‘There are many vibes and emotions in our songs, we try to give every song what it deserves’
by Sara Seddon at The Bucket Playlist
Paderborn, Germany-based alt rock band KID DAD, released their EP ‘Bloom’ on 10 November, offering us a series of songs that run the full gamut of emotions, including the single ‘Hello’ about a late-night unanswered phone call.
The band comprises Marius Vieth (vocals/guitar), Michael Reihle (drummer), Joshi Meinert (lead guitar) and Max Zdunek (bass). Vieth formed the band in 2011, although it has undergone several lineup changes since then. He and Reihle met at university in Paderborn. Meinert is the most recent addition, joining in 2019: ‘We thought, “Who is crazy enough to practice with us for two weeks and then go on tour?”,’ Reihle joked. ‘Then we found Joshi. His former band had played with us on our first EP.’ Their name has an interesting provenance: ‘People think it’s “KID DEAD”,’ Vieth said, looking amused. ‘I was with my brother one time in the basement, he liked to paint on his snare drum and he painted this kind of grown-up kid. I was 19, he was 16, we were at an in-between age, and I thought it would be a cool name for a band.’
‘Bloom’ consists of five tracks: two new tracks ‘Boat’ and ‘Hello’ and their previously released singles ‘Wire & Guns’, ‘As Soon As America’ and ‘Apartment’. Reihle describes the sound of the album as ‘alt rock with a bit of Radiohead and Nirvana’: ‘It’s hard for us to define our genre, we don’t try to fit in a specific genre,’ he said. ‘We change our bio every half a year and every time we decide what to write.’ Vieth agrees: ‘The songs we write take us by the hand and make us sound different each time,’ he said. ‘There are many vibes and emotions in our songs, we try to give every song what it deserves. My mum hates it when we’re dynamic (laughs) but we don’t want to bore ourselves! Emotionally, we’re very sensitive and dynamic. We’d be bored very quickly if all the songs sounded the same.’
They had a sizeable pool of songs to choose from for the latest EP, according to Reihle: ‘We wrote 40ish songs and picked the five songs we wanted to record,’ he said. ‘We wanted to create the best versions of those songs that we could.’ Vieth nods: ‘We were in the studio and I thought “These songs have colours”. I don’t know why I felt this, I just did. ‘Apartment’ is a ‘yellow’ song for me, that will never change for me. I can give a colour to every song. That’s the idea behind ‘Bloom’: The songs want to be found, that’s what makes it so colourful.’
However, that’s not to say that every song is upbeat. Lyrically, ‘Boat’ is one of their darker songs, kicking off with a melancholic guitar line before building the tempo to a grungier rock song: ‘It’s about insecurities and feeling nothing,’ Vieth said. ‘It’s about being on the ocean, about feeling hopeless. You know when you can move but you don’t want to move? It’s kind of the opposite of ‘Wire & Guns’, which is about moving all the time to express your feelings.’ I ask if he’d prescribe a dark colour to ‘Boat’: ‘It doesn’t have to have a dark colour,’ he said. ‘There’s a certain beauty in darkness and loneliness. Not in a sad boi way (laughs), though. If you think about a time when you felt sad and hopeless, the flashback can give you a warm feeling, it’s the beauty of melancholy. ‘Boat’ is very organic, it’s not as synthy as ‘Wire & Guns’.’ Reihle joins in: ‘It has a heavy feeling to it.’ Vieth nods: ‘It’s a bit grungy, the verse is more Radioheady and the chorus is Nirvanaesque.’
As the track goes: ‘I am feeling mediocre, got nothing to talk about. This is like a rollercoaster stuck at its lowest point.’
‘I think it’s the most intense song because you can relate to it the most’
It has a very different vibe to ‘Hello’, which is an altogether quieter song, and which was released as a single last week(12 November). ‘It’s about a phone call at night, an un-answered call, a monologue over the beep coming from the other end, it has an 80’s, synthy vibe to it,’ Vieth said. ‘I think it’s the most intense song because you can relate to it the most.’ Reihle agrees: ‘It’s something you wouldn’t expect from KID DAD, which makes it the perfect last song on the EP. It shows another side to us. You know, compared to the other story lines we write and sing, a simple phone call is the most relatable situation, I guess. Many of us feel lost sometimes and try to drown this feeling in our phones in many different ways. What makes it intense for me are the lyrics. It‘s not a brutal line with hard words. I would compare the hook line “maybe I have lost control” to Bob Dylan‘s ‘Don‘t think twice, it‘s alright” – it hurts, because it‘s so subtle, so realistic, so human.’
As the song kicks off: ‘Hello, are you there? I’m feeling sorta bad. Hell is everywhere, would you mind to call me back?’
‘As Soon As America’, which they released as a single in September, is an indictment of everything that is wrong with America: ‘It’s a poppish song,’ Reihle said. ‘Originally, it had a big, loud chorus but it developed into something else in the studio. Marius and I started to layer vocals, we were like “That sounds really cool, let’s try to make the chorus as big as possible just with the vocals”. Joshi said it was great and said we should do it full-on. It’s a carrot song – it starts small at one end and gets bigger and bigger!,’ he laughed. Vieth interjects: ‘I was a songwriter who tried to avoid political topics for a long time,’ he said. ‘I thought we should focus on our minds and emotions but we all grow up and become more political and we live in a very political time. I’m a postman, which is a great job for listening to music. I wanted a song that tells this generation that they’re going the right way and I thought about what has hurt me politically, like the school shootings, racism and that it’s too easy to get guns in America. I wanted to shout it in your face. So, when I was working, I shouted the ideas for the song into someone’s garden (laughs) and when I came home, I didn’t eat, I sang it straight into the microphone and laid the chords under it. It was beautifully heartbreaking.’
It’s definitely one of the hardest hitting songs on the EP, as evidenced by the lyrics: ‘And I don’t want to be dead as soon as America but I really want to see this to the end. No, I don’t want to be loved and left like America but I really want to feel alive again.’
Vieth describes it as being about ‘the equal world we all dream about’: ‘It’s a wake up call song. America sometimes pretends to be the perfect place and there are some great things about it but it’s not perfect. I was inspired by ‘People’ by The 1975, he shouts all the time in it but I love being shouted at by him (laughs).’ They also incorporated a drum machine for the first time. ‘It sounds a bit rough,’ Reihle said. ‘I still play on it, I play the acoustic drum for the second chorus, it has a punchy feel to it. We added even more drums in the bridge and the C part. It feels great and cool.’ he said, looking delighted.
‘I could have been in a Green Day cover band!’
They all grew up with MTV and music-based television being on all the time, according to Reihle: ‘I loved watching the Top 100 when I was 15-16,’ he said. ‘We all have a passion for music videos.’ Vieth agrees: ‘I grew up with Billie Joe Armstrong from 13-16,’ he said. ‘I love Green Day, they were my main influence, I could have been in a Green Day cover band! I found my own way to express art and my feelings. Going to uni, I left my punk music consumption a bit behind and grew into Radiohead and people like Dominic Fike (a Florida singer-songwriter), Bon Iver and Bob Dylan. I went through an Eminem and Oasis phase, it was a giant melting pot. I had a a grungy rock phase in 2016 (laughs) and wanted to sound like that for a few weeks and then I gave up!’
Fascinatingly, they have an interesting rule about gigs: ‘We always say we won’t all got to the same concert,’ Reihle said. ‘We don’t want to contaminate our taste. It’s cool that everyone brings their different influences to the band, we want it to stay like that. I was a Green Day fan growing up as well. Max, he was an all-in Blink-182 fan (laughs). I still love Linkin Park but I was very interested in music in general. I started checking out every genre, spreading my interests as far as I could. Billie Eilish was a big one for me and a bit of K pop. That’s why I’m still here, checking out new releases every week.’
Paderborn’s music scene is growing, although metal and hip hop tend to dominate, they say. If he could hear one of their songs on any TV show, Vieth would like to hear ‘Apartment’ on a sitcom like Friends or Seinfeld. I ask him if that’s because both shows are so firmly centered around people’s apartments. ‘When I wrote it, I thought it could be an intro to a soap because of the colour and vibe of the song structure,’ he said. ‘The chorus sounds like it could be the outro to shows like that.’ Reihle enthuses about Melbourne singer, Emma Russack, whose song ‘All My Dreaming’ was plucked from obscurity when it was featured on The Walking Dead. ‘It’s so great when they pick a small artist and use their song on a show like that,’ he said. ‘I think it only had around 1,000 streams before, now it has more than 800,000. I’d love to hear our song ‘As Soon As America’ on a post-apocalyptic show, something like Dark (a brilliant Netflix sci-fi show), maybe for the end of the season. That’d be awesome!’
This story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on November 19th.