INTERVIEW: Fergus Linacre (KINGSWOOD)
They say change is as good as a holiday, but for Melbourne quartet Kingswood change has led to new and combustive sonic waters as they approach the release of their third full-length album Juveniles this March.
Embarking on a journey of self-discovery while falling back in love with the genre that set the scene for their formation just over a decade ago, Kingswood arrive into a brand new decade armed with zealous creative passion and a musical might that has come from years of honing the band’s identity and burgeoning rock and roll sound – but with the emotional maturity that can only come with the highs and lows of a lengthy career.
Completing their upcoming release in the band’s second home of Nashville in the States, fans have already copped a taste of what’s to come from next month’s release with the latest tunes Bittersweet and If Only burning up with thunderous riffs, infectious rhythmics and a dazzling authenticity that carries over into the band’s live shows in spades. But before the new album drops, The Soundcheck stole some time with Kingswood frontman Fergus Linacre to chat creativity, a sneak peek into the group’s upcoming live shows and memorable moments along the way. Interview below.
TIANA: Greetings, and thank you for chatting! It’s so awesome to be on the brink of a brand new Kingswood album release just from a fan perspective, and, of course, a pretty exciting time for you all as well! How does it feel to be poised on yet another release? Given it’s your third full-length, you guys aren’t strangers to this process – but how does it all feel this time round?
FERGUS: Thanks for having me and it fills me with joy that you are excited for the record. Approaching each release has been a unique experience, I think it will always feel different depending on your environment and how you feel about the album you’ve made. Releasing the first album was a huge sense of achievement, we officially became a band, we were in the game. The second album we knew would be controversial, we were rebellious and wanted to shock people, we thrived on it. I think this time around we are feeling immensely proud of the record, we have spent a long time making it and we feel it is the best album we have made. It’s always a little scary, I imagine a little like sending your kid of to school for the first time, they are out of your hands and your control and you hope they do ok out there in the world.
TIANA: So, on the topic of ‘Juveniles’…Kingswood have seen a fair bit of sonic evolution throughout the years, and the upcoming album really seems to present a reinvigorated Kingswood shining through here. I’ve read tales of starting over with some of the material and finding clearer headspaces in the lead-up to completion…can you take me through a bit of the journey that led to the final ‘Juveniles’ product?
FERGUS: As we grow and develop as musicians and music lovers, the scope of influence and capability can become overwhelming. When you are young and you make your first record you just write what you know, there is a limit to what you can create. We spent years making this record in many different countries and we ended up with so many songs that didn’t feel like a family and many that didn’t feel like Kingswood. It was the different environments we absorbed and time between recording that separated the songs. So we took ourselves back to Nashville and said we aren’t leaving till we are finished.
Kingswood, Black Bird Studio, Nashville (pic: Kingswood instagram)
TIANA: And recording in Nashville with the legendary Eddie Spear, how did this collaboration with Eddie come to be? I loved reading about Eddie playing “fifth Beatle” to Kingswood’s creative vision…
FERGUS: Eddie was the engineer on Microscopic Wars, we became very good friends and after the record was finished, we immediately started talking about the next record. He has unbridled enthusiasm, no idea is too wild, he tells us most of the work he does is just that, work, but when he’s in the studio with us we allow him the freedom to break convention. Al and him have a great understanding of one another’s minds and he helps us take our songs into another level of sonic pleasure.
TIANA: With regards to the creative process with ‘Juveniles’, what really inspired you guys musically? Obviously, there’s unbridled lashings of rock kicking around, but you’ve managed to also jolt a lot of modern influences into proceedings…was there a significant overall plan for ‘Juveniles’ going into the whole adventure?
FERGUS: We were on tour in Germany, playing a bunch of unreleased songs we had been working on, some of them were not rock’n’roll songs and it was on stage on that tour that we fell back in love with the music that gets people energized, excited, makes them run to the front and get in the mosh. That feeling bled into the focus for the album, music that was heavier, more fun, still, and always of most importance, emotional, but in a way that makes you sweat.
TIANA: And it’s not just the new album that is whipping up excitement for Kingswood fans, but also the mammoth tour you guys will be embarking on starting in March. You all aren’t strangers to life on the road, but what’s the vibe like to be heading out and playing these killer shows with a brand new album under your belts?
FERGUS:One of the real peaks of excitement and anticipation is embarking on a tour with a whole bunch of new songs to play. We belong on the road, we are home on the road, it’s like school camp with no teachers. We are rehearsing the new show now and it’s gonna be huge, the new songs are meant to be played live and we can’t wait to see everyone’s beautiful faces.
TIANA: And what can we expect from a 2020 live Kingswood show? Anything you can reveal…?
FERGUS: We are building a show that is going to look and sound bigger and better than ever before. It’s going to be big, loud, and beautiful. I can reveal for those playing at home that I’ll be playing a little guitar on this tour as the new songs require more than just the great man Al. We also have a bunch of very talented friends touring with us so make sure you get down early or you’ll miss the next big thing!
pic: Kingswood instagram
TIANA: On the topic of live shows, you all have played pretty much every iconic Aussie festival as well as a heap of amazing tours over the years…do you have a particularly memorable live show or tour memory that has stuck with you after all this time, whether it’s memorably good, bad or hilarious?
FERGUS: Well certainly one of the best tours we have ever been a part of was the ACDC tour, the Hives were on with us and we had many kick ons, sometimes we would play a club show on the same night and they would DJ after us, so it was a hazy time. I say this as a defence of what I hope remains my greatest embarrassment on stage: calling the Perth crowd Adelaide, at the SECOND Perth show.
TIANA: And on that note, as a band who has not only played alongside the cream of the crop of rock over the years but also been part of that scene for a fair while now too…is it time for critics to stop declaring “rock is dead”? What are your thoughts on the state of the modern rock and roll world?
FERGUS: Is anyone really saying that? Rock will never die, it will keep evolving and spinning around dipping down and being pulled back up as the camera zooms in for a slow-mo kiss. Seriously though the expansion of the musical world into new technologies and styles is a great thing, it won’t kill rock’n’roll it will aid it, make it stronger.
TIANA: Now for a super important question…how did you guys cope with the news of Holden being axed in Australia, you’ll have to soldier on the memory of the late, great Aussie Kingswood in a world without Holden in the very near future!
FERGUS: We saw ‘kingswood’ was tending and got excited, the albums not even out yet!!. It’s always sad to see so many jobs go down the drain, we only hope everyone gets back on the feet and is supported.
TIANA: Ok, desert island question time. You’re hypothetically stranded on a desert island with only one album to take with you for musical company. What album are you taking and why?
FERGUS: I think the White Album, because of its diversity and number of songs. I could find the right song for whatever mood I’m in. Blackbird for bird watching, Piggies for when I catch and cook a little piggy, Birthday for when it’s my birthday.
TIANA: And finally, in honour of your upcoming album ‘Juveniles’, what’s one piece of advice you would offer if you could go back in time to your juvenile self and impart some wisdom?
FERGUS:If you meet someone with opposing views on a subject, don’t argue with them, talk to them, discuss, try to see it from their point of view and you may learn something. Be able to change your views upon learning new information or seeing it a different way. People who argue do so to win the argument, people who discuss can learn and grow and perhaps reach an understanding together. This will make you a better person.
KINGSWOOD'S BRAND NEW ALBUM JUVENILES IS DUE OUT MARCH 13 WITH A HEAP OF SHOWS LINED UP TO CELEBRATE THEIR BRAND NEW SONIC BABY - INCLUDING SOME POP-UP PIZZA PARTIES! PLUS, YOU CAN ENTER TO GO INTO THE RUNNING TO WIN A GIBSON USA LES PAUL CLASSIC (WORTH $4,199) WITH PRE-ORDERS LIVE NOW. MORE INFO BELOW, AND FOR ALL OTHER KINGSWOOD INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER