New talent is always nice to see no matter what field or art you practice within, and James Chapple of Kiss Is Kill is certainly hoping to emerge in the industrial rock and metal genres. Already involved in another band by the name of Triptaka, KIK is his own solo project. And, to find out more about this man and his project, read on below for history and just general opinions Chapple has. He even gave our site a compliment or two. What a doll:

Well, this is your solo project, and as it stands, not a lot of people know about it so far. So, give us a brief introduction on Kiss Is Kill.

James - "The motivation behind this project comes from several different places. First off, I am in another band called Triptaka and as much fun as it is collaborating with other talented musicians the music wasn't being produced at the speed I wanted to move. Secondly, I am fortunate enough to compose music for film/television as a full-time job. As rewarding as it is to have millions of people hear your work every day, at the end of the day I'm writing music for someone else's vision. These two motives were gnawing away at me and in order to scratch my creative itch Kiss Is Kill was born. I also had a lot of things on my mind, things I wanted to say, so this was my way to channel those thoughts and have my voice be heard."

And, you are under the genre of industrial rock which has been saturated with a lot of different bands all looking to put out something new. What do you think makes your sound stand out from the rest?

James - "Much of my music is inspired by industrial rock bands that I've been listening to since I can remember: Ministry, KMFDM, NIN, Cubanate, C-Tec, and the like. Part of me wanted Kiss Is Kill to be an homage to that sound; I didn't want it to necessarily stand out from the rest! Just as I've heard a hundred Rolling Stones inspired bands over the years, I wanted to carry the torch of that Industrial Rock sound I have grown to love. That being said, I think what ended up happening is that, as my musical background is quite varied due to my career as a composer, I ended up seasoning the music in a different way than many other bands in the genre. I don't like comparing my music to other artists but if I had to I would say what makes my tracks stand out is: a fairly high abundance of ear candy, the use of world percussion instruments, and several tracks that incorporate soundscapes in a similar fashion to what I would create for a film soundtrack. I'm also influenced by artists that aren't Industrial in nature. There are some song structures or beats that wouldn't be out of place in a Beach Boys, or Tool, or Justin Timberlake song. In the end, I think I'm producing something that falls within the same musical territory as a lot of industrial bands, but with my own personal musical experience breathed into it."

And, tell me about the name of the band. Where did that spring up from and does it really have any meaning standing behind it?

James - "The name is a tribute to the Canadian zombie film 'Pontypool' (if you haven't seen it, go watch it - it's fantastic!). The plot (spoilers!) revolves around the idea that the zombie virus is transmitted via the English language: words themselves become infected. In order for the characters to survive they are forced to change the meaning of words. I have always found the idea of changing the meaning of language fascinating, and indeed, I think this concept is reflected in my music. Each song and/or lyric on the record has multiple meanings and inspirations and I like playing with that idea. Listeners themselves can fashion their own associations into the songs as well, adding a final layer of communication from artist to listener. Recently, I was able to score a film by Bruce McDonald, the director of Pontypool, so this is also a little nod to him and to the Canadian film industry that has helped give me a career."

I know that you just released your first album back in December, but have you been getting any attention as of late from fans or critics, or have things been slowly working out?

James - "So far not much on the review front but the general response from listeners, bloggers and DJ's has been completely positive. I've had a number of on-air interviews with some great folks which has been fun, as well as been involved in a great compilation by Eye See Home Promotions. If your readers are interested, it's a free download: https://eyeseehomepromo.bandcamp.com/releases! These experiences have opened a lot of doors to various podcasts and listeners. Honestly, the response to date has been a relief when you are a creative type like myself who has never fronted a project before!"

And, speaking of which, let's talk about your debut release, "Imposter Syndrome". Tell us what the album was about, or if it had multiple themes backing it.

James - "Well the title is quite telling. From Wikipedia: 'Impostor syndrome[1] is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.' I think as an artist one can be quite sensitive to putting themselves out there, baring their souls if you will, and sharing their personal experience through an artistic medium. I am hard on myself with regard to the craft of music. Oftentimes I have trouble acknowledging my own talents for fear of succumbing to the comfortable nest of the ego - which I have seen many musicians do!! Internally I painted myself as an imposter. In a very therapeutic way this album has helped me break free of that. Perhaps the old adage 'name it to tame it' applies here and I think moving forward I won't be so hard on myself. I also think the name just sounds cool which is always an important factor in my decision making with regards to titling.

Thematically, the songs have a lot to do with raising questions about what I consider to be the important things in life: birth, death, truth, work, change and beliefs. I will say each song has at least two separate meanings, and often a very personal motivation behind it: the hardships of work and creativity, the death of a loved one, the demise of a friendship, the power of belief. In the end I like having lyrical subjects that listeners can relate to because they're able to pick up what I'm laying down. I also like the fact that listeners can interpret the songs however they want, adding yet another layer of meaning to them."

As far as the track list goes, tell me, which song are you most impressed with on the album?

James - "'Impressed' is a difficult word for me because as I mentioned I'm very picky and unforgiving with my own work. It is difficult for me to see the good parts of this album as the flaws are quite glaring to my ears. I'd have to say I'm the happiest with the tracks that took the least amount of work and flowed out of me with the least amount of hesitation. 'Communion' is by far the track that happened the quickest and easiest, and I'm quite satisfied with how it turned out. 'The Shift' is also a fulfilling song for me as it was done a full year or so after the others and represents not only the ongoing development of my production techniques but is also a likely sign of the direction I will be heading on future records. Interestingly the tracks I tend to be the least happy with are the ones people seem to think are the best: 'Moving', 'Revelation' and 'Walls'. Funny how that works and yet another lesson I've learned in the making of this album.

You also had some talent come in on the album with artists from a couple of different bands, including Phil Barry of Cubanate and Be My Enemy. How did you get all these guys to come in and work with you on the album?

James - "I've always very much been inspired by Be My Enemy and Cubanate. Phil's music got me through some hard times over the years. I reached out and asked Phil if he'd be interested in laying down some guitar on my record and being the stand-up guy that he is he agreed. Upon hearing the guitar he laid down I was really inspired and ended up re-structuring the entire song around what he contributed. That is why I enjoy collaborating with other musicians; the end result is almost always better than where you start.

As for Pete Crossman, he and I have been very good friends for almost a decade. His band Victory Pill contributed a remix to the forthcoming Triptaka remix album and we just hit it off as we share many of the same musical influences. He's one of the best electronic musicians I know and I've been fortunate enough to work with him on many projects over the years, notably the soundtrack to the video game 'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance', so it seemed like a no-brainer to ask him to work with me on a track for this record.

Scott Owens and Dave Kelly are also good friends. Scott is an amazing guitarist and Dave not only plays in Triptaka with me but is also a member of the composing team I work with. Both of these guys are not only supportive, they are highly talented individuals and so it made sense to ask them to be involved in my project.

Ultimately as much as I like being a solo act I appreciate collaborating with other people, especially folks whose work and abilities I admire. It was an honor to have these guys on my record and probably the most rewarding aspect of the entire process for me."

Reception is always important for an album, and have you had any response so far on the album? Has anyone really gave it a critical slaughter? Or has it been well received?

James - "Like I said before, the response has been quite positive so far which is both a relief and fuel to continue creating more music. I expect that someone will likely give it a critical slaughter though so far only my wife has done that. I'm joking of course! She has a keen ear for music, and her feedback is incredibly important to me, so I always appreciate her honest reactions. I could also easily give myself a critique without the help of anyone else, so let me beat my detractors to the punch: the vocals need work, there is too much ear candy going on in the songs, and perhaps some of the guitars are too quiet. I'll stop there but the list goes on and on in my head."

What are your plans to promote the album? Aside from online feed, are you going to be playing any live shows to support yourself?

James - "In a perfect world I'd be playing live every week if I could! Unfortunately for the moment Kiss Is Kill will be a studio project only. The truth is that not only is it difficult enough to assemble a band, but this particular style of music often requires a little more stage production, especially the way I would want to present it live. I'm certainly not writing off the possibility of playing live at some point in the future but many steps need to be taken first in order to help facilitate that."

And what are your future plans for Kiss Is Kill looking like so far? Are you going to be working on remix albums, EPs, or are you just going to dive straight into the next full length album?

James - "Funnily enough the answer is yes to all three of the above. My plans may indeed change but at this point I'd like to release some remixes either as free downloads, or if I get enough contributions, packaged as an album. I've also been toying with the idea of releasing a free EP of cover tunes. Just five or six non-industrial songs from artists that inspired me over the years re-imagined in the style of industrial rock. However, the thing I'm most excited about is working on the next full length album. I learned so much during the process of recording Imposter Syndrome so I'm stoked to put some of that knowledge into practice on the next record. I already have all the songs written from a lyrical perspective, which is totally backwards to how I normally write music - usually the backing track comes first, so I'm truly eager to see how the songs will turn out. Of course it took me three years to make Imposter Syndrome so perhaps I'm setting some lofty goals here! I do feel the creative fire burning in my belly like never before. I'm hoping to use that positive energy to propel myself across the finish line sooner."

Is there anything else you would wish to add to the discussion that may not have been covered?

James - "I think these questions are fantastic and you challenged me to reflect on the process of putting the album together. I really enjoyed this interview!"

And, lastly, I wish you luck in the future, and thank you for your time.

James - "Thank you for your time! I really appreciate this opportunity to be part of what you have going on with Brutal Resonance. It's a fantastic site. Thanks again for allowing me to be part of it."
Kiss Is Kill interview
March 7, 2015
Brutal Resonance

Kiss Is Kill

Mar 2015
New talent is always nice to see no matter what field or art you practice within, and James Chapple of Kiss Is Kill is certainly hoping to emerge in the industrial rock and metal genres. Already involved in another band by the name of Triptaka, KIK is his own solo project. And, to find out more about this man and his project, read on below for history and just general opinions Chapple has. He even gave our site a compliment or two. What a doll:

Well, this is your solo project, and as it stands, not a lot of people know about it so far. So, give us a brief introduction on Kiss Is Kill.

James - "The motivation behind this project comes from several different places. First off, I am in another band called Triptaka and as much fun as it is collaborating with other talented musicians the music wasn't being produced at the speed I wanted to move. Secondly, I am fortunate enough to compose music for film/television as a full-time job. As rewarding as it is to have millions of people hear your work every day, at the end of the day I'm writing music for someone else's vision. These two motives were gnawing away at me and in order to scratch my creative itch Kiss Is Kill was born. I also had a lot of things on my mind, things I wanted to say, so this was my way to channel those thoughts and have my voice be heard."

And, you are under the genre of industrial rock which has been saturated with a lot of different bands all looking to put out something new. What do you think makes your sound stand out from the rest?

James - "Much of my music is inspired by industrial rock bands that I've been listening to since I can remember: Ministry, KMFDM, NIN, Cubanate, C-Tec, and the like. Part of me wanted Kiss Is Kill to be an homage to that sound; I didn't want it to necessarily stand out from the rest! Just as I've heard a hundred Rolling Stones inspired bands over the years, I wanted to carry the torch of that Industrial Rock sound I have grown to love. That being said, I think what ended up happening is that, as my musical background is quite varied due to my career as a composer, I ended up seasoning the music in a different way than many other bands in the genre. I don't like comparing my music to other artists but if I had to I would say what makes my tracks stand out is: a fairly high abundance of ear candy, the use of world percussion instruments, and several tracks that incorporate soundscapes in a similar fashion to what I would create for a film soundtrack. I'm also influenced by artists that aren't Industrial in nature. There are some song structures or beats that wouldn't be out of place in a Beach Boys, or Tool, or Justin Timberlake song. In the end, I think I'm producing something that falls within the same musical territory as a lot of industrial bands, but with my own personal musical experience breathed into it."

And, tell me about the name of the band. Where did that spring up from and does it really have any meaning standing behind it?

James - "The name is a tribute to the Canadian zombie film 'Pontypool' (if you haven't seen it, go watch it - it's fantastic!). The plot (spoilers!) revolves around the idea that the zombie virus is transmitted via the English language: words themselves become infected. In order for the characters to survive they are forced to change the meaning of words. I have always found the idea of changing the meaning of language fascinating, and indeed, I think this concept is reflected in my music. Each song and/or lyric on the record has multiple meanings and inspirations and I like playing with that idea. Listeners themselves can fashion their own associations into the songs as well, adding a final layer of communication from artist to listener. Recently, I was able to score a film by Bruce McDonald, the director of Pontypool, so this is also a little nod to him and to the Canadian film industry that has helped give me a career."

I know that you just released your first album back in December, but have you been getting any attention as of late from fans or critics, or have things been slowly working out?

James - "So far not much on the review front but the general response from listeners, bloggers and DJ's has been completely positive. I've had a number of on-air interviews with some great folks which has been fun, as well as been involved in a great compilation by Eye See Home Promotions. If your readers are interested, it's a free download: https://eyeseehomepromo.bandcamp.com/releases! These experiences have opened a lot of doors to various podcasts and listeners. Honestly, the response to date has been a relief when you are a creative type like myself who has never fronted a project before!"

And, speaking of which, let's talk about your debut release, "Imposter Syndrome". Tell us what the album was about, or if it had multiple themes backing it.

James - "Well the title is quite telling. From Wikipedia: 'Impostor syndrome[1] is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.' I think as an artist one can be quite sensitive to putting themselves out there, baring their souls if you will, and sharing their personal experience through an artistic medium. I am hard on myself with regard to the craft of music. Oftentimes I have trouble acknowledging my own talents for fear of succumbing to the comfortable nest of the ego - which I have seen many musicians do!! Internally I painted myself as an imposter. In a very therapeutic way this album has helped me break free of that. Perhaps the old adage 'name it to tame it' applies here and I think moving forward I won't be so hard on myself. I also think the name just sounds cool which is always an important factor in my decision making with regards to titling.

Thematically, the songs have a lot to do with raising questions about what I consider to be the important things in life: birth, death, truth, work, change and beliefs. I will say each song has at least two separate meanings, and often a very personal motivation behind it: the hardships of work and creativity, the death of a loved one, the demise of a friendship, the power of belief. In the end I like having lyrical subjects that listeners can relate to because they're able to pick up what I'm laying down. I also like the fact that listeners can interpret the songs however they want, adding yet another layer of meaning to them."

As far as the track list goes, tell me, which song are you most impressed with on the album?

James - "'Impressed' is a difficult word for me because as I mentioned I'm very picky and unforgiving with my own work. It is difficult for me to see the good parts of this album as the flaws are quite glaring to my ears. I'd have to say I'm the happiest with the tracks that took the least amount of work and flowed out of me with the least amount of hesitation. 'Communion' is by far the track that happened the quickest and easiest, and I'm quite satisfied with how it turned out. 'The Shift' is also a fulfilling song for me as it was done a full year or so after the others and represents not only the ongoing development of my production techniques but is also a likely sign of the direction I will be heading on future records. Interestingly the tracks I tend to be the least happy with are the ones people seem to think are the best: 'Moving', 'Revelation' and 'Walls'. Funny how that works and yet another lesson I've learned in the making of this album.

You also had some talent come in on the album with artists from a couple of different bands, including Phil Barry of Cubanate and Be My Enemy. How did you get all these guys to come in and work with you on the album?

James - "I've always very much been inspired by Be My Enemy and Cubanate. Phil's music got me through some hard times over the years. I reached out and asked Phil if he'd be interested in laying down some guitar on my record and being the stand-up guy that he is he agreed. Upon hearing the guitar he laid down I was really inspired and ended up re-structuring the entire song around what he contributed. That is why I enjoy collaborating with other musicians; the end result is almost always better than where you start.

As for Pete Crossman, he and I have been very good friends for almost a decade. His band Victory Pill contributed a remix to the forthcoming Triptaka remix album and we just hit it off as we share many of the same musical influences. He's one of the best electronic musicians I know and I've been fortunate enough to work with him on many projects over the years, notably the soundtrack to the video game 'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance', so it seemed like a no-brainer to ask him to work with me on a track for this record.

Scott Owens and Dave Kelly are also good friends. Scott is an amazing guitarist and Dave not only plays in Triptaka with me but is also a member of the composing team I work with. Both of these guys are not only supportive, they are highly talented individuals and so it made sense to ask them to be involved in my project.

Ultimately as much as I like being a solo act I appreciate collaborating with other people, especially folks whose work and abilities I admire. It was an honor to have these guys on my record and probably the most rewarding aspect of the entire process for me."

Reception is always important for an album, and have you had any response so far on the album? Has anyone really gave it a critical slaughter? Or has it been well received?

James - "Like I said before, the response has been quite positive so far which is both a relief and fuel to continue creating more music. I expect that someone will likely give it a critical slaughter though so far only my wife has done that. I'm joking of course! She has a keen ear for music, and her feedback is incredibly important to me, so I always appreciate her honest reactions. I could also easily give myself a critique without the help of anyone else, so let me beat my detractors to the punch: the vocals need work, there is too much ear candy going on in the songs, and perhaps some of the guitars are too quiet. I'll stop there but the list goes on and on in my head."

What are your plans to promote the album? Aside from online feed, are you going to be playing any live shows to support yourself?

James - "In a perfect world I'd be playing live every week if I could! Unfortunately for the moment Kiss Is Kill will be a studio project only. The truth is that not only is it difficult enough to assemble a band, but this particular style of music often requires a little more stage production, especially the way I would want to present it live. I'm certainly not writing off the possibility of playing live at some point in the future but many steps need to be taken first in order to help facilitate that."

And what are your future plans for Kiss Is Kill looking like so far? Are you going to be working on remix albums, EPs, or are you just going to dive straight into the next full length album?

James - "Funnily enough the answer is yes to all three of the above. My plans may indeed change but at this point I'd like to release some remixes either as free downloads, or if I get enough contributions, packaged as an album. I've also been toying with the idea of releasing a free EP of cover tunes. Just five or six non-industrial songs from artists that inspired me over the years re-imagined in the style of industrial rock. However, the thing I'm most excited about is working on the next full length album. I learned so much during the process of recording Imposter Syndrome so I'm stoked to put some of that knowledge into practice on the next record. I already have all the songs written from a lyrical perspective, which is totally backwards to how I normally write music - usually the backing track comes first, so I'm truly eager to see how the songs will turn out. Of course it took me three years to make Imposter Syndrome so perhaps I'm setting some lofty goals here! I do feel the creative fire burning in my belly like never before. I'm hoping to use that positive energy to propel myself across the finish line sooner."

Is there anything else you would wish to add to the discussion that may not have been covered?

James - "I think these questions are fantastic and you challenged me to reflect on the process of putting the album together. I really enjoyed this interview!"

And, lastly, I wish you luck in the future, and thank you for your time.

James - "Thank you for your time! I really appreciate this opportunity to be part of what you have going on with Brutal Resonance. It's a fantastic site. Thanks again for allowing me to be part of it."
Mar 07 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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