Creating music is not an easy endeavor. It is only those artists that are willing to struggle through the failures that success can be found. Our recent find Kip Macklejar has put in the time and is now releasing his second single “I’m Sorry”.
We caught up with the solo genre-bending blues rocker for a look into how he reached where he is now. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, how did Kip Macklejar come to be?
Well I was working at a label for a bit and not really enjoying it, I met a singer trying to get a band going out here, he had a drummer, a bass player, and a rehearsal room and I think the fun of that trumped doing something I wasn’t enjoying. We plugged away at our music, and just as things really got going, we had to pack it in because of something I don’t really want to go in to, but we couldn’t do anything about. It sucked. I tried to keep something rolling but didn’t really work out. I got kind of fed up with the lack of commitment and decided to try to start doing as much as I could on my own, and fell into a groove with doing that, suddenly had a whole bunch of new songs.
How would you describe your sound?
I find it hard to pinpoint exactly, it’s definitely rooted in blues rock, but I’m trying to bring something strange into it melding styles with weird arrangements and lyrics and ways of vocalizing. I was never really a singer in that sense so finding a voice that worked for me and felt natural became a big part of my sound. I don’t want it to fit an exact genre or to try to be too much of anything, just to be raw and entertaining and find ways to fuck around with a guitar still.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you?
Too many to name them all, so many of the blues rockers like Jack White and The Black Keys, Gary Clark Jr, I’m always excited to see what they’ll do next, that old school heavy guitar with the modern production is sounding great nowadays, Jack White’s last album was sonically incredible, the riff from Over and Over sounds like the amp is gonna explode. I love the satirical style of Frank Zappa, and definitely started listening to him more since starting this project as well. I think some of these new young rockers like Des Rocs and Cleopatrick are awesome, doing a lot of self-production and self-releasing, and reaching a huge audience definitely inspired me to do the same.
Compare the dynamics of being part of a band to branching out on your own with this solo project?
With a band I was doing so much of everything anyway from writing to organizing, just to have things often flake or disagreements, with this, it’s just whatever I want which is great there’s a lot of freedom in that sense and it’s nice only having to rely on yourself. It’s definitely lonelier though, I miss the camaraderie of being in a band and having others input rather than just second guessing yourself at times.
How does a song come together for you? What is the songwriting process?
Right now I have so many sketches for ideas in my phone, both lyrics and riffs but in my opinion it’s the stuff you don’t have to write down or record on a voice memo that works the best, the things that just stay in your head, and then I usually spend a while bouncing between guitar bass, a drum loop I’ve just made and vocals, trying to be a one man band until I get in a groove with it, then I program some drums and hand it to a drummer to put the real drums on it. Sometimes I have to shelve it for a bit and come back, because you can get in your own head space a bit when you’re the only one working on a rock song, other times it’s easy as ever. I’m gearing up to a single with these releases that happened suddenly when I was trying to finish a different song, then I think I managed to write and record it in an hour, and I’m working on getting a music video done for it now as well
What do you hope the listener takes away from a Kip Macklejar song?
Just that I’m not trying to take it too seriously and can just be myself with it, as cheesy as that may sound. In the old band it was me and another English guy pushing it and in Copenhagen everybody seems to fetishize the idea of an eccentric English rock band and so we were kind of forced to play up to it, and with the other stuff that happened which led to the band splitting up, everything just got really messed up and depressing. So I’m actually having fun making music again, and I hope that comes through in the songs and the whole project, still with lot’s of attitude but with that happy go lucky style as well.
Share some advice for other artists creating a full rock sound on their own?
Be patient, it’s frustrating trying to be a one-man band on your own sometimes, and don’t be scared to share rough ideas with people you trust. Beyond that, just put something out there, it may never seem like the right time, so fuck it just put it out, people want to hear it. We’re at an age where it’s easier than ever to record and release on your own and put things in front of people, the more electronic musicians have been doing it well, so why can’t rock musicians. I think that old school rock band cliché is holding people back now, and looking back I think it definitely was with my old band.
What does the future hold for Kip Macklejar?
Shows, I miss playing shows and I’m looking forward to doing that again with this project, I’ve gotta get the right backing band for that though, I can’t stand on stage with a kick drum on my back, a guitar and a harmonica and be a one-man band in that sense. Beyond that I’m looking to move to a bigger and better studio to work in and have lots of songs I still want to get finished in there. Doing some fun collaborations with people way outside of the blues rock genre, it’s always fun to try out some other styles and work with other people again. I’ve got a music video coming out sometime in early 2020 as well, an animated one I’ve been working on, and hoping to do another one in the flesh with an old friend over the summer.