KidEyes PREMIERE Double-Sided Debut [INTERVIEW]
What I love about musicians, is that it is almost impossible to get them to stop creating. Often moving from one project to the next, in search of their next outlet of self expression – the evolution is unstoppable and always fun to watch. New Indie-Pop duo KidEyes consists of Greg Cahn, formerly of the Los Angeles based electronic group Mind the Gap (MTG), and producer/multi-instrumentalist Ben Epand, formerly of the band Queen Caveat.
Their new project seems to be a breath of fresh air for both artists who had seen plenty of success individually before teaming up. When asked about KidEyes, they offer, “There is nothing perfect about any of this,” which may be vague as fuck – but also says a whole lot. Today, the duo saw the release of their debut double-sided single which includes, “Let Go“, and, “Love Better“, both of which show the groups abilities in a different light.
On, “Let Go“, the group brings an anthemic Indie Rock vibe to the track with Greg taking on the vocals and delivering and emotive and memorable performance. Heavy drums, fast paced guitar rhythms and an anthemic hook help to make this one hit. Uplifting and somber all at the same damn time, this one is meant to make you feel – something… anything.
RDFO: It looks like there was one song uploaded to your Soundcloud about a year ago… what is the story behind that and what have you been working on since?
BEN: The song is a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘no woman no cry’ with our friend Lisa Donnely, who unfortunately committed suicide last year. Lisa was a beautiful singer and human – she and I worked on a number of songs together which included her lending her vocals on the song “Ghost,” which is featured on the upcoming KidEyes album. After she had passed, I felt it only necessary to finish up the song and put it out in her honor — I know she would be proud.
RDFO: How did the two of you initially get together and how did you come up with the name KidEyes?
GREG: We met through a mutual friend who is a manager and was close to both of our old bands (Ben from Queen Caveat and greg from mind the gap). One night, I met her for a drink at this diner in Hollywood just after my band had broken up. I was a mess. That night, she recommended that I read the artist’s way, and told me about this guy named ben who is in a similar boat, and that we would get along and work well together. The next day, I ordered the book off amazon and called ben. As for the name KidEyes, we were hiking up in Malibu one day in search of a name, and the wind spoke!
RDFO: This is your official debut, how does it feel to take that step and are you (like most artists) anxious to hear what people think?
BEN: I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are to finally let the music breathe. Greg and I both met at weird shifts in our lives. In our early writing sessions, we would sit around often for hours just talking about our personal lives and all the past struggles and pain we endured in our relationships and previous bands. As the songs started to pour out, themes of self doubt and uncertainty were clearly present, but we knew our stories weren’t gonna be tied down by our past. On the other side, the songs carry the message of confidence, positivity and triumph. A lot of good has happened for the two of us since the genesis of the band, and as the music is finally released, it’s a good benchmark for me to reflect on how far we both have come — life is good.
RDFO: Seeing that you have both worked on other projects individually, what do you find exciting about working together on this one?
GREG: This project definitely showcases our individual strengths, while still having a good amount of room for exploration and discovery. Even though we’ve only known each other for 3 years, ben feels like an old friend. And our process is very open and honest. We definitely support each others instincts, and that makes it so much more fun, and worthy.
RDFO: I imagine, since you are ready to make your debut… you have some more records ready to go. Anything you are really excited about?
BEN: Absolutely. We really struggled on which songs we used to launch the band. I suppose this is good thing, but we really didn’t have a clear idea of what was best. That said, there are a few yet to be released songs like “Alive” and “El Oh Vee Eee (L.O.V.E.)” which features former Danity Kane star, Dawn Richard. And of course, the haunting song “Ghost” that has our friend Lisa :(. We like to think every song takes you on a different musical journey so I think we for sure have some good stuff up our sleeves.
RDFO: Living in LA, do you find the saturation of artists to be daunting or inspiring and why?
GREG: It’s definitely a mixture of both. LA is the entertainment capital of the world. So every other person you meet is an artist. It can feel like a musical rat race at times. But on the flip side, there’s so much culture, and subcultures here. I was born and raised in Cleveland, and once I moved to LA I was blown away at how much art took on new meaning. How expansive it is. I guess it takes daily work to make sure I’m constantly looking at it through an inspiring lens instead of a place of fear and doubt.
RDFO: I dig the art direction on the single and banners. Is this done in house or do you have help from someone in that department?
BEN: Thank you! Pretty much everything we do is done in house, but in this case, our good friend and designer, Alec Emmons put this together. A lot of the music has a summer vibe which I’d like to think is evoked from the color choices…
RDFO: What is the vibe like when you both are working on new music? Do you generally agree on things.. Or is there a good amount of back and forth?
GREG: We trust each other. So even when we don’t agree which is healthy, or our individual ego’s show face for a moment, we know how to move forward and make quick decisions for the sake of being productive.
RDFO: Individually, what are you both hoping to achieve as part of KidEyes? How about collectively?
GREG: Individually, I just want to hear and feel myself in the project while making sure that I’m taking risks and leaning outside the box as much as I can. In any collaboration, there is this mysterious line of what you hold on to and let go of. Ultimately creating is all trial and error. But I do feel good about trying to give a little of this other side of me in KidEyes that I haven’t taped into as much. It feels good to be a bit unfamiliar with myself on these songs while recognizing that it’s still me. Collectively, just trying to help push a vibe that has emotion and depth, and create narratives that are compelling to the heart and soul to whoever’s listening.