Tuesday, June 7, 2016

KEMO FOR EMO - Punk Rock that Burns a Memory in your Mind

Your band has been around since 2003. What have the past 13 years been like for you? What are some of the most memorable moments?
A lot has happened since 2003 and most of our stories are best kept for drunken nights.  We have experience getting signed at a young age, putting out a full length, almost getting signed with Columbia records, bailing members out of jail in New Orleans, Hard Rock CafĂ© performance, played with Dynamite Boy, The Queers, Fenix TX, Unwritten Law, NOFX, released a series of music videos, split up, got back together, made an appearance in the Pop-Punk edition of Alternative Press, played as The Ramones with an actual Ramone in the audience, met a ton of great local acts over the years and watched the Houston Punk Rock scene blossom back into something that holds some weight.  


You have a catchy band name. Is there an interesting story behind it?
The story behind the name has many different origins but basically it comes down to one thing; the truth.  Back in the early 2000’s we were a bunch of punk rock kids who wanted to make fun of the new rise of emo kids.  We were going to start a comedy band and write ultra-sappy sad songs.  As time went on we starting clicking and gaining momentum bringing in our actual love of pop-punk music.  We started writing the songs we wanted to write.  A few years went by, we got signed, put out an EP, a full length, and gained a following.  By that point the name was not going anywhere.  Somewhere along the way we had someone at a venue ask us if it meant, “medicine for emotion”.  That stuck with us and we often use that as a short explanation.      


The band has a nice clean sound, definitely a pop punk influence. When starting the group, was the initial goal to create a pop punk sound? The reason I ask is because many times when a band starts out, their music tends to sound nothing like the original idea.
Besides writing sappy mock emo songs for a short time, Pop-punk was always the obvious influence as we grew up in the Houston scene listening to River Fenix, Dig Dug, 30 Foot Fall, and Dynamite Boy.  We wanted to join the ranks and share the stage with our heroes and make a name for ourselves.  Also national acts like Green Day, MxPx, Local H, and The Offspring were in every CD binder we had so Pop-Punk was going to rear its melodic head. 

I really like your videos. Can you go through the process of how you create a concept, film and edit your videos? What kind of camera and video editing program do you use?

First off, thank you very much!  As far as music videos go, it really started off with the album concept.  The album was written based on real life events and were written in sequential order based on the way a certain personal tragedy played out.  As any Hollywood adaptation goes, we wanted to throw away the literal version of the story for the “movie” and make something that would play out better theatrically.  The characters of John and Camille were thought up and over several months the story came to life.  All 4 parts of the story were realized before we shot the first frame.  We knew exactly where this story was going to begin and end.  This was always meant to be a short film.  That is why we were able to use the actress that is in the video on the cover of the album and on our merchandise.  The entire album and video series needed to be completely cohesive.  

The first video for The Cause / The Straightline was shot with a single camera, a Canon 6D using only a handheld stabilizer (Flycam 3000) and a Jib.  It was shot 10 seconds at a time as we shot in raw format and took roughly 8 days to shoot.  Everything is edited using Adobe Premiere and I color grade using DaVinci Resolve Pro. 

We have finished principal photography on Chapter 3: No Tell and are currently wrapping up post production.  We hope to have it released within the next 4 weeks.  No Tell was shot using two different cameras.  The first was a Black Magic Cinema Production 4K camera with an EF mount.  We switched between 50mm lenses and 24-70.  The second camera used was a Black Magic pocket cinema camera.  This is a micro four thirds camera.  We used a metabones adapter to mount a 12-35mm lens for most of the shots, then an EF adapter for a 50mm Canon lens for hand held shots.  A Ronin gimbal was used for almost everything, although a Jib was used for a few of the wider band performance shots.   


Let’s talk about your discography starting with your current release A Picture Perfect Romance. How does it differ from your other releases?
A Picture Perfect Romance is an extremely personal record.  So personal that we recorded it 3 separate times to get it right.  From the lyrical content to the order of the tracks to the tone of the guitars, right down to the order of the kick drum hits, they were all calculated to make sure the tone and the mood of the songs were conveyed exactly the way we wanted them to be.  This album has literal blood, sweat, tears, fear, heartache, and miles and miles of living on it.  If everyone could see what life dealt out for these songs to be written, it would hit much harder in the chest.  That’s why we felt a theatrical storyline would help convey a love/loss scenario where the listener would allow the songs to sink in on a deeper level.     

Is A Picture Perfect Romance a concept album? If so, can you give more details about it? It is autobiographical?
APPR is a concept album based on reality, written from a personal place but delivered to the world disguised as a story about fictional characters.  

The lyrics, if you really listen beginning to end through the whole album will really explain what the album was written about.  Love, drugs, loss, fear, anxiety, promises.  Everything brutal that someone can go through, but not everyone comes out of.  We came out on top this time and this album is a way of, “shedding” these experiences.   Recording the accomplishments and the achievements of facing your demons head on and winning.  This was relinquishing it’s power and putting it out to the world in hopes that we will never have to relive it again but knowing we are that much stronger for making it through.   

It seems like things are going really well with the band’s popularity? Your thoughts?
As you stated before, we have been at this since 2003 and this time around we are working our butts off.  This is no longer a few kids hoping for a record deal.  This is a group of men with a proactive approach to everything and we are working 24/7 to make this our legacy.  Everything we do, we try to it as big and as best as we can.  Whether it be a cover show, or opening for NOFX, or making a music video.  Whatever we put our name on we try to make it something outstanding.  This is our passion and we put our all into it and we hope that everyone who listens, and watches can enjoy it as much as we do.  We would love to do this and only this for the rest of our lives and we are very blessed to be doing as well as we are.  We would love to get that call from Fat Wreck Chords, but right now the future looks very bright.  

Let’s finish off by giving some details of what we can expect next from you guys.
We have Chapter 3: No Tell music video coming out within the next few weeks, then we will start principal photography on the final music video of the series.  We have a show at Warehouse live on June 11th supporting our good friends Soapbox Revolution for their upcoming CD Release.  In July we will embark on a Texas tour with our friends Four Letter Language and PRP.

Larry Fenix

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