Kill Star is a hard rock band that is based in both Winnipeg, Manitoba and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It’s members all have extensive previous live, studio, road, and video experience. They are currently working on their debut album that is scheduled to be released in Summer 2011. The members of the band are Derek Dufresne (bass, guitar, vocals, & programming), Purple (vocals), Brent Andres (lead guitar & vocals), Josh Gray (live-drums & vocals), and Jay Coates (live- second guitar). Twisted Rose Magazine recently conducted an interview with Derek Dufresne.
Conducted by Suzy.
TRM: In 20 words or less, describe Kill Star to someone who has never heard of your band.
Derek: Heavy driving rhythms, powerful vocals, ripping guitar solos, straight up rock n roll that will kick your ass.
TRM: So tell me, how did Kill Star come together as a band?
DD: In a nutshell. FaceBook! Haha We've all known each other for years. Brent and I have played in a few bands together in the past and Purple was in a band that used to play a lot of shows with another project I was in for a few years. We all kinda lost touch with each other a few years ago. I moved across the country, and didn't really reconnect with them until last year sometime on FaceBook. I had been writing and recording in my home studio during this time, and so had Brent, so we started emailing tracks back and forth, collaborating on a lot of them and new stuff as well. We had a bunch of songs which musically were good, but no singer. So I put out a post on fb saying we were looking for a singer to write with. Purple emails me, says "send me some tracks, lets see what happens." He sent the first track back with vocals on it and we knew right away he was the guy! We had 3 or 4 songs completed and we started a fan page on fb, just to post em for friends to check out. Well, we got a lot of really good feedback on them and a lot of people "liked" the page. People were really diggin' what we were doing. A bunch of internet and college radio stations picked up a couple of our demos, so that brought us a bunch of new fans as well. So it started as a writing project, then kinda took on a life of its own.
TRM: There is usually an interesting story behind band names, how did you guys come up with the name Kill Star?
DD: When we started posting music online, we needed a band name, tossed around a few ideas and Kill Star came out of that.
TRM: Another interesting thing I learned about Kill Star is that you guys played your first show together as a band without any rehearsal. Was that intentional? I understand that additionally that show was a battle of the bands and that Kill Star won. Can you tell me about that show?
DD: We hadn't been in the same room together, or spoken except for emails, for 10 years, so we thought why not get together and hang out, jam a bit, catch up. So for the hell of it, I booked us a show in Winnipeg a month away! Why not?! What better way to reconnect then onstage!? I told the guys, and they were all into it. Only a couple problems! A) we only had 3 songs complete b) we had never rehearsed c) no drummer or rhythm guitar player! So I emailed a couple key players we know and there, band problem solved! Purple buckled down and wrote lyrics to 6 more tracks.
I was planning to fly in to Winnipeg 3 days before the show so we could have at least a couple rehearsals, but a last minute emergency made it impossible to fly out until the day of the show! I arrived 3 hours before showtime. Had a quick photo shoot and we went up on stage. Everyone knew their shit. And we fucking won! I won’t lie to you and say everything went off perfect, but I guess we were all right! It was really hard and a lot of fun at the same time. I don’t recommend it, but I would do it again in a second! We’ve done shows since then and actually had some rehearsals too! But that’s how the first one went down.
TRM: I understand that you are currently working on your debut album, tell me what to expect. Is it an EP or a full length? Does it have a title yet? Release date?
DD: The album is called "Threshold." Its full length, 12 songs. We recorded it at Platinum/Gold Studios with Shane Ward engineering over 2 weeks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and finished it up at Big River Studio in Victoria, BC. Mixed in Vancouver by Eric Mosher (The Warehouse Studio). We don't have an actual street date yet, but are hoping for mid-late June.
TRM: What is the band's process for writing songs? Where do you find your inspiration for your songs?
DD: None of us live in the same city, so we write via email. Brent and I will email songs back and forth until we've got a good solid song structure together. Then its sent to Purple to write the lyrics and lay down his vocal part. It all comes back to me and I edit and mix it in my home studio. Being that we can't get together often, we write a lot. So we've got a ton of material!
TRM: In listening to your album promo, parts of it reminded me of Lemmy and Motorhead. Who are your influences?
DD: Our influences vary from blues, jazz, some classical, punk, 70's, 80’s rock to some great stuff being put out today. Bands like Alice Cooper, Ramones, Motley, Kiss, Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Tool, Pearl Jam, etc.. and of course the mighty Motorhead! We all have a lot of different influences and I think that makes the music we write that much more interesting.
TRM: Like many of our readers, I’ve never been to a Kill Star show. What should we expect from a Kill Star live performance?
DD: A loud slap in the face from the first chord right up till the end. We will get your adrenaline pumping and leave you wanting more. High energy stage show with killer riffs and powerful vocals. Then we will come down and drink with you afterward.
TRM: One last question. Out of all the unsigned bands out there, why should people give Kill Star a listen or buy your album?
DD: "Threshold" is full of great heavy kick ass rock n roll. The way it should be played. No computer tricks, straight up what you hear on the CD is what you hear live. I could tell you how great the album is til I'm blue in the face, but don’t take my word for it, go check it out for yourself. We've got samples on our website www.KillStar.org and on our FaceBook page. If you like it, buy the CD off our website or at a show. Or head over to iTunes or wherever you buy your digital music, and get it there. It should be all those places this summer.