The Captain & Tennille. Ashford & Simpson. Air Supply. And, no Andrew Ridgely, I didn't forget to mention Wham. Throughout music history, there have been many duos who have broken out larger than your next door neighbor's prepubescent kid. The Kickdrums and The Last Royals may very well be the next pairs to pop. Both acts came on "A-Sides" in New York recently, performed a track off their respective new and upcoming albums, and discussed it and more.
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There are many differences between fan-boy icon George Lucas and emerging hip pop act The Kickdrums. For starters, Lucas probably can't make fresh beats while The Kickdrums likely are unable to decipher Wookieespeak. One major difference that comes into play -- if for no other reason than to further this already far-fetched opening paragraph -- is that unlike the Star Wars creator, the Kickdrums don't mess with their own material. The Cleveland duo of Matt Penttilla and Alex Fitts have made a career, however, of messing around with other musicians' stuff. Successful producers who have remixed tunes for artists including John Legend, 50 Cent, and Kid Cudi, the tag team are busy these days on their own material. Meet Your Ghost was released in June, and the duo are prepping for a tour.
Last week, The Kickdrums performed a song off that record called "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night," and explained its meaning. Naturally, the conversation which took place afterward took us to the Star Wars creator.
The Kickdrums: "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night"
The Kickdrums: Schwarzenegger and "the Force"
The Last Royals:
The Last Royals' singer/songwriter/producer Eric James doesn't really hate California. He just wrote the song "I Hate California," because at that very moment, he was jaded about the West Coast music scene he had been caught up in. Times have certainly changed for the Flint, MI native since he created the duo The Last Royals in Brooklyn, NY a year-and-a-half ago with Texan drummer Mason Ingram. Since the release of their debut self-titled EP last winter, the pair have been on and off of the road, and in and out of the studio as they put the finishing touches on their debut full-length album. Even without a full CD to their credit, the duo have already had a hit single. "Crystal Vases" has been played on alternative stations, notably SiriusXM's Alt-Nation, all summer long. As Adam Sandler might say, "not too shabby."
The Last Royals: "I Hate California":
About "A-Sides with Jon Chattman"
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.