Kids without bikes are a new indie/ska/rock five piece from Melbourne. Starting out as a 3 piece acoustic band in 2009 they have gradually built up their line up and their sound and have just released their debut EP Violent lies and bleeding lips. We caught up with lead guitarist Tom Carroll to ask him some questions.
Where did the name Kids Without Bikes come from?
Basically what happened was that I signed us up for our first ever gig through a club at my uni and we didn’t have a name yet (having formed 4 weeks previously). I called Matt and asked him to come up with a band name RIGHT NOW. He had apparently just sold his bike and so Kids Without Bikes was the coolest sounding thing he said…
How did you form?
Matt and I had played in bands since high school and when we met Carla, a person with actual singing talent we had a few jams but nothing came of it. A few months later we got together and ended up writing The Maelstrom a song from our demo we decided to form a band. After a couple of lineup changes we added Declan and Joe to the band early 2011 and now we’re all really happy with the way it’s turned out…
You started off as an acoustic trio, what made you want to change to a louder rock and roll sound?
I guess our sound just naturally evolved that way after we wrote My Eyes Exploded Thanks To My Friends. The stuff we were writing seemed to need more than just acoustic guitars so we got in a rhythm section and it just worked.
You’ve just released your debut EP, what’s it like to have it out?
Awesome. It was really cool
Was it hard to choose what went onto the EP?
Yeah it was quite hard, actually. We had a lot of songs to choose from and trying to get a record that showcased more than just our faster songs while still being exciting was quite difficult. We’re happy with what we chose though.
Where did the title “Violent lies and bleeding lips” come from?
The general theme of a lot of the songs was deception and the consequences of that, hence the “violent lies” part and “bleeding lips” part comes from a lyric in Rose.
There seems to be a mix of hard rocking tracks and softer ballads, was this intentional?
Yeah, as I said we wanted to show that we can do more than just straight rock. It also adds a point of difference to the record that makes it a bit more interesting than keeping it in 5th gear the whole time…
The lyrics are quite sharp and witty, what generally inspires the words to the songs?
Long arguments mainly… But seriously, if a song is good we think it deserves a good story or point to go behind it. Too many artists put out the same old shitty break up song every year, with the same overused lines and we don’t want to do that.
When writing what comes first, words or music?
Almost always music. It’s just how our process has been working.
You’ve entered songs on Triple J’s Unearthed, has this had an impact on your exposure?
Definitely. We’ve been given some community and internet radio airplay and landed some decent gigs. It helped us get some notice. Our current single is up on our account now actually…
You previously released the demo “In Response to Pressure From an Angry Russian” will tracks off this be released in the future?
You’ll have to wait and see! We haven’t forgotten about those songs and we may or may not be working on them…
At a gig last month you told people to “dress hippie” did many people oblige?
Hahaha, that was when we played Rats with Stonefield. The venue made the poster, but there were a lot of hippies at that gig!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Of course. If you don’t love your own music you should be writing different music.
What other music do you listen to?
Personally I’m a big fan of The Living End and Any of Jack White’s projects (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) and also bands like The Strokes, The Kooks, The Arctic Monkeys, The Dirty Pretty Things.
We all have a pretty wide range of tastes across the band though.
Now that the EP is out what is planned next?
Touring, touring, touring… Planning to tour our single The Heist around Victoria before taking the EP national in September. Also keep your eyes open for new releases this year…