Kid Kay Ferris spin those wheels, even on their days off
Thu 27th Feb, 2003 Featuresin
The 1980s and early ‘90s often have many revivals. Some good, some bad. Yet one duo alone have been able to hold on to that era and bring it into the 21st Century without a hitch. From the most underground of warehouse parties, to the extremities of outdoor doofs, Kid Kay Ferris have stood in their own right. Showing us that the past 20 years are not dead, yet still alive in us all. We just have to awaken to that old school flair that burns inside us all.
First of all, how did you guys meet?
Years ago, we both were in the short lived all-Australian MC Hammer fan club, held at the local PCYC basketball court. We both sucked at basketball, but we were ace at bustin’ rhymes on the sidelines:
with Larry Bird,
shootin’ baskets like you ain’t never heard!
wiv Magic Johnson slammin’ da hoops,
all the girls say “alley oop!”
Where did you name Kid Kay Ferris come from. What were you guys known as before?
Our name comes from Ya Kid K (“yo dj, spin that wheel”) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. We the love the 80s and the early 90s. The fashion, the music, the American teen culture, the amazing cartoons (Cities of Gold, Transformers, etc.). Before KKF we were solo projects Arkee Opterix and Spanglebug, pluggin away in the Brissy underground.
What is KKF’s fascination with all things 80’s and early 90’s?What is your opinion on NKOTB and Degrassi? Would you say that they have an influence over your music and dress sense?
The eighties and early nineties were times of colour and movement, love and obsession, and great music that was mostly unreliant on violence, aggression or prostitution.
Notable moments include Corona – Rhythm of the Night (we once got dirty looks from a dancefloor of psy-trance kids for playing this one), and Step by Step by New Kids (we have done a Nu-Skool remix of this using the acapella at the start). The eighties revival is sometimes great and sometimes lame: I guess our philosophy maintains that the era has more to offer us today than what we’ve already explored.
We’ve been finding, here and there, some of the incidental music from the Mysterious Cities of Gold cartoon series (ABC TV afternoons in the late eighties) and the themes and sound effects are fantastic! Music filled with plot and drama – a lot like so much of the good dance music you hear today.
Your unique sound has been causing a big stir of late, to the point where you have received some notice from Aussie labels. How do you feel? What do you attribute to that?
It feels wicked to be recognised for what you do. As for success, that’s simple. If it works, we use it, whether people think it’s cool or not. At one stage people were bagging us for being too 80s, and now clubbing chicks are walking around with chunky belts and earrings and we’re getting a pat on the back and people are saying “you don’t sound so 80s anymore”. We just push our influences right through our sound, from 80s pop to 90s grunge, to current dance, and so the music that comes out at the end is suitably eclectic.
Where else do you guys draw your inspiration from.
From the culture we consumed as kids, from the wicked tunes played at wicked parties by wicked DJs, and from the other artists around us who do amazing things all time.
You had a very successful local launch of your CD “Aumatic” last year. Is there plans for another release any time soon?
The first album really put us on the map in Brisbane. Suddenly we were getting bigger shows, and women were flocking (no, that is a lie). Our second album “Colour Me Badd” is coming out in June, and we plan to tour Sydney & Byron with it too. It’ll be electro, breaks and techno, as well as some slower stuff, and some retro stuff. It’ll also have a hint of rave. Again, we just wanna use musical elements that work, regardless of people’s values. I know rave is a dirty word right now, along with trance (it has to be subtle or “progressive” or funky, it can’t just have a big awesome synth line that tears your head off). Build ups and hoovers and chunky, melodic bass work so fucking well on the dancefloor – I’m from BrisVegas the Nu-NRG capital, so I sould know! We both just wanna write satisfying music, whether it’s cool or not.
How is your playing schedule at the moment? Is it pretty full on or are you taking a break for a while in order to accomplish other projects? I have noticed that you will be playing in Sydney very shortly, how is that shaping?
We took a three week break after we finished our summer season of gigs, and put our studio back together in my bedroom to work on new tunes for the album. Usually, there are wires and boxes all over the place, and my housemates trip over them, spill curry sauce over keyboards, find AC adaptors in their laundry baskets etc. We’re sort of on this endless half-tour of the eastern seaboard and it gets disorganised sometimes.
It is known that KKF are quite passionate about Brisbane and its culture. Do you think that you guys would ever consider moving interstate like a lot of others or stay put in Vegas?
We both love the places we grew up in, and we both love Brisbane dancefloors. We also want to spend our lives doing this, and that involves touring as far and wide as possible. We want to take our sound overseas, and we want to see places and meet people while we’re young as well. Growing up today is fantastic, we’re kids who want to break out just like anyone else, and here will always be home.
Where can we find KKF next?
We suggest you visit the Kid Kay Ferris website for the full rundown, but briefly:
01 March, Moon Bar (Brisbane)
08 March, Punk Funk (Byron)
13 March, C-Moog (Byron)
15 March, .Lucid 5 (Sydney)
We have more Byron shows in April, and Moon Bar in Brisbane is giving us a very good run at the moment.