A Kid Hereafter In The Grinding Light

author PP date 22/02/08

It's not everyday you see a cheerful, poppy indie rock band go the polar opposite way of their sound and write one album and thirty songs worth of grindcore. But yet that's precisely what A Kid Hereafter has done, and better yet, they've done it exceptionally well considering the circumstances. To find out more, I grabbed a hold of the band's bassist Hans "Kid Universe" Møller for an email interview, where I fired a couple of interesting questions off his way. That turned out to be a good call since what I received back in my inbox were answers full of detail and depth - the interview is quite an interesting read, for example you will come to realize that according to Hans, moving into grindcore from indie rock was just "a natural progression for the band". Enjoy.

RF.net: Hi and thanks for doing this interview! Can you please introduce yourself to the readers!
Kid Universe (Hans): My name is Kid Universe (aka Hans Find Møller) and I play bass and sing in AKHITGL. Besides me we have A Kid Hereafter himself (aka Frederik Thaae) on lead vocals, The Shadow (aka Anders Bo Rasmussen) on guitar & vocals, K.I.T. (aka Manoj Ramdas) on guitar & vocals and last but certainly not least the fast and furious Kid Handsome (aka Jakob Bjørn Hansen) on drums & vocals.

RF.net: So you guys are basically a band that could be categorized as indie rock, and then all of a sudden you decided to start a grindcore side project. How did the idea come about?
Kid Universe (Hans): I started out with Frederik writing three short grindcore songs that for some reason found their way into our

regular pop show as the final encore. We like to keep the audience entertained and take them by surprise at our concerts so it really started out more as a kind of gimmick rather than a vision of doing a 30 song grindcore album. But still it was a natural progression for the band to take. All five of us started out listening to metal music in our teens as more or less our first important musical input and inspiration. When I started out playing the bass at age 13 I would spend all my time listening to and playing along with my Metallica and Sepultura records and I think the other guys did more or less the same. So our love towards and interest in metal music is in no way just some clever idea that we just came up with. It has been there all along. Personally I have been waiting a long time just to find the opportunity and the right people with whom to play this kind of music.

RF.net: So how does one transition from playing soft, playful indie rock songs into technically challenging, brutal metal? Doesn't playing one style make the other one feel a bit odd?
Kid Universe (Hans): Not really. Were still the same people with the same playful minds and our fundamental attitude towards playing music doesn't change just because it's grindcore and not pop music. Good pop music and good metal music have the same kinds of energy in common. The soundscapes are different but it is still the same party and you still have to do them both with equal devotion, technical precision and showmanship.

RF.net: So I've been a bit confused. Who would you say have been your biggest influences considering the variety of the music that you play?
Kid Universe (Hans): The grind edition is highly influenced by bands like Slayer, Napalm Death, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan and

Pig Destroyer just to name a few, but of course some of our other "non-metal" influences shine through in the grind band as well as in the pop band. For instance artists such as The Beach Boys, Queen, NOFX, They Might Be Giants, Vivaldi, Yes and Frank Zappa. My personal favourites include Prince, Tom Waits, The Reverend Horton Heat, Hank Williams, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Magnetic Fields, Sugababes, Sepultura and Nat King Cole.

RF.net: According to the press information you recorded the album in only four days. Even with as short tracks as you guys have, it can be said "well that was quick". Can you elaborate on how come you chose to record it so quickly as opposed to spending some more time on it?
Kid Universe (Hans): We wanted the album to have a natural live feel to it. So we rehearsed the songs as well as we could before going into the studio so we wouldn't have to spend that time going over forms, riffs etc. but rather being able to instantly nail each song in a maximum of 3-4 takes, and seeing that the songs have a relatively short duration and we recorded all instruments at the same time, it just didn't take that long. Were not a band like Metallica that goes into the studio without a single riff and then waiting for magic to happen.

RF.net: I've noticed that the entire album has a tongue-in-cheek, joyful vibe to it. Was this something you were going for consciously when you were writing the record? What else did you want to achieve with the record?
Kid Universe (Hans): When starting out we discussed what our approach towards this project, both musically and visually, should be. We briefly considered dressing in black, singing dark and morbid lyrics as often seen in metal music but we quickly found that it wouldn't really be a true expression of ourselves and our musical integrities. Were basically a happy bunch, so it seemed much more natural just dressing brightly, singing more bright and joyful lyrics as we also do in the pop band. The toungue-in-cheek attitude can perhaps to some people come off as a parody or a ridicule of the whole metal scene, but this is not the case. We truly take the music and ourselves very serious. The real parody would in fact be, if we tried to fit into the classic sombre and morbid metal stereotype, because that wouldn't be a true representive of who we are. So we try to let that happy go lucky vibe shine through both in the music, the lyrics and our visual apperance. So you could say that the overall ambition (besides making a banging album, of course) is to show a positive and optimistic vibe which is rarely seen in this genre. Just because the music is agressive it doesn't have to be negative.

RF.net: So how did you write the songs. Some of them are really short, only a few seconds in length, and some of them are almost two minutes long. I'm curious especially to the process behind the shortest songs - did you just write a cool riff and leave it at that, or how did you write your songs?
Kid Universe (Hans): We all contributed with riffs and ideas for arrangentments etc. and wound up using practically everything that came up. A few riffs had been lying around for years but the majority were more or less just off the top of our heads. We didn't have an overall preset way of composing as such, but we have tried to keep the short songs as compressed as possible. It contributes to the manic feel of the music when a riff is not repeated. You barely get to know the song before it

is over. You get blown away and don't know what hit you. I personally enjoy this form of arranging because it constantly holds your interest to the music when you don't know what's going to happen next. This might be the reason why some people often compare us to a band like Fantomas. Mike Patton uses some of the same surprise elements in his arranging. Some of the more "epic" songs on the album, though, that transist one minute in duration, just wound up that way because it felt more natural for that specific song. It isn't a concept album as such where repetition isn't allowed.

RF.net: Are there plans to tour with A Kid Hereafter In The Grinding Light? Perhaps Roskilde?
Kid Universe (Hans): We just played Metal Royale in Århus which was great fun. All lot of nice people and smiling faces. This was actually our first time playing in front of a dedicated metal audience and we were in fact a bit anxious to how they would react to our music, but the majority luckily seemed to enjoy it. At the moment there aren't any specific plans of touring. We have a few smaller gigs in Copenhagen over the next couple of months but we are hoping and looking forward to play some more during the summer and the fall. Roskilde festival has so far shown a mild interest in both the grind and pop edition of A Kid Hereafter, but nothing is confirmed at the moment. But we are hoping.

RF.net: So considering how you've previously had a small bit of grindcore usually at the end of your liveshow, does the new sideproject mean that one day we'll all come to A Kid Hereafter show and get 50/50 indie/grindcore in one form or another? I'd personally find that peculiar!
Kid Universe (Hans): We actually tried that at a show at loppen once. Most people left after the first couple of grind songs, but a small

dedicated crowd stayed in front of the stage, banging away having a blast. It was great fun but maybe a bit too odd though,

so I think that we will try as a starting point to keep the to bands seperated in the future. But you never know. It all depends

on the particular mood and the particular setting, so I won't rule anything out.

RF.net: That's all I have for today. Any last words for the fans and the readers?
Kid Universe (Hans): Stay metal. Stay happy. Buy our album. Music!!!

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