KENSINGTON: ACROSS THE BORDERS, FIRST TIME IN ASIA
They come from The Netherlands, across European borders and visit us in Indonesia. They are Kensington, 4 guys from a city called Utrecht trying to introduce their music to us. Eloi and Casper (guitar and vocal), Jan (bass) and Niles (drum) just had their debut album, Borders, last year. Had been sharing stage with big acts, such as Razorlight, My Chemical Romance and The Wombats, we have to admitthat they have great quality of music, and what goods are we got the chance to prove their greatness on Java Rockin’Land and Erasmus Huis, and was lucky enough to get the chance to interview them.
The name Kensington, why Kensington?
Niles : Cause it sounds good. (laugh)
Eloi : We had like, we thought about it in a long time, looking for months and months and only think about the name. We just write some names down and we throw dice and then just see what comes out.
What kind of music do you want the audience to get when they listen to your music?
Casper : I think it’s energetic. You can dance to it but you can also sit back and maybe dive into a some more deeper melodies and lyrics. So I think it has both sides. It has a kind of poppie side to it that you immediately get what’s going on. But it also has a deeper side it has more to explore. And i think that’s our main goal to combine those two things, the catchy side and more deeper, like thought of thinking rock side.
What inspire you guys the most when you’re making your music?
Casper : It can be anything I guess.
Niles : I think it just daily life.
Casper : Yeah, we’ve been through something the last few years that really influenced a lot during the writing process. But it can be anything. It can be a book or movie that you saw, or another band that you saw, or something that you went through in your personal life or― We don’t tend to write a lot about one thing only, about love or about politics or about whatever. It just comes from a lot of angles and I think that’s fresh.
Eloi : Yeah, as long as it’s real and that’s the most important thing. So sometimes we jam with each other and everyone’s very angry. It like a very angry song, but it’s a real emotion beat from everyone. Yeah, mostly.
Casper : We tend to grab the mood that we’re in and I think when you listen to Borders or record you get a lot of different emotions and the period. We were recorded it in England, in Leeds. And it was really a hectic, we were living in a ghetto for like 2 months and, and it was really basic. So we only focus on the music.
From all the tours, which place do you like the most?
Casper : So far this place. Yeah definitely.
Niles : For us― We are really excited to play in the other side of the world. We did a lot of shows in Europe and never been across the border from Europe so far. So we play for our tour to US in November. But it was our first time in the other side of the world.
Casper : Yeah, we traveling for 20 hours and we were greeted by really nice people here and lots of fans that knew us. It’s really special to us traveling a long way and then get to meet people who like your music on the other side of the world. It’s pretty cool and yeah, we don’t know what to expect from Java Rockin’Land. I hope it’s really cool and really good. So we’ll see.
So this is your first time in Asia?
Kensington : Yeah!
As indie band what do you think about social network such as Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace?
Niles : It’s very important.
Casper : Yeah, i think it’s essential for us to spread the words, you know. Like, ten years ago it was really hard to get in touch with someone in Indonesia, promote your music and now it’s just a click away and you just say “Hey we’re coming to your country. Check us out in Rockin’Land!”, and the response is been amazing. Got a lot of good reaction we saw, like in the statistics we can see likes from Indonesia just went through the roof the last week, you know. It’s just really fun to see that it has such a direct impact on yourself because the people in Indonesia are paying attention to what happens, and then suddenly you’ve got this things go and Indonesia is really special. And we use Twitter and Facebook a lot to just the small update like “We’re there and we’re there. We’re playing to that point. Or we’re eating the sandwich or whatever”. And there’s our own website to communicate with a more like bigger stuffs, articles and whatever. It’s really important.
You’ve been perform with such big act like Razorlight, My Chemical Romance and The wombats, how do you feel about it?
Niles : It’s always good to support big bands and to play together with them. Yeah, because they’re used, always, to play for a bigger crowd as well and playing with a bigger crowd is always good (laugh).
Casper : Yeah. You’ll learn a lot, predictionalise you see how the crew works from MCR but it’s really a giant production as well. So that it inspires you to work harder and achieve that as well.
Niles : We get to know some new fans.
Eloi : Yeah, most of the bands we’ve played with, that are bigger than us. They’re very friendly as well you know. Especially when they were in Amsterdam and they don’t come a lot to our land.
Casper: Someday it will be great to take another band with us. Show them around.
Eloi : Yeah. With the wombats I saw them in a very small place in Holland as well when they were like this small (laugh) and they grew. They ate so much.
Who do you want to collaborate with?
Niles : Collaborate like play with? Well, I would love to play with like umm, Foo Fighters.
Jan : Yeah, Foo Fighters would be nice.
Casper : Kings of Leons would be nice to play with but I don’t―
Eloi : I don’t think they’re very nice.
Niles : Yeah Foo Fighters would definitely be very nice.
Casper : Yeah. Then I’ll have a barbecue with Dave Grohl.
Is Dave Ma your official photographer?
Eloi : Umm, naah. He was for the last album. We worked in England for a few months there in a studio and he came around. We were umm―
Niles : Yeah, we were doing the photo session with him because we like his work before. What he did with other bands, for Foals, for example, he did. Yeah, we contacted him. He liked the band that’s why he made the pictures for the album.
Your album: released here or no?
All : No! Not yet.
Eloi : Maybe after this trip.
Niles : But you can get it on iTunes.
Jan : Well, we have some with us. We couldn’t bring much because we have to pack everything in little bag.
Eloi : So we will be very exclusive in this part of the world.
Casper : If you get it now, it’s pretty a big deal. (laugh)
Have you guys being compared to other bands?
Eloi : We were in the past more than now because we umm―
Casper : It’s kinda inevitable in the beginning.
Eloi : Yeah, first we were like inspired by Arctic Monkeys and we had some songs that had similarity with Arctic Monkeys but not anymore. There was like an EP that we did before the album and the album is just our own, and everyone tries to compare you with other bands but it’s not like one band. Yeah, not anymore.
Casper : The thing is all the reviews we get, we always read different band names which we got compared. It goes from Anti Chicory to Arctic Monkeys and it goes all over. So, that’s the ultimate prove i guess. We’re just taking our own root and everyone compares us into something else. And I like that, because everyone hears something else, probably. So if we get that― I think with the next album they won’t do that anymore, especially Europe, because we kind of settle our name there now. So―
Niles : Other bands are similar to us.
Which one do you choose: success as musician or success in the music industry?
Jan : As a musician. I think there’re really cool jobs in the music industry. But for me personally i just, i couldn’t imagine being someone in music industry. I just love to play and being successful as a musician. I think that’s― I couldn’t imagine something more fun than that.
Eloi : It’s a totally different mind set in music industry and in as a musician. It’s like a totally different way of music. You know like, we’re not a businessman and if you’re in a music industry you need to be like a little bit of business. We’re just some guys who love to play music and other people take care of the business side for us. We’re trying to be ourselves and that’s not our main objectives. We just wanna make music. Always will be, I think.
Casper : And if you’re a really successful musician, it will be easier for you to, one day if you want to. I mean, you learn a lot while being in the studio, screening your own music. So, some young bands out in 10 or 20 years, to me it’ll be great to do. But now we’re just focusing on our own career.
Niles : And now we only produce us, for our own record. (laugh)
What do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
Eloi : It’s a long time.
Casper : I hope we’re still alive
Jan : Yeah, hope so.
Eloi : The world still here.
Niles : Hopefully releasing our records worldwide.
Jan : Yeah! See a lot of the world.
Eloi : I think this is a first step.
Jan : Yeah, I think it’s a dream for us. I think to just travel to other parts of the world and play in as many locations as possible. So that’s― it’s really exciting, across the borders and see different places.
Casper : Yeah, hopefully a headline Java Rockin’Land festival one day. It will be great. Yeah! I love coming to Asia. Food is good, people are nice, music is good as well, I hope.
How do you feel being constantly on the road, from another country to another country?
Niles : That’s what we want actually. That’s why we do this job. To travel along, to see a lot of places, to meet a lot of nice people.
Casper : Yeah, the best feeling in the world, I think. It’s when you wake up and you don’t really have a clue what’s going on that day and you just sort of roll with it and you do an interview here and you meet some fans over there and then you play gig over there, dive into the pool. Yeah, I mean, that’s what we’re going for. I couldn’t be more comfortable with the feeling of not knowing what’s going on, just experiencing something else everyday. I would prefer that everyday above all.
Eloi : First thing, if you’re an upcoming band then it’s all relatively new. We come here, we have like press conference and it’s like new to us. You can really enjoy it. And if you have that everyday then it would be like more umm, more like a job than something you really can enjoy. I think this is the best time to be a musician. When you’re in an upcoming stage, so you can enjoy
Well, that’s all what we could reap from Kensington before they rocked Java Rockin’ Land. We really hope this indie rock band will become another big thing for music world, and we, Indonesia, can taste their next good works very very soon.
KENSINGTON: ACROSS THE BORDERS, FIRST TIME IN ASIA