Currently readying their debut major label release, I chatted with The Kin after a recent performance in New York to talk musical robberies, their upcoming self-titled album and what they liken their music to. Made up of brothers Thorald and Issac Koren from Australia and New York drummer Shakerleg, the guys filled me in on just what to expect from their new music and Rockwood Music Hall weekly residency.
“[Our album is] going to be a real mix of everything we’ve written in the last year,” Issac said. “We took a year to stay in New York and play every week at Rockwood. We just wrote as much as we could.”
Playing every Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall at 9:30, their weekly residency allows the band to test out new material on the audience and see the crowd’s response. “It’s really helpful to see what people think,” Issac said. “We’re really proud of it. We’re really excited to get the songs to people.”
As far as their decision to play at Rockwood, Issac said the venue is “just so human.”
“People come and go and the sound is good. It’s inviting,” he said. “Great music comes in and out. We feel like a part of a happening. That’s what New York is about: pockets of community. The Kin is all about that. It’s about finding a tribe. Rockwood promotes all of us for that.”
Thorald further shared the band’s wishes for their new album.
“We’re hoping to make an expansive amount of fans that don’t know us yet. They can expect explosive, fun, dirty, pretty songs. We just want each song to be an experience,” he said. “The album’s going to bring out the voices and uniqueness of the drums and hopefully it’s going to translate [our live show].”
The album is due for release early next year, but the band’s upcoming single “Gemstone” can be expected in October.
“It’s certainly the closest to a live, driven album,” Issac said. “Now we’re listening to them, what could be the songs on the record. We had 50 now it’s down to 25. It’s virtually like giving away your babies.”
So how do they narrow down the 25 tracks to 12?
“We let the audience at Rockwood decide,” Issac confessed. “The songs that get the most requests and the ones they demand us to play again.”
But that’s not the only reasoning.
“A song not only has to be strong but has to sound great on a recording,” Thorald said. “Some we love playing live but haven’t translated on the recording.”
When the Kin aren’t busy putting the final touches on their album they take part in something they call musical robberies where they take their show to unexpected patrons at restaurants throughout the country.
“It came out of our love of fun robbery movies and thieves and Shakerleg’s subway days when he’d rally people around his drumming,” Thorald said. “I think we came out of it with a fun idea. It was a way to catch people when they were a little bit scared and play with their senses a little bit. That’s something we’ve always loved to do.”
The Kin alternate between what they call musical robberies and musical heists.
“You can either do a real robbery where no one – not even the owners of the place — knows and we get kicked out,” Issac said. “Or it’s an inside job which we call a heist where the owner coordinates it. The patrons don’t know so it’s a heist.”
“And then we have dinner with thieves where we rob people at a 5 star restaurant setting,” he continued. “We just want to mix it up. The way we play music, we want to mix it up.”
Drummer Shakerleg had a whole other way of explaining things.
“I think what we’re trying to accomplish in a live show is that feeling that you get when you step on a piece of gum and you can’t get it off and you’re actually happy that that particular piece of gum is on your shoe,” he said. “That’s the sound we’re going for.”
Catch the Kin live in New York every Thursday through September at Rockwood Music Hall.