Detroit's own Koffin Kats are getting ready to release a new album. Born of the Motor is the 7th release from the band with the last album released just last year. The album will be available this coming Tuesday on vinyl, CD, and of course as a digital download. The band's label, Sailor's Grave Records, is actually running a pretty sweet deal too. You can get a CD, shirt, poster and 4 stickers for $20. Plus, every 25th person that grabs that bundle will also get 2 tickets to see The Koffin Kats.
The band is currently out on tour on the west coast. In anticipation of the release, singer/bass player Vic Victor was nice enough to catch up with us via email and answer a few questions. Here's what he had to say:
Vic- "Well, to quote Road House... Expect the unexpected. Actually any fans of ours reading this probably know by now that we don't like to record the same album twice. I felt the last release set the bar really high, so the challenge was to not ribcage it on the bar with this new one. We just wanted to put out a solid album, where every track has some kind of hook in it that sticks your brain."
Hip In Detroit- You guys recorded this album with John Kay at Stu Stu Studio. How was that? Why did you decide to record there?
Vic- "This isn't our first rodeo with ole' John. Haha. Back in '07 he recorded, mixed, produced another release of ours. Since that time we have been in and out of Stu Stu doing most of our tracking there. John knows his stuff. We work great with him. Plus he only a few miles from where we live. He also has really comfortable couches in the studio. So the question is... what's the real reason we record there?"
Hip In Detroit- Speaking of John Kay, I heard that you guys kind of switched places over the summer and helped John out with a song that's a tribute to our friend Jason Lockwood. Can you tell us about that?
Vic- "Well... he needed some manly voices for some group vocals and we were conveniently in the studio doing gang vocals for our album that day. On a serious note though, it's a great song and a very nice tribute."
Hip In Detroit- The band has toured A LOT over the years and it doesn't seem like you are slowing down anytime soon. Where's the best place you've ever played and is there anywhere you haven't played yet that you would like to?
Vic- "Honestly, a "best stop" can be any town that has a crowd that knows who we are or is at least receptive. I mean I'll never forget our first visits to SoCal and seeing huge crowds that knew our music. But, you learn that "huge" doesn't always mean it's a memorable stop. We have had a blast with 2 people in front of us. We need to play Alaska and Hawaii so that we can officially say we've done every state in the U.S."
Hip In Detroit- So there's one thing I always want to ask people that play the stand up bass, especially in this case. And I'm pretty sure from the question you can tell that I'm not a musician. How did you learn? Did you just start off playing the regular bass guitar and it really isn't that different? I can't imagine you were a jazz band kid in high school, were you?
Vic- "I picked up playing guitar when I was 12. Once I figured out that I wasn't going to be the next Dimebag Darrel or Brian Setzer, I decided to think out of the box. Besides, almost all of my friends growing up played guitar to some extent. Once I started listening to bands like Reverend Horton Heat and Living End, I really started digging the sound of the upright bass. The problem was that you couldn't exactly walk into the pawn shop and pick one up. So when I was 17 I worked a terrifying holiday shift at Toys R Us and after the season was over I had enough saved up to order a bass. I figured out the basics from watching local players, like Pete from Twistin' Tarantulas. But really it wasn't until we started touring that I learned all the tips and tricks to handling an upright bass. If you understand how the neck of a guitar works, you can translate that over to the neck of an upright. The slapping part comes in time. It's a bloody and painful process."
Hip In Detroit- Who are some of your biggest influences musically and why?
Vic- "Bad Religion got me into the world of punk rock the first time i heard them on the radio back in '94. Reverend Horton Heat got me into the whole "billy" thing when I saw them on Beavis and Butthead as a kid. I remember I only listened to Bad Religion and Pennywise during my freshman year of high school. These days I listen to a lot of music spanning a many genres. But one of my all time favorites is Waylon Jennings. As a musician, the worst thing you can do is keep a closed mind to other styles of music. Granted, you wont be hearing me on a rap or dubstep album. But in order to expand your ability of writing and performing, you have to keep an open mind."
Hip In Detroit- What's next for the Koffin Kats?
Vic- "Well be back home from this current tour right before Christmas... then we hit the road again in mid January. Well be out for most of 2014 doing North America and Europe."
Hip In Detroit- Any chance Detroit fans can plan on seeing you at Black Christmas this year?
Vic- "Chances are very good. We had a blast last year. So many great local bands in one night."
Hip In Detroit- We like to ask most bands that we talk to what some of their favorites in Detroit are. So do you have any Detroit bars, restaurants, shops that you have to hit while you are home or any Detroit bands that you love?
Vic- "Small's! We've done quite a few shows there over the years. Honestly, I don't have a car and I'm over in Garden City. So whenever I am home I don't venture into the downtown all that often like I used to. So I'm out of the loop when it comes to what is still in Detroit or what's new. As far as food, I love Greektown. Pegasus to be specific. Or if you're on 8 mile just East of Woodward there is this drive through coney place that has "fish dogs." A "must stop" after closing time! As far as bands go, oh man, I could fill this page up with shout outs. But I'm going to say what's most relevant to the time of doing this interview. The last few weeks I've been on a Detroit Cobras kick. I do enjoy them."
Born of the Motor comes out this Tuesday, October 22nd. In honor of the release we are giving two lucky winners the chance to have a free copy of the CD delivered to their doorstep. All you have to do to enter is email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to double your chances of winning, you can also tell people about Koffin Kats' new album on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram. If you tag us in the post so we see it, you'll be entered again. We will draw our 2 winners early Tuesday morning. That way if you don't win, you can still head out to the store and pick it up the day it's released. Good luck!!!