Kicking It With The Killbillies
By Charelle Evelyn on June 25 2014
Lance, Kirby and Steve make up country/rock cover band The Killbillies. The Scene PG sat down with bassist/vocalist Steve to talk about where the trio comes from and where they’re going..
Q: How did the Killbillies start? Steve: We started in 2008, but we were a band before that – it was a four piece called 30 odd 6. Every time [the fourth member] took time off we didn’t want to stop playing. The three of us continued playing as The Killbillies when 30 odd 6 was not playing.
Q: Why form a cover band? Steve: We’re all ex-road musicians. We’ve always performed in bars and dances and such – whatever event we get hired for. Playing cover tunes is something that’s continued on from those days, that’s what bar bands typically do, play cover songs. Just because we got old, doesn’t mean we have to stop doing it. We just do it a little less now. And that’s partially by choice, partially because the venue availability has certainly diminished over the years, in this area for sure.
Q: What was it like opening for Dwight Yoakam at CN Centre Last Year? Steve: Being in a cover band, there’s probably a very small percentage of people in that room who know who we are. It’s when you’re half way through the first song you start playing, it’s a realization that comes to you right there: “What’s going to happen when this song is over?” You’re either going to get a cheer, applause or it’s going to be tumbleweeds and crickets. You’re just never sure what’s going to happen. Fortunately for us there was a good response and it continued to be a good response throughout the whole set we did.
Q: What's your goal when you play a gig? Steve: All depends on where you are. If you’re in a bar, your goal is to sell beer – that’s what bar managers like. The goal is to keep people in the room. So staying as high energy as you possibly can, trying to read the crowd, see what they’re in to. We can usually assess if it might be more of a country crowd or vice versa, a rock crowd. We have a big enough repertoire that we can call on either/or. If we’re at a dance, we’re trying to keep the dance floor full. We never usually have any problem with that because of our selection.
Q: What do you do when you get together to rehearse? Steve: We rehearse once a week. Even if we’re playing classics, we’re trying to update the classics, so we’re getting completely stale – finding new songs but still ones we know are going to work. In terms of our rehearsals, I’ve never been in a band that rehearses so little and gets so much accomplished. It’s the most bizarre thing. The Killbillies have been working on some original music too.
Q: How’s that going? Steve: It’s very slow process for us. We’ve all got some pretty good ideas. We’ve got one down and recorded already – when it sees the light of day is unclear. There are a few venues that have already told us we’ll do an original music night and they’d certainly hire us. The way we’re going we’re retiring before we get to that. But we’d certainly like to get a few more done and put it out there for consumption and see what happens with it, if there’s any interest.
Q: What does it sound like? Steve: We’re all rock heads at heart, but we want to tone it down a bit, in a sense… not metal, sort of a more hard-rock approach. One of the songs we’re working on now has a tinge of R&B/blues in it, but it’s still considered a rock song. To book The Killbillies, contact email@example.com and check their Facebook page for updates on shows.
REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.