KINGSWOOD are back, baby! Following on from the release of singles Say You Remember and You Make It So Easy in 2019, the Melbourne four-piece kick off 2020 with the announcement of their long awaited third studio album Juveniles and the latest single, the intoxicating Bittersweet. To top that off Kingswood are going on a massive tour in March through April. Fergus ‘Ferg’ Linacre answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way about the album and tour.
Does the lead up to each new album release get even more exciting?
The anticipation for each release has been a different experience. When the first album was finished we had no idea what to expect, we were naive, I recall equally fearing it we would flop, and that it would win ten Grammy’s. The second, we knew would flip people out, we wanted to flip people out. So we braced for a backlash that never came, our fans embraced how diverse the record was. This time the overwhelming feeling for me is pride. This is our best work. We put the last three years of our lives into it. When we finished I walked out of the studio and wept, not for sadness or joy but pride. And I don’t think anyone’s opinion of the record will change that.
After the success of After Hours, Close To Dawn did you feel more pressure to top that album?
No, I don’t think we felt pressured. I love being in the studio with Al, making music together brings me so much joy and I know he feels the same. We are not scared in this environment, we don’t worry about what people will think, or feel pressure to steer our music in any direction. We just make music that we love. We made two albums worth of music before we started Juveniles, the reasons we kept restarting were not born from fear or pressure but from believing we hadn’t found it yet, the new Kingswood sound, so we kept pushing.
Sonically, do think the Kingswood sound has changed much?
In order to get to Juveniles the Kingswood sound went everywhere, sonically we experimented with many different genres and elements, it would shock you, you’ll hear it someday but you might not know its us. Where we settled was a focus on the voice, lyric and melody, we wrote mostly on an unplugged electric guitar, so the song had to stand up as an a cappella before we started bring in other instruments. It’s easy to start writing with cool sounds, and you might end up with something crazy sounding, but it might not be that great as a song. There are certainly some crazy guitar tones and some drum sounds we bloody loooove, it would be best if you turned it up nice and loud.
Did you have a clear idea about how you wanted the album to sound before recording it?
Absolutely not, well I didn’t anyway. We would get into different worlds, become immersed and go a little mad, then come up for air and think, whoooaa what are we making here. We recorded all over the place and soaked up each environment we fell into, two weeks in London, three weeks in France, Berlin, New York, Nashville, everywhere we went we would record so we had all this music that didn’t fit together. But once we had Say You Remember, we knew we had found the sound that we wanted Juveniles to become.
How was the studio experience?
I remember moments or days of recording in the past where there would be tension, stress, toxic elements to making music. There was none of that in all the time we spent writing and recording this record. I think Al and I ticked over into a new phase of brotherhood, siamesetwinhood, we know each other so well and more importantly we know how to get the best out of each other, when to fire each other up, when to have a quiet chat and reminisce before a vocal take. I know I wouldn’t be half the writer or musician I am without him, it’s a partnership that I hope lasts forever
Did anything go wrong or not to plan?
Anything that you might perceive to go not to plan, shifted the path we were on and lead us to this record that we now hold in our hands. So I’m not sure any of it was wrong. We started again twice. We spent endless hours and days on songs that will never see the light of day. We had our Studio broken into and hard drives and guitars stolen. We suffered personal tragedy, physical injury. It all lead us to where we are now, which is a place of great pride for what we have created.
What inspired the album title?
Alex and I were acting like children, as we often do, our mums call us the terrible two, a play on the terrible two’s, we were at a festival my girlfriend cracked it at us and said something like “you’re a pair of fucking juveniles”. But beyond that the album felt to us like a collection of love stories, drawn from our lives, told in a kind of dreamscape, where each emotion is heightened to its peak, like the overwhelming, uncontrollable, heart pumping moment you first hold the hand of your very first crush. Do you remember that?
What’s your favourite track from the album and why?
Wow ahh, whatever I say now it’ll change tomorrow. Track seven is called Cigarettes in Bed, it’s one that I can’t wait for people to hear, I think we did something special, something that is very hard to do deliberately. It’s the shiver moment, when you feel it run all the way down your spine. I get it when I hear Nessun Dorma, and I get it in this song.
Do you think on this tour you will play the album start to end?
That’s the plan, as long as we can fit it all the fan favs too. We are creating a show that we hope will have everyone feeling like their heart is full, we take a lot of pride in our performances, we really feel like we are right there in the pit with everyone doing it together and we don’t wanna leave anything in the tank.
What’s your essential must pack item to take on the road?
I become very childish on tour, or more childish, maybe I’m just always childish. So I make sure we have UNO, Nintendo switch console set up in the bus and green rooms. Cricket bat, frisbee, all the fun stuff.
Beyond the Australian tour dates what’s plan for Kingswood?
We never stop for long, we will be touring internationally and/or recording. Hey maybe we’ll make a Christmas album just for fun.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Kingswood on the following tour dates, tickets from Live Nation…