INTERVIEW: Lone Kodiak

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

Hey, thanks! All things considered, we’re doing well. We’ve managed to keep rehearsals going by testing nearly every week and keeping our individual social circles small and being able to play together has been an effective remedy for our collective anxiety. 

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

“Bones” was a kind of happy accident. We were actually working on a kind of ambient recorded intro for our live show by taking a previously released song, reversing it and slowing it down by something like 60%. In the process, we heard this melody which turned out to be the main guitar hook you’ll hear in the song. It was one of those songs that just kind of came together without much need for tinkering and arrangement work. It also took the fewest mixing rounds, and was the easiest to perform vocally, which was a nice change since every other song was so challenging. 

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

Like I mentioned, the music just kind of came together on its own without a whole lot of input from us. As far as the lyrics go, I always try to let the music inspire the words, and in this case they’re made up of musings on youth and old age, the many losses we endure in between, capped off by a chorus joyfully longing for the end. 

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

Yes! And it’s got dancers! We haven’t yet settled on a release date for that. 

How was the recording and writing process?

Unlike almost every other track, it was a breeze. Keep in mind that the intro and outro are just tracks we’ve stolen from ourselves and manipulated, leaving maybe two and a half minutes of fresh recording for us to do. I think Josh did the drums in maybe one or two takes; Alden’s bassline is arguably the simplest of the bunch; even the guitar feedback on the verses just sort of performed itself on the first take (credit to Robb Torres for making that happen). 

What role does Los Angeles play in your music vs Portland?

LA allowed us some freedom from our former selves, you know? We love Portland and are proud of our roots, but there are also some lingering traumatic memories there that haunt us. LA has a certain creative energy; so many people in one place with lofty ambitions that would be considered absurd nearly anywhere else, and if you can avoid falling into the trap of chasing approval (there will always be a producer or manager that wants to make you the next big thing by turning you into a B version of whatever is currently popular), it’ll (eventually) reward you for daring to do something different. 

How have bands like The Cure and Deftones influenced your writing?

These have been two of our favorite bands since we were kids. Who can go from sweet to nostalgic to bitter and angry while maintaining a consistent sound the way these guys can? One thing we’re trying to establish with the new material is maybe the most elusive thing for a songwriter, and that’s an unmistakable sound. You only need a few seconds with any given Deftones or Cure song to know exactly who you’re listening to, and that’s down the line from vocals to drums. Robert Smith and Chino Moreno aren’t traditionally great singers, but they have beautiful, unique voices that are arguably among the most emotive, all while being 100% authentic. So we try to draw on their moodiness without directly emulating them, but every artist is a thief to some degree. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes! So we’ve already finished six tracks with producer Kyle Mangels, and are planning to track the back half in January to make it a full record. We’re about halfway through the writing process on that with two in the bag, including one that inexplicably ended up being a werewolf story, and a bunch more ideas being fleshed out. We’re also putting out an alternate version of Make It a Weapon before the year is over. 

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

What is time these days, right? But, you know, we’re hoping to put on a full-blown record release show next, what … late summer? Fall 2021? We’ll release a couple more singles beginning early next year. One thing COVID did was put us in a position where we could focus entirely on online marketing instead of live shows since the latter isn’t currently an option. Playing live takes a lot of time and energy, so now we can allocate those resources to what we’re considering a very long, drawn out marketing campaign for the full album. I wonder how many acts have started promoting their record release a year out …

What else is happening next in Lone Kodiak’s world?

We can hardly talk about anything but the election and have been considering what we’ll do in various outcome scenarios. Hopefully “Bones” coming out 4 days prior will distract us through that last little stretch. Otherwise, we’re hanging with our cats, riding bikes, eating our veggies, and are doing our best to keep the dream alive.

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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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