Interview: The Kimberly Steaks [May 2015]

By Lais

In support of their new EP, ‘Chemical Imbalance’, The Kimberly Steaks spoke to Ashley Partridge about the release, the state of Scottish punk and how their sound has changed with new members.

Why did you choose to do this EP release so quickly after dropping a full album (‘To Live and Die in West Central Scotland’) last year?

Greig: Because we got the new line up together last year and we’ve been playing a few new songs, we wanted to put something out. I think the sound’s changed a bit from the LP. Also, it’s cool having a 7”. I like collecting them and EPs, so it works really well.
Tom: It’s nice because me and Ross only joined the band about a year ago. We didn’t play on the record and we wanted to put something out that was all of us, together. Greig’s right; the sound has changed a little bit. It’s a more poppy sound than it used to be.

What’s gone wrong with the 7”s themselves?

Greig: There was a mix-up at the pressing plant, so side A has been printed on both sides of the record, even though the test press was absolutely fine. I had to send them back and they’ll get repackaged. I should have them in a couple of weeks. It’s technically out now but it has been a bit of a farce, to be honest.

Your songs have 90s references and you all grew up then. How has that influenced your sound?

Greig: I think it’s influenced a lot. We all like the Lookout! Records bands and we grew up listening to that. So that’s influenced the sound.

What are your day jobs?

Tom: I’m a student just now but I work in a bar. I’m technically a mature student. I’m studying occupational therapy.
Greig: I work for a warehouse at a company and make routes for drivers. I’m soon to be a student. I’m going back to uni to study marketing.
Ross: I work for the NHS in decontamination services. We sterilise equipment that comes in and send it back out. It’s pretty good.

How do you take what you do and turn it into lyrics? The Kimberly Steaks don’t entirely sound happy…

Greig: I didn’t actually realise they were so depressing until we put out the LP and people commented on the lyrics. I never really thought about it. I just thought they were kind of funny. Hopefully, the next one will sound less depressing. I find it quite hard to come up with lyrics and they’re always the last thing we end up doing. We usually play songs for ages and then I realise I’ve not got all the lyrics for it. So it’s like “Shit, I need to write lyrics for this”, so I write about what I’m doing just now. Usually it’s sitting about, watching TV.

Have you ever actually found yourself at home watching Die Hard on ITV2?

Greig: Yeah. It happens quite often. It’s good getting out and touring, playing shows and getting a bit more social.

You’ve done weird old 60s and 70s pop covers, like Herman’s Hermits on the new EP. Why those?

Greig: I don’t think it’s anything to do with what style of music it is. I like taking an old song and turning it our own style. It’s good fun.
Tom: I think they’ve just got good melodies. There’s really nice harmonies and they’re catchy. It works well with the pop punk sound.

What’s so great about the Scottish punk scene at the moment?

Greig: It’s the best it’s been for ages, just now. There’s so many people into it and when we play gigs, so many people turn up to see us. It wasn’t like that 10 years ago. There were still good bands but the only people who came to see them were other bands. I think The Murderburgers [another sensational Scottish punk band] have a lot to do with that. They get people into bands and coming to shows.

What are the plans for the future?

Tom: We’ve got a wee tour in July. It’s a week with The Murderburgers. We’re working on more songs and we’re going to try recording another album. Maybe towards the end of the year or next year. We want to do as much as we can, which is difficult when we’ve all got jobs and uni, but we’ll try.

Chemical Imbalance is available for stream and download at Physical copies of the EP will be available soon(ish).


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]