New era, new momentum – Interview with Tamás Persely from Kiddo
Although the band kiddo isn’t all about festival appearances this summer, they don’t hold back either. Their ever-growing fanbase can look forward to a new record in autumn, and the guys are saying farewell to the spring season of club gigs (and welcoming the summer) with a brand new music video.
If I’m not mistaken, both you and Marci (Rátkai) played water polo at a pretty high level. How did you make the transition from pro sports to music?
Actually, water polo is kind of a family heritage for me, so I was pretty much predestined to spend half of my life at the pool. On the other hand, I was a huge fan of music, and it’s been important for me ever since I was very little. So important that ultimately the two activities switched places, so after a while I only had time for music besides the private areas of my life.
What kind of music did you listen to that had such a tremendous effect on you?
At the beginning, of course, it was my parents’ music taste that really influenced me. They liked the big classics like Queen and Pink Floyd, so I listened to these records a lot. Then came Nirvana… I was totally hooked on that as a teenager, and soon it all became like a slide, dashing through all sorts of music. My taste in music is beginning to crystallize recently, so to speak, but it’s not a clear process. I’ve always listened to a wide range of music, so even today I can’t pinpoint just one single genre or subgenre that I like the most.
Does this musical diversity leave a mark on how you create your own tunes?
I think so, absolutely, and it makes our sound more complex. Due to this, however, it’s not easy to put a label on kiddo. A lot of people say we are indie or indie rock, or pop. I think we’re closer to the latter one, but we most certainly can’t talk about a pure, clear-cut category. We’re even glad that our style is kind of impossible to categorize, since this was our main goal. We don’t want to play classic Hungarian popular music.
How big of a role does the other members’ taste in music play in creating songs? Who decides the musical directions of the band?
We try to work as a democracy and thankfully everyone brings good vibes into the music. We obviously need some kind of hierarchy to advance accordingly, too. They’ve chosen me as the leader, which isn’t always the easiest or most thankful task.
Your second single kiddo2 was recently released. Why did you choose this title?
The story behind the title is that even though we don’t have a lengthy history as a band, there have been relatively many changes these past two years. As a matter of fact, it was only last summer that the cooperation of the four of us began to take off, both in terms of inspiration and in terms of all the necessary factors. That’s when we started to feel like an era would come to a close at the end of 2014, so this could be interpreted as the first era of Kiddo. The second one started in 2015, and its first accomplishment is the new single.
What are you planning to show us that’s different in this second period, and how will it be different? I imagine that, unwittingly, all the new members could bring new ideas and concepts into the mix, or even a different level of musicianship.
I’ve been doing this band together with Marci Rátkai from the very beginning, and we felt that in our past work there was an overabundance in electronics. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, obviously, but we can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that there are some pretty kickass musicians in the band who couldn’t put their all into the music because of this. We noticed that this type of sound limits us in a way. That’s why that this year, with the new single, we made extra efforts to make the actual instruments stand out more. Besides, that’s important for us in a live setting as well, because we want to show our most optimal side to the audience. We’re currently working on that too.
How did people react to the new record?
I think the reception was generally favourable, although it’s hard to compare it to our past efforts, since, as I’ve said, we’re still a pretty young band. There are no clear-cut extremes in terms of reception, or we haven’t noticed it at least. The most important thing for us now is to continue evolving, and we hope that our listeners like what we do.
Most of your songs are in Hungarian so far. Do you plan to write any English songs in the future, maybe for a potential future single?
Actually, we had some English stuff when we started, but those songs never got released. I believe in the power of the Hungarian language, although, truth be told, it is extremely difficult to write a song in Hungarian that sounds really good. It could be done much easier in English, but to succeed in writing in Hungarian has become sort of a mission for me. Of course if we create a song that would sound really cool in English then why not, but we won’t force anything just to become more popular.
Have you ever thought about taking part in any musical talent shows?
No, we haven’t. At the very beginning we decided to separate ourselves from that world, because it just wouldn’t be us. We probably wouldn’t even be interesting or extreme enough for that. An event like that would undoubtedly boost the popularity of a band, but it has plenty of pitfalls too, so we thought we’d go our own way as a group.
Any plans for the summer? The festival season is just starting; will you perform somewhere?
No, we’re actually not going anywhere at all. Unfortunately with all the changes at the beginning of the year, we had to leave our old management too, so now we’re on our own. We thought that everything would clear up eventually and we find the path we want to take, that someone would show us the right way we should proceed on. We haven’t been able to pull this off by now, so we’ll have to skip the classic summer festival-hopping this year. On the other hand, we’ve received some invitations and the like from a couple of places, so that’s definitely a good sign. We think that this is due to the kiddo2 single. It reached a lot of people and we got lots of positive feedback, so we’re very happy about that.
Now we’ll spend our summer preparing the next single. We’re very much motivated to make it happen by autumn, the season of club gigs. Thankfully, we’ll still have a few shows in the summer, like we’re playing at A38 on May 27. We’re trying to catch the last breaths of the spring club gigs, so to speak. We also timed the release of our latest music video to this gig. Theme-wise it’s a typical summer video, but it has some neat and exciting aspects from a technical point of view, so it’s a perfect fit for the new era of Kiddo.