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INTERVIEW: KEMME

Hi KEMME, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Seasonal depression is alive and well, but I’m keeping very busy.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Proof”?

Yeah, it’s my first single (ever) off my EP, “My First Great Movie.” For this song, I wanted to turn a scary film into music, putting the viewer (or in this case, listener) into the position of the victim protagonist, making them feel like their life was actually threatened by this femme fatale character.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There was no particular event that inspired me to write this song so much as a few years of my life inspired me to write the EP. It’s a reflection on the chaos of being a woman falling in and out of love and all these different roles I felt doomed to portray: all of them relatively unflattering.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yeah, “My First Great Movie” will have a short musical film that accompanies it. We shot the video(s) last June at the Salton Sea.  It’s too early to give anything away, but it’s a total disorienting mindfuck: blending animation styles, fantasy and reality, past and present, and so on. A complete embodiment of the music. I’m really excited about it.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing wise, I approached the tracks off this EP in the mindset of these hyperbolic characters who narrated them. For “Poof,” that was a Lilith, siren-esque villain. She’s the kind of lady who already speaks in metaphor and has a lot to say, so writing the lyrics was a breeze. I also consulted previous journal entries and doodles I had made along with texts I had sent and received to make it as authentic as possible.

I loved collaborating with my producer, Alex Fischel, on this. Putting together different animal noises and doing some bizarre experimenting by recording different tones from found objects helped make the song feel super disorienting. I also was fortunate enough to record my vocals in my uncle’s (Tom Petty) beautiful in-home studio. This was a rare case in the Kemme history books where everything just fell into place.

What role does LA play in your writing?

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived here for so long, but so far, it hasn’t played any role in my writing. Usually, the things I write, even when they’re based off real experiences, are so far detached from myself physically, that to me, they exist in a fantasy world. I do really love location-driven music that embodies a place I can physically empathize with, but for whatever reason, the physical world that my music inhabits is a vacuum.

How has your upbringing influence your music?

Uhhhh, I’d need a few therapy sessions and a joint to accurately answer that one.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are scoring a film rather than when you are writing in your own?

While I don’t have too much experience scoring (my vocation lies more in music supervision in terms of bringing music into film), I’d honestly say I approach it almost exactly the same (at least in relation to how I wrote the tracks in “My First Great Movie”).  Each song is supposed to feel simultaneously like its own film as it’s also supposed to feel like a particular stage in a story (exposition, rising action, etc.). I intentionally approached each track in this EP like I’d approach writing a score: I wanted to sonically embody the mood and intention of the subject to really transport that experience to the listener.

How’s your new EP coming along?

It’s coming along well! I’m not going to lie and ignore the fact that I’ve missed my deadline by over a year, but I’m coming at this all solo and am meticulous to a fault, so boohoo. But I’m currently in the process of recording my vocals and wrapping up production. My 2nd single off the EP will come out early April!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

If everything goes according to plan, the EP will drop early June and the visuals will drop shortly after. And it’s called, “My First Great Movie!” I could NOT have plugged that any more.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m down! If anyone wants to write me a fat check to cover my travel expenses, email me! In a dream world I’d tour performing 25% original work, 75% pop-punk covers.

What else is happening next in KEMME’s world?

So much shit is going to come out in the next few months from music to the videos to merch (and repeat). That’s what I’m keeping busy with. After that, my next big move will be getting a dog. (RIP Pepper)

Listen to “Poof” via Spotify here.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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