Kid, You'll Move Mountains
The prolific Chicago outfit with Milwaukee roots releases its debut record
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Decider: In a recent interview, your singer, Jim Hanke, said the two of you taught him that “you can be serious and passionate about music while still having fun, and that having fun doesn’t mean you have to be kitschy.” What did you learn from him while recording Loomings?
Nate Lanthrum: Well, coming from different bands, I think we’ve learned a lot from each other. [This band] has been a learning experience for everybody.
Andrew Lanthrum: We all come from very different music backgrounds. For example, Corey [Wills, guitar] is really into dance music. Nina [Lanthrum, vocals/piano] listens to a lot classical music, since she’s classically trained. Before, we had songs about airplanes and canoes. I don’t mean to detract from Troubled Hubble, but for this band, I think our sound has gotten a lot more interesting for us.
D: Some other members of the band have less formal training. Was there any trouble communicating musically?
NL: Well, since I play the drums, I just kind of make sounds and point at things. [Laughs.]
AL: Jim and I play purely by ear. Corey has a sort of mixed approach. And Nina is on the other side of the spectrum. So it’s interesting. Jim and I can communicate visually, and Corey will have to translate [the specific chord changes] to Nina. That’s how we play.
D: KYMM has a more open-ended sound. Did that stylistic evolution from Troubled Hubble come about naturally?
NL: I think it was pretty natural. We’ve never made a point about sounding a certain way. But I think that weird, atmospheric stuff is what’s really interesting to me right now.
AL: I’ve always wanted to play music like that. Even in Troubled Hubble, I could never really play that kind of music. This is the closest I’ve been to playing music that I’ve been listening to. I like any kind of music that makes me wonder how they [created their sounds].
D: In forming Troubled Hubble, you wrote six songs in one week. For this band, you recorded your debut over the course of two years. How has the writing process changed?
NL: The writing process is harder now because we’re all trying to balance real life.
AL: For example, recording vocals… We’d have to go in on a work night at 7 o’clock and knock out as many tracks as possible. It’s a much longer process.
NL: For the last Troubled Hubble record, the EP [2005’s Sir Chenjuns], we had a deadline, we had a budget, and a schedule. I actually really liked that, because this just took forever.
AL: We renovated our studio, which took a long time. Basically, I had no idea how to operate recording software or anything when we started recording. It was sort of a learn-as-you-go situation. But recording this way, we were able to experiment more.
D: What made you want to get back into music after Troubled Hubble broke up?
AL: We didn’t play music for a year [after]. Our friend Matt has a band called The Gunshy, and so he called us up and asked us to play with him. And so, after that, we realized that we really enjoyed playing and wanted to do it again.
D: What are your plans for after the CD release show?
NL: I’m gonna go back to work… [and] punch the clock.
Here's a clip of KYMM from a Madison, Wisconsin show: