Kings Kaleidoscope: friends making music

I’m sitting in a room at Westside Church in Vancouver, waiting to interview Kings Kaleidoscope. I can hear their sound check upstairs. They’re headlining a show in about four hours, and a local band called The Wind & The Waves is opening. 

All of a sudden the muffled music stops, and ten minutes later, the nine members of Kings Kaleidoscope burst into the room. They’re talking and laughing and we’re introduced after a bit of chaos. I start associating names with articles of clothing so I can keep track of who’s saying what, because there are a lot of them. 

What are you guys excited right about right now?

Andrew (drums): I’m just amped to be together as a band right now. I feel like everyone in the band has this unity that I’ve felt in waves before, but now I feel it all the time.

What has brought that about?

Chad (lead singer and guitarist): The new record…

Andrew: Yeah, the new material we’ve been working on has been so jamming. It’s really exciting for everyone here.

Lindsay (cello and vocals): I think we’ve really had a lot of pent up ideas.

So you’re working on a new record — didn’t you just release an EP?

Chad: Yeah. We recorded all of Live in Colour in one night. We got to the studio around 4:30 p.m. and finished at about 1 a.m. I remember getting a cheeseburger from Dick’s Drive-in at like 2:33 a.m. after recording. It was the best thing I ever tasted.

Was that planned or was it more a recording of song ideas that developed into a record? 

Chad: We were working on a record while I was on staff at Mars Hill Church, and when I left staff, we basically had to start recording again. But we had all these songs saved up for about eight months. So we just thought, why don’t we just play them live and share the videos on YouTube just for fun? Then the songs turned out really sweet so we decided to release them as an EP for people to download and look forward to studio versions we’ll be releasing later.

That seems to fit in with the ethos of your band — a collective working together and sharing different versions of the same song.

Chad: I don’t like the word collective. I just think it’s a word Christians use right now. I think we’re a freaking band. I’ve been playing music with some of these people since high school. That’s what I think is exciting about it — so many people focused on the same thing. 

That really comes across in the music you’re playing. Do you ever feel like you have to commit to one style of music, though?

Chad: I think it’s about writing and recording whatever makes us freak out. If we freak out, then we know somebody else is going to freak out.

Zawadi (keys, flute, strings): The added benefit is that we’re such a big band. It gives us the capability to do so many different things. 

John (drums): A three -piece band can pull off a couple of things. But with a nine-piece we can pull off way more.

How has the way people interact with media — anything from Twitter, to Facebook, to sites like Bandcamp — changed the way it means to be a band?

Chad: We don’t know yet. We’re just ready to find out. For all intents and purposes we’re a brand new band. It’s a big experiment and there are many ways to be successful these days. We’re starting by defining what it even means to be successful. Or what our purpose is.

Are you able to describe what your purpose is?

John: I feel like so much of this is about being friends and making music.

Chad: I agree. There are all kinds of theologically accurate things to say, but the biggest thing that resonates in my heart is that I’m a son of God and I’m just making paintings and drawing for him. And he’s excited about it. And that’s what so exciting about being in this place we’re in.

So what’s next for Kings Kaleidoscope?

Chad: The new record is coming out in October and we’re planning on going on tour after that. Then we’ll see. Like I said, we’re still figuring it out.

I leave feeling inspired. Not only does this band write great music and put everything they have into their live show, they’re good people making great paintings. And I’m looking forward to the release of their next record.


Photos by Rob Trendiak