Kisschasy: (Dis)united Paper People – Part 2
In case you missed it, read part 1 of our chat with Darren and Joel over here.
Amongst the infectious riffs and headbang-worthy hooks, most of the praise piled on Kisschasy’s debut LP United Paper People was in aim at the often heavy-hitting, though sometimes lighthearted lyrics that frontman Darren Cordeux penned entirely himself. “I like to convey something that I guess is universal in a way, but with a slight twist to it,” he says of his writing style.
“The song that everyone has been coming back to on this record lyrically is ‘Black Dress’, and that song could be taken any number of ways. It could be the loss of a relationship that you’re mourning, or somebody that has left your life for good. It’s dressed up in this morbid, morose kind of way that, at the time, I didn’t think had really been done before. I’ve always wanted to make something that was going to keep me interested, being a fan of music first and foremost. The lyrics that I’ve always been drawn to are lyrics that keep you interested and convey that simple, universal message, that’s interesting at the same time.”
United Paper People delivered three singles on top of the chart-destroying “Do Do’s And Whoa-Oh’s” – “Face Without A Name”, “This Bed” and “The Shake”. With a story to back it, Cordeux explains that the lattermost is his favourite video to spawn from the record.
“We were in this house on a sweltering hot day in Queensland, and we were all getting bitten by these crazy fucking ants, these angry ants that were in the yard,” he laughs. “There’s this scene at the end where I’m lying on the driveway, and it was so hard to look into the camera and not weep, because I was being eaten alive by these crazy ants.”
As the reception to their tour announcement proves, United Paper People is as solid now as it was 10 years ago. The melodies are still strong, the riffs are still powerful, and when played live, the songs still brew the same inconsequential energy and deafening cheers. “We made a conscious effort to make the songs as timeless as possible and just focus on good songwriting, as opposed to fitting into any particular scene or genre,” says Cordeux.
“That was one thing we had the foresight to do back then, and I think that’s the reason why now, five years after our last record, we can still play shows that tend to sell out every time we do one. That’s something that I’m extremely proud of, and I think it all comes down to the songs themselves, not because we were part of any particular movement.”
Following United Paper People, Kisschasy released two equally steadfast masterpieces: 2007’s Hymns For The Non-Believer, and 2009’s (criminally underrated) Seizures. One of the biggest questions fans have at this point – this writer included – is whether or not the quartet had any plans to release a fourth album between 2009 and now.
“Yeah, we’ve had songs floating around, but it’s kind of been like, ‘Eh, they’re good, but is it us, and is it as good as what we’ve done?’ and the conclusion was… No. It wasn’t. It wasn’t as good as what we’ve done, and it didn’t feel like us,” Cordeux divulges. “I guess that’s what made us come to this conclusion that, well, we’ve got three records that we’re proud of, and time has shown that people do still care about those songs and the band. Why tarnish that legacy with songs that aren’t up to par with what we were doing?”
Maybe that’s not the answer people were hoping for – aren’t a handful of ‘alright’ songs better than none at all? Possibly, but for the sake of legacy, Kisschasy are taking the right approach. It raises the further question of why the band didn’t close up shop after Seizures, but as Cordeux explains, the decision wasn’t as easy to make as it may seem.
“Every time we’d agree to another handful of shows after Seizures, we’d be like, ‘Okay, what are we going to do? Are we going to do another record, are we going to call it?’” he says. “And the reason why we waited so long was because there was that glimmer of hope that maybe another record would come along, but time has shown us that, alright, we had something special, but let’s not milk that. Let’s go out with a bang.”
The ‘bang’ he’s talking about is the Farewell United Paper People tour, a celebration of the band’s beginnings, in the form of an end. The concept is fitting, and Cordeux is dead certain it’ll pay off.
“The one really bittersweet thing about calling it now is that we’re actually playing the best shows that we’ve ever played,” he says. “We’ve been playing together for so long, we speak this musical language that you can’t just rehearse. What we have is something that comes from playing relentlessly over the years and just understanding each other musically. We’re tighter than we’ve ever been, we’re playing more energetic shows than we ever have – even though we’re getting a bit older – and so I definitely think this is going to be our best tour yet.”
As Kisschasy prepare to take their final steps away from the scene they once ruled, they’re handing over the metaphorical baton to the Tassie boys in Luca Brasi, who Cordeux says have a lot in common with his own band.
“I feel like they’re the next generation of legitimate, good, melodic music,” he enthuses. “It just comes from the same place; I can see the linearity between what we were doing and what these new bands like Luca Brasi are. It’s really encouraging to see this great scene coming up with bands making music that’s lyrically evocative and musically honest.”
And so, this brings Kisschasy to an end once and for all. Or does it? What are the odds that, like so many bands do, they’ll make a sneaky reunion in 2017 for the 10-year anniversary of Hymns For The Non-Believer? “Slim,” says Vanderuit, blunter than our very name. “We don’t want to be one of those bands that says they’re doing a final tour, and then all of a sudden comes back. We don’t want to be milking it,” adds Cordeux.
Kisschasy Tour Dates
Thu Oct 8th – Barwon Club, Geelong (18+)
Fri Oct 9th – Spirit Bar, Traralgon (18+)
Sat Oct 10th – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+) – SOLD OUT
Sun Oct 11th – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Thu Oct 15th – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
Fri Oct 16th – Beachcomber Hotel, Toukley (18+)
Sat Oct 17th – The Metro, Sydney (18+)
Fri Oct 23rd – Pelly Bar, Frankston (18+)
Sat Oct 24th – Pelly Bar, Frankston – SOLD OUT
Fri Oct 30th – The Triffid, Brisbane (18+)
Sat Oct 31st – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta (18+)
Fri Nov 13th – The Capitol, Perth (18+)