile that was a friend of mine that I'd known for 10 years. When we first started playing, it was kinda gonna be some slightly punkier version of Cat Power, but then she decided she wanted to start playing bass guitar... and when she did, she started yelling.
S: I had a lot of angst that I didn't even know I had and it all just came out.
J: You told me you love playing bass because of the power it kicks out at your legs.
S: It's so physical, it goes through your entire your body. Everybody might not realize it, but it's totally just changing your cellular structure....or just passing through you.
C: When she found the bass, we became a rock band. But really, when this gentlemen [points at Joe] came up to us, probably around... maybe a year after we had been playing?
J: I didn't really know them at all, but I knew the other bands that were playing with them at the 7th Street Entry, so I went downstairs to smoke a cigarette, when you could still do that, and I went up to Chad and Sylvia right after they got off stage. I noticed that their drummer wasn't down there. [Everyone laughs].
C: You said, "Let me know if anything happens to your drummer."
J: I just said, "If something happens to your drummer, give me a call, 'cause you guys kick ass." It was funny, cause I didn't think it was an offensive thing to say. I just meant, it would be awesome to be in that band. The drummer was good, he just seemed disinterested. Maybe a little out of place for them, they were loud and aggressive.
Chad, Can you talk a little bit about the Bass VI as an instrument and why you chose it?
C: Basically, I've always wanted a band that was based on two bass guitars. I found the Bass VI the year after Fender discontinued its reissue in 1997. I was obsessed with this instrument. I used to go to guitar shops and ask repeatedly, have you seen one? Not until Chad Speck [owner, Encore Music Shop] pulls out a picture, I didn't even know what it looked like! I had just seen it written in the credits of a Tortoise record as gear used and it was a Jerry Jones Bass VI.