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Killin’ Candace Vocalist Aaron Lee Interview

22 July 2019 No Comment

Killin Candace HMM CoverHollywood’s rock ‘n’ roll gods of love and hate Killin’ Candace is working on their highly anticipated upcoming album Straight from the Underground.  Here is our interview with  Killin’ Candace vocalist Aaron Lee.

Do you remember your first real concert? What was it and what did you take away from it?

I do remember it…in the early 2000’s there was a great wave of bands breaking through (in all genres) and I caught Alkaline Trio in my hometown (Birmingham, England) while they were touring in support of the From Here to infirmary album and I loved their energy and unapologetic approach to how they carried themselves and their sound. I guess for me what I took away from shows like that is that it was my first, real type of inspiration as far as wanting to play and write music on a serious level. I always connected with the front men from different bands – I naturally gravitated towards being a songwriter and filling that role, so I pursued that around that time in my life and now many years later I find myself attempting to make my mark on the rock and metal world.

What journey did you take to go from fan to musician and ultimately performer?

You know I almost feel like I just jumped in head first at the deep-end. I’m that guy that’s guilty of not doing too much thinking and acting impulsively, then figuring things out as I go! But in my teens I saw bands like AFI, Marilyn Manson, HIM, Murderdolls and that’s where my inspiration started. I loved the energy in so many bands’ sounds and it’s what ultimately inspired me to pursue music. I just knew that’s what I needed to be doing. Being so influenced by these types of artists I invested in guitars, an amp, started penning down ideas and songs (that probably didn’t make a lot of sense at the time lol), but that was my start and I getting off the mark. In some ways I don’t feel like we ever stop being a ‘fan’, but in the sense of progressing from fan to musician to performer I just followed my instincts and intuition on what fulfills me as a person.

You are currently writing and recording your next album Straight from the Underground. Does it feel like you have caught the tiger by the tail and something special is happening?

I really do actually, because I’ve entered this phase where as a person and within myself I feel unstoppable. Now that the ball is really rolling and we are picking up momentum (even for an up-and-coming band) it makes me want to work harder to keep achieving certain goals and milestones. What I can say for sure is that the material I am writing and producing right now is the most mature and best material I’ve written since starting out as a songwriter, so that’s what excites me most right now about Killin’ Candace and the debut album.

How are you balancing the art, musicianship and the all-out punch that Straight from the Underground delivers?

Aaron Lee KC smallSomehow it is balancing out well right now, just by letting it all flow naturally. I feel that is the best approach. Forcing things or trying to meet deadlines can sometimes result in things not quite being as you heard them, or you end up wishing you could have done this and could have done that – so I take a very relaxed and stress-free approach when it comes to the recording process. I also have found a positive working relationship with my producer/engineer Alex Crescioni. We linked up and did the “Morning Glory” (Oasis cover) together and we have found a really good flow, so my confidence is peaking and I feel as if my best work is on the way.

I myself carry a lot of the weight of the band, as far as making stuff happen (not to talk myself up at all) but it’s always been me that has invested in the project and brought it to where it is. It’s been difficult solidifying a lineup but I never let that hold me back either, I just focused on the music and content rather than playing live. I hired some local guys to come in and help me get the wheels in motion, so things finally started moving this year, but my priorities since getting management onboard are back to recording. This band (and our sound) needs to be marketed as a touring act and I’ll stand firm on that, so that’s why I decided to do minimal local shows and focus on what’s important, and to me that is getting the debut album together so we can tour in support of that release next year.

Who are the players in Killin’ Candace? What are their roles? And which one is definitely an extraterrestrial?

So I’m not gonna lie, it’s likely that we’ll see a rotating lineup as that’s just the way it goes these days, and I had a few friends jump in to cover drums and bass, and help out with the first few shows. So I’m still trying to lock in a confirmed lineup, but as it stands:

Vinnie E. Parma – Drums

Tommy Bradley – Bass

Jesse Korkola – Lead Guitars

Aaron Lee (myself) – Vocals / Guitars…and just to confirm i am 110% the extraterrestrial!

Are there any special instruments, techniques or styles being implemented while you are recording?

It’s funny you ask..Yes! I regularly drag in a modern-day Swedish Viking, one of my best friends and favorite people, Ricky Reckless! We played in a band a few years ago called Rebel Hotel, did the SoCal circuit, and even though we’re not still playing together we remain close, and support each other in our endeavors. So he’s my go-to dude for backing vocals! No kazoos on this record…sorry to disappoint!

What is the most sentimental thing about Straight from the Underground for you at this moment?

I take great pride in that I have brought myself back to a level where I can even make this happen…and not to get too personal, but ask anyone in the Hollywood music scene – I used to be an absolute maniac and completely out of control. I’d given up on myself, as did many other people. So the fact that I survived the excessiveness and overcame the Hollywood lifestyle, and still have this opportunity to put out some of my best work to date, that’s what makes it feel so rewarding and sentimental. It will also be the first full-length album that I’ve contributed to. I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into this band for many years, so whether success comes or not, for me personally I’m hitting milestones and achieving. So it already feels like a win.

You’ve lived and had serious musical projects in London, Atlanta and Hollywood. How do those scenes differ and where is there some common ground?

Birmingham, London (and the UK) – Always a thriving rock and metal crowd. With Download Festival not far from my hometown we have one of the best festivals in the world, that ALWAYS gets a packed out and sellout crowd, year after year. An awesome, diverse and well put-together musical event. I feel like the UK fans of any band are die hard and very emotional, loyal when it comes to the bands they love and enjoy. So you’ll always feel that passion between the fans and bands at shows.

Atlanta / East coast – Had some great bands there. The scene there is known for being a predominantly Hip-Hop and R&B crowd, but I always had fun in Atlanta when I played live because a lot of friends would come out and fellow local musicians. ATL had a pretty thriving scene for music for sure with Biters breaking out and doing well a few years ago.

Hollywood - The most bi-polar town I’ve ever known. I have a complete love/hate relationship with it. The scenes seem to come in waves to be honest, from what I have seen. Sometimes it’s hot and a ton of kool bands peak and pop, then other times like the past few years the potential has been there for great local talent to get themselves out there, but nobody is really getting a serous push it seems right now. So I feel like the Hollywood and LA music scene is in this weird dip, but with the right bands we could very well see certain acts revolutionize the rock and metal scene and breakthrough in the next 1-2 years.

It’s hard to say where the common ground is, except every city and scene has definitely pioneered its own bands, or certain bands have pioneered their sound(s) and paved the way for other acts to follow. I feel like the personality in the fans and how they express themselves is the biggest difference. I’m obviously biased but I just know the passion and the connection that the UK audiences have to their favorite bands, and how they are and respond at shows. I see a lot of stagnant bodies at live shows in Hollywood, even at high energy shows, there’s not a lot of expression – so I think that’s what sets apart the scenes and the fans in the UK and the US.

What are some of the most impactful songs on your life that you go back to when you need an emotional boost?

It used to depend on my mood, but it’s definitely lyrical content that impacts me more – so maybe “Scars” by Papa Roach. That song hits anyone straight in the chest and reminds you how human you are. But these days when I’m not playing, performing or writing I really don’t find myself listening to music and songs that contain lyrics. I’ve come to appreciate ambience, and certain frequencies and the vibrations they carry. Just allowing nature and the universe to entertain me however it chooses to. I don’t seem to be that emotionally unbalanced of late (haha), but I always stick with more upbeat and driven sounds if and when i listen to Rock.

What have been your musical and non-musical best moments of the year so far?

KC Band SmallMusical : Releasing the debut music video for “Miss Deception”, that we shot with Matt Zane. Also recently tracking and finishing up the title track from Straight from the Underground. I’m really excited to drop this and offer a newer feel to our sound.

Non-Musical : Achieving three years of sobriety recently. Anyone that knows me knows that back in the day I couldn’t go barely an hour without thinking about alcohol, and my life was spiraling out of control. So I’m happy to have shook that demon off my back. I recently went away and rented a cabin just to Zen out and get away from the crazy, concrete jungle that is Hollywood, so that was pretty much how I kicked off my summer! :)

What non-musical sound do you love?

Theta beats, Binaural beats, chakra balancing music and certain frequencies, sounds at different Hz. That’s like mental therapy for me and sets my mood, keeps me tuned in and focused.

What’s up next for Killin’ Candace?

Get the master back for the first single from Straight from the Underground, shoot a video for it and figure out when we want to drop that, while continuing to work on the album which we plan to drop in 2020.





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