Kimono Loco has become one of my new favorite bands this year. The band released their 80’s flavored EP, entitled “Hello, How Are You?”, about two months ago. It features a musical throwback to the 80s with a modern twist of featuring indies rock-pop — a sound that I am in love with. This amazing blend of an 80s throwback, pop, and indies rock in “Hello, How Are You?” is a definite recommendation for any music listener as it energetic, refreshing, and nostalgic.
I recently drummer Alejo Sonnenberg a couple of questions about the band, their influences, and their recent releases via email. Take a peek under the cut to find out what recent artist inspires them (And what you should listen for in their music!)
Can you tell me a little about the band?
The band was formed by James and myself when we were 17. We used to go to a local pub, drink profusely, and see if we could hijack an improvised performance after the booked act had finished. It finally worked. After our dismal cover of ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore, James said he wanted to start a new band. A couple of months later, he told me he found a bassist online. That bassist had a best mate who was a great guitarist. So initially the four of us were sort of on a musical double date – until we all became best friends forever and ever. And nearly 5 years on, we’re still going strong.
What the band’s musical inspirations? How did they shape you as an artist?
We have all come from different musical backgrounds. As a drummer, I was in love with Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers growing up. James was a bit of a metal-head (secretly still is). We all have a lot of love for American music, especially some of the older stuff: Fleetwood Mac; Earth, Wind and Fire; to name a couple; and the vast world of disco, R&B, and pop from the late 70s and 80s. Recently we’ve been getting tickled by the sounds of the 90s – I think the cheesiness of that decade is beginning the conversion into nostalgia the same way the 80s sound did.
What are some of your favorite artists?
‘SG Lewis‘, he’s killing it. KILLING. IT. ‘Shaded’ – it’s pop-punk, a genre that I don’t usually listen to. But the latest EP from them is fantastic. And here’s a few songs that I’m on at the moment. ‘Tints – Anderson Paak‘, ‘Praise the Lord (Da Shine) [feat. Skepta] – A$AP Rocky‘, ‘Loyal to Me – Nina Nesbitt‘, ‘Hurting (feat AlunaGeorge) – SG Lewis‘.
Tell me about “Big Boy”. How did you come up with the tune?
So James does the majority of the writing, but this was actually a song I had conceived of initially. James listened to a silly little lead pattern I made, he made a couple of changes to the end of it, and that became the synth pattern you hear in the choruses. He then went on to develop the song further, and when we took it to the others, we all added our own flavours to it. And on the 7th day, we rested… and took it to Westpoint Studios and recorded that bad boy (big boy?).
I looooooooooooooove “Big Boy”. It is my go-to song for the morning and enjoying a night stroll right now. It reminds me of a dash of the vocalist from Panic at the Disco and The 1975. Did you get influenced by these artists or other ones?
James might listen to Panic At The Disco more than I do. But I can safely say we are all fans of The 1975. James and I went to see them at Reading Festival 2013. I think they introduced to us the idea of creating music that had indie and pop vibes mixed together. The same applies to Foals.
The beat is very 80’s. (Am I correct?) Was that intended? Why?
You are absolutely correct. As mentioned before, we love the 80s. In fact, I’m listening to ‘Let’s Dance – David Bowie’ as I type. And we write in an 80s style, simply because we love it. And blending that style with a 2018 sound will always result in magic. I mean, take a look at Bruno Mars’ album ’24K Magic’, the whole thing is a huge homage to the 80s, and it’s one of my favourite albums I’ve ever listened to.
What words would you associate with “Big Boy”? Why?
Silly, boisterous, fun, groovy. It’s nice to have a song that doesn’t take itself seriously. I have received many compliments for my weird dancing in the music video. We like that direction: keeping the music fun and silly. We want to make people dance. And I think the industry has seen enough of artists that take themselves too seriously.
What are the things you want the listeners to listen for in “Big Boy”? What do you want them to take away?
I’d like people to listen to the groove. Quite simple I suppose. It’s a song to dance to. Imagine if you will: an office space, everybody’s working hard, it’s bleak. Then Big Boy comes on and they all start dancing in unison. When the boss comes in they all give him the finger and the dance out the office onto the streets. The next day they all get fired but it doesn’t matter because someone just plays Big Boy again.
What are the band’s future goals and aspirations?
MAKE. MORE. MUSIC. We feel we’re only just getting started. We’ve had a slick rebranding of late, we’re all enjoying playing these songs and our gig game is strong. James has got some future bangers in their early stages on his laptop. So come 2019, I’d be surprised if we didn’t have another EP lined up, with a Kimono Loco 2.0 sound. Further, then that, we want to tour. We fantasize about being on the road. We get along so well together, the idea of it puts a big grin on all of our faces.
Any last words for the readers?
Go listen to the music. Show your friends. Come and see us play. Watch us grow. And in return, we’ll love you and give you soundtracks to dance to.
About the Band
Kimono Loco from South London features vocalist James Hofbauer, drummer Alejo Sonnenberg, guitarist Chris Godfrey, and bassist Luke Hamlin.
You can follow Kimono Loco on the following sites: