Featured Festivals Interview

Interview With:: The Karma Killers [Warped Tour Edition]

Interview conducted by Kara Kokinos.

We sat down with Micky James and Mango of Island Record
signees, The Karma Killers, in the historic Jones Beach Amphitheatre to discuss
how their first run on Warped has been going, how their sound has come together
and what the band has planned next! The new boys on the block have been getting
lots of love from the community and are creating quite a buzz with their
imaginative spin on good old fashioned rock’n’roll!

LOL: This is the first run of Warped Tour you guys have
done. Have you attended the festival before as audience members or was this a
crash course in all things Warped?
Mango: Nah.
Micky James: I’ve been before, a couple of times. About nine, ten
years ago.
LOL: What’s it been like, having the perspective shift as a
fan to an artist playing the tour?
MJ: Well my taste in music has definitely changed.
(all laugh)
LOL: Oh, I’m sure ten years will do that.
MJ: It’s still really cool though. This tour is really
legendary. It’s been meeting expectations, but I don’t think I really had any
(concrete ones) going into it. We needed something to do this summer and it
just so happens that this fell into our laps., and it’s been a great
opportunity for the band.

LOL: So how has Warped been treating you so far?
MJ: Warped Tour, is that what we’re on right now? I
thought we were playing here tonight. Nah, Warped Tour has been really rad.
Mango: Nah, it’s been treating us unbelievably, really. We
feel a growth in fanbase every show.

LOL: It seems like that’s a big thing, kind of the purpose
of Warped for newer artists. How have you guys been hustling out there?
MJ: Hustling… (laughs) well we’ve been hanging up
posters every morning.
guys do not kid with their postering abilities. Posters with the cover of their
EP, Strange Therapy, could be found all over the festival grounds.
Mango: I feel like all bands kind of have the same kind of
ethic, getting down and out there really early. Hanging things up, getting on
the lines and interacting with kids, telling that what time they play and the
stage, just being out there all day.
MJ: Showing your face and making yourself present, just
talking to any and everyone.

LOL: You guys just released your debut “Strange Therapy”,
which is a sample of really unique and cohesive tunes –
MJ: Aww thank you. 
LOL: You guys have some punk , rock, and fuzz elements to
Mango: Fuzz? Really?
LOL: Yeah, there’s definitely some fuzzy, beach vibes going
on in a few of those tracks!
MJ: Oh yeah, with the distortion on my voice? For sure.
LOL: Did you guys hit the studio or begin the writing
process with any clear intentions or did things evolve more organically with
MJ: I guess there was no intention in the style that we were
writing in or anything like that. We wrote so much that we kind of fell into
this (sound) and found ourselves as a band and as writers. Once we landed on a
handful of songs that really sculpted our identity that took us where we wanted
to go. Very organic and natural.
Mango: Yeah, it’s very non-contrived for us when we’re
writing. It’s all accidental really. I don’t think we tried doing anything,
it’s just who we are. 

LOL: How’s the crowd’s reaction been to the tunes so far?
MJ: Good, surprisingly! It’s funny, mostly every show
there’s definitely a handful of kids looking at us like they’re trying to
figure out what we are. Compared to the other bands on Warped Tour we’re
definitely a little different. 
LOL: Yeah! I think one of the coolest things about Warped is
that there are genres coming into the spotlight as the tour evolves.
MJ: Yeah, it’s really cool. The diversity of genres is
really cool. There’s DJ artists, punk, metal, and now they’re bringing on some
alternative artists, rock bands like us. It’s definitely cool. We just put on a
fun show everyday, or we try to, and give a lot of energy. (The crowd) feeds
off of that and I feed off that. 

LOL: What was the
video creation process like for ‘Domino’?
MJ: I didn’t really
come up with the concept, we didn’t want to make that much of a concept video.
We weren’t really feeling that. Kind of just let the director take this one and
see where it goes and he did a fantastic job. The outcome was great.
Mango: Conceptually I
don’t think we even know what it’s about but it’s definitely a film aesthetic.
There was a lot of eye candy with the artchade scene. It was fun, definitely
the best video we’ve done so far. 

LOL: So what does the future look like for you guys? Any big
plans on the horizon?
Mango: Hopefully right behind you.
(all laugh)
MJ: I know we’re signed to set up a fall tour, still coming
together. Take a few weeks off right after Warped Tour and then go right back out.
We did just put out a new video! So that’s been the newest thing (check out said video here).

For more info on The Karma Killers: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

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