The Paper Kites are a five-piece, hailing from Melbourne, who are currently on their first trek across the US, with about a month and a half of dates, which included three weeks opening mega venues for City and Colour in October. Their trip is nearly going to wrap up on November 11th, when they stop at Johnny Brenda’s for the second-to-last date on the tour, so I’m hoping the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection can leave them with some pleasant parting memories. The Paper Kites released their debut LP, States, in September on Nettwerk Records, a follow-up to four EPs. The sound of States is dark, but hopeful, delicately exploring folk sounds, but not limiting themselves to the confines of tradition (The album includes strings and brass.) The album is largely the product of mainman Sam Bently taking every instrument and recording device in his possession and literally “shacking up,” next to his friend’s house (in a shack) where he wrote through an especially oppressive heat wave. The band later reconvened and, what they brought to the table is what we have on States. I recently got a chance to chat with drummer Josh Bentley about what went into States and how The Paper Kites have enjoyed their first trip to the states.
Izzy Cihak: What’s the music scene like in Melbourne? I’ve been interviewing a lot of cool bands based out of there, as of recently?
Josh Bentley: The scene back home in Melbourne is really thriving. There’s lots of new music and bands popping up here and there. It’s also a great city for live music, too.
IC: You recently released your debut LP, States. How would you characterize the album for those who may be yet to hear it?
JB: States has a very eclectic bunch of songs on it. The album ranges from moody, acoustic, and vocal songs to up-beat, vibrant songs. It’s been hard to characterize this new album into a particular style or genre, which is why we like it so much. We’re really proud of the new album and believe it represents us a band at the moment.
IC: What were States‘ most significant influences?
JB: Sam did most of, if not all, the writing for States. Most of his influences come from a different array of things. For example, “Tenenbaum” draws its inspiration from the movie The Royal Tenenbaums and other songs relate to life experiences.
IC: Do you have a favorite track from the album, or a track which best represents where future sounds may be going? I’m very into “In Reverie.”
JB: My favorite track would be “St.Clarity.” I really enjoy playing that one live. I also really love our video for this track, too. The song and video go hand in hand.
IC: You’ve been on tour for the past month or so in the states, playing both headlining shows and opening dates for City and Colour. What have been the highlights of this road trip?
JB: There’s been many highlights. Being our first time in North America, we’ve experienced many new and exciting things. We all went to our first ever ice hockey game the other night, which was amazing. Another highlight would be playing shows every night in a different city. It’s been great meeting new friends and playing to appreciative crowds of people who really love our music.
IC: You’re going to be in town on November 11th. What can we expect of the live experience?
JB: People can expect some old tunes and some new ones. This is the States album tour, so we’ve incorporated a lot of the new album into the set, as well as a few old favourites.
IC: And what does 2014 hold for The Paper Kites? Any particularly significant plans or hopes?
JB: Hopefully more touring overseas (fingers crossed). Once we get home from our North American tour we’ll have a bit of time off, then we play some summer festival shows over New Years. Hopefully early 2014 will see us jet-setting overseas to either Europe or North America again.