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“…we have been specially trained by CSIS to put an end to any zombie outbreaks quickly and efficiently. This fall we will be launching our first all-out cross-Canada zombie attack, protecting the nation from this terrible harbinger of doom.”

July 7, 2011

Entertainment, Interviews

DarkMedia Interviews Kill Matilda:

If you visit the MySpace page of Kill Matilda, a quickly rising, female fronted, hard rock band from Canada, you’ll find their latest music, albums, songs, music videos, updates, and an open letter… putting “Matilda” on notice.

Dear Matilda,

We know where you are and we’re coming for you…. Since the last time we crossed paths, we’ve become a group of sexy, highly-skilled and adrenaline infused rock & roll ninjas who can scream, thrash and ass kick our way into any venue across Canada. We looked for you from here to Montreal on our recent cross-Canada tour, and we’ve played every major venue and some pretty awesome festivals along the way, like the Nearly Famous Music Festival and the Downtown Eastside Youth Festival, all in an effort to track you down. Inside every disc of the self-titled EP we released last summer is a secret frequency that helps us to gather information about your whereabouts, and now that we are on the brink of releasing a full length album, we’ll know everything we need to so that we can take you down.

You know that we are THE deadliest punk-rock band from the West Coast, and we’ve been feeding off a steady diet of bands like the Misfits, L7, Hole, the Distillers and Iggy and the Stooges to get in shape for the final showdown. Mar’s become a master in the art of the Gibson, Mykel can slay a room full of women with one look, and we’ve got Pynner training day and night on the drums until his fingers bleed. And as for me, Dusty, code name the Girl Icarus, well, I’ve been slithering and stalking around the dirtiest dive bars, in and out of bottles of whiskey and pints of beer, learning about all your weaknesses, your secret desires, and when you hear me scream, you’ll fall to your knees.

It’s time to die, Matilda. Considered yourself warned.

Sincerely,
Dusty, Mar, Mykel, Pynner
We are Kill Matilda.

In 2006 Dusty answered an ad in the Georgia straight looking for women to join a ‘cyber punk’ group. Though the group never amounted to a full-blown performing band, Dusty and Mar met each other and later went on to meet their first bass player and drummer and started the then-all-female Kill Matilda in Vancouver, BC, in late 2007. After a few lineup changes, Kill Matilda started gigging regularly in 2008 and went on to play several shows and festivals in and around Vancouver before releasing their first EP in July of 2009, followed by a Western Canadian tour in August 2009. They filmed and released their first music video for the track ‘She’s a Killer’ that winter. In 2010 Kill Matilda has filmed and released a 2nd music video for the track ‘Fault Lines’, toured across Canada to their new home in Montreal, QC, said goodbye to much-loved drummer Tacos and hello to newest addition Pynner. They are currently writing material for a new album and building their fanbase in the East.

Kill Matilda is proud of their DIY ethic in all their achievements. With only the very occasional exception, all their music, merch, photos, videos, websites, as well as their eponymous first album have been produced by the members of Kill Matilda and their friends and supporters. (via killmatilda.com)

How do you think being a rock band in Canada is different from being in the US?

It’s definitely a horse of a different color. For one thing, we just dont have the kind of population to support the various genres of music, so I think that Canadian artists have to work longer and struggle harder to garner the kind of large-scale support they need, at least within Canada, to begin making a name for themselves. Also we have a very sparse geography, so if you’re a band in the west coast, you have to travel very far and for long hours just to get from one town to the next on tour. If you’re in Ontario or Quebec it’s different, but for many small, independent bands east of Winnipeg, touring is a dream they can’t even start thinking about because it’s so cost-prohibitive, and because of the smaller population, it can be harder to play to a big crowd when you’re an unknown band on your first tour.

The other greatest difference is that Canada does support artists and musicians more through grant programs, but these are also quite complex. They vary from province to province; some provinces have a lot of arts support, but for example, BC doesnt. And BC artists arguably need funding the most because they are the furthest away from the political centre of Canada (Ontario), where 2/3rd of the Canadian population lives. There are also federal and private grant and funding programs to make up for the fact that Canada doesn’t have the same kind of geography and population as the US, but again, this requires being well organized, knowing what to apply for and when, so it’s a mixed blessing for many young, beginning musicians.

What inspired the name of your EP “Geisha With A Switchblade”?

Geisha With A Switchblade is a song about vigilante justice. In Vancouver, many Aboriginal sex trade workers were going missing over a span of 20 years (more than 500 women) and a few years ago it turned out they were being murdered by a man now called Canada’s worst serial killer. The police even had leads for him but because of the profiles of these women who went missing, they didn’t do much about it. This man was convicted of murdering more than 20 women, who he cut up and fed to the pigs on his pig farm. The song Geisha With A Switchblade posits the idea of a prostitute getting her own kind of revenge on Robert Pickton. The “geisha” just comes from the fact that at the time Dusty was taking a course on Geisha culture as part of her university degree & exploring the nature of Geisha work and how it intersects, or doesn’t, with prostitution in Japanese society. The perception of being a prostitute, or sex trade worker, was ultimately one of the deciding factors that allowed so many women to go missing, so how a woman who uses her body or her sexuality in a work setting is perceived is important to the topic. So the lyrics state “I might not be Japanese/but I’ll be your Geisha on my knees”.

Who are your musical influences?

Definitely a lot of female fronted bands like Hole, L7, the Distillers, Bif Naked, Wanda Jackson, as well as many industrial and punk bands like NIN & the Misfits, and Dusty credits her vocal stylings to a mixture of Courtney Love, Iggy Pop and Danzig.

Do you have something special that you do before going on stage?

As an independent band we do all our own stuff, so our pre-show warm up usually includes setting up the merch table, hauling our own gear and getting dressed in a bathroom stall in the bar.

Who would you like to tour with?

It would be a dream for us to open for the Misfits, Marilyn Manson, Danzig, or Spinnerette. We have been fortunate enough to play with Econoline Crush (Canadian hard-rock/industrial/radio rock band from the 90’s) and we will be sharing the stage with Die Mannequin this fall.

Do you find it difficult to be a female-fronted band in a male dominated industry?

Yes and no. It definitely provides an edge to help us stand out against the multitude of bands vying for media attention in Canada, but we also notice that despite the great amount of Canadian female talent, commercial rock radio almost never gives any attention to these bands. We have a kind of radio competition that happens in various Canadian cities that gives indie bands the chance to be on a commercial station and we notice that the female fronted bands almost never make the top 20. So it’s good and it’s bad. It can also be challenging as a frontwoman because you have to walk a fine line between being sexually empowered (rock and roll is all about sex; the word even originated from black 1950’s slang for “doin’ it”), without being self-exploitative or selling yourself as something to be objectified. It can be a challenge and some female fans have even called us on it for going too far at times, so it’s a balancing act. You always get the drunk male fans (and sometimes other band members) who push the envelope and are a little TOO interested in you, but for the most part if you respect yourself and demand respect you can toe that line.

What is the inspiration for your video “Fault Lines”?

The video for Fault Lines was the brainchild of Mykel Exner, our bassist, and our good friend and director Nathan Skillen. Nathan did camera work on our first music video for “She’s A Killer” and we really wanted to get him more involved. Nathan and Mykel worked together to come up with the concept of the video. We really wanted something simple and performance-based, with just the right amount of dramatization. The end product was a perfect match of amazingly well thought out shots, great lighting and great performance captured on film. This video has been shown at various short and indie film festivals in Canada.

What do you think it takes to break through in America with so many rock bands trying to make it?

Work work work and more hard work, mixed with doing what we do best; establishing a great rapport and relationship with our fans that keeps ’em coming back for more.

Will you be touring the US more?

Yes! As soon as we can – look for us in 2012.

Do you plan to release a full length album soon?

Yes! Look for our album to be on iTunes and for sale on our website in September of 2011.

Your songs & videos are horror based. What is your favorite horror movie?

Real life.

Pushing “sex” is easy when being a mainly female band. Respect for NOT doing it, but why not take the “easy way” to stardom?

We’re not interested in sucking that many cocks.

What is your love of zombies based on?

We have a deep-seated hatred of zombies; make no mistake. Zombies are the greatest plague facing the international community and most major cities are underprepared for the kind of pandemic that a wave of zombieism could cause. To this end, we have been specially trained by CSIS to put an end to any zombie outbreaks quickly and efficiently. This fall we will be launching our first all-out cross-Canada zombie attack, protecting the nation from this terrible harbinger of doom.

Do you think the experience of being homeless influenced your music? If so, how? Based on where you are now, do you think it helped or hindered you?

Various members of this band have been homeless in various ways; Pynner is a longterm hobo, having wandered & backpacked all of Japan and Australia for a few years and spending time crossing Europe as well. Dusty & Mykel have been briefly homeless in Montreal (but we slept in the van, so that was kind of our home), and right now we basically live on the road. When we go on tour this fall we are leaving what little stuff we have behind & wont have a home address, and once we get back from tour we’ll be sleeping in the van again until we find jobs and a place. When you don’t have a place to live or access to your possessions or even a private bathroom, it’s challenging, but we’ve experienced homelessness in a way that is intimately related to our music. It didn’t influence our sound; it influenced our resolve to stick to our guns and to know that all the hardships we face are for a greater purpose.

Can you give us three words that describe Kill Matilda?

Sexy, fun, adrenaline.

______________________________________________

Kill Matilda is a Featured Member of DarkMediaCity.  You can also find them at killmatilda.com.

Many thanks to our contributing music interviewers, Annie & Kelly.

Photos courtesy of killmatilda.com.  Promotional photos are under the copyright of Rebbi Anderson.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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