It's probably safe to assume that Palm Beach County's bar-lovin' patrons have two things in common: They like to have a good time and they have seen the Killbillies live. This talented band makes its living crafting songs that stick in your head and put on live shows that demands attention -- all while you consume an adult beverage. There is no arguing with the fact that the band hase become a major staple on the local bar scene, and it's not by accident -- it's because people like the Killbillies.
With a solid foundation already in place, it's kicked things up a notch this past year. New members and new songs mean its stage presence evolved and that got people talking. With Palm Beach County in the palm of their hands, the guys are looking towards the future and that means they are serving up new tunes.
The Killbillies are about to release Transplant Life, their new raucous gift to the world, but not without putting on a show. Before their new CD release party this Friday, we spoke with lead vocalists/multi-instrumental players Ben Childs and Micah Scott about why they love playing drums with their feet.
New Times: What kind of transitions did the Killbillies go through this past year?
Ben Childs: We were exploring ways to expand the sound and figuring out what direction we wanted to go with it. We have been working with a fiddle player and we eventually settled on a good friend of ours, Virgil Price, who is a multi-instrumentalist. He plays accordion and keyboard. We found that it really filled our sound out. Now with the accordion pumping away, it all fits and gels together.
I thought it was kind of funny that you got two new members but still not a drummer. Is the foot percussion officially part of the Killbillies sound?
Micah Scott: Yeah, it is hard to imagine us gigging without it. We did record with a drummer on the album but our live sound is the kick drum sound which provides a lot more spontaneity to what we do.
Ben: We have control of the melodies and the rhythm and the improvisations we play. I think it would be hard for us to give that up because we have gotten so used to it. Having to create the beat between two people is easier said than done. We are good at it now.
How was the recording process?
Micah: Everything was done locally and we knocked it out pretty quick. I think we spent 26 hours of actual recording time so we did it pretty quickly.
Ben: In terms of doing a full album recording, I think we did it very quickly and I think part of the reason for that is that we had some of those songs for a while. It wasn't a question of trying to write anything in the studio. We knew exactly what we wanted to do. And that was helpful.
What are you doing to make the release show special?
Ben: We are going to play the album from beginning to end, from start to finish with the musicians that played on the album. The drummer that played on the album and a violinist. We are going to play the album all the way through, and then we are going to do an hour or so of just the core four band members with fan favorites and covers.
Once Transplant Life is out, that's the plan?
Ben: We want to do some music videos. That's the next step. We have been really concentrating on the album and the release so far. I suppose the effect of the album and the album itself will help us in the future to tour because it is significantly better than any other recording we have had, and these days, you need that music and online presence to get those bigger gigs. I think that this recording represents us.
Micah: What we do live, we want that represented online. So we can tour. We can call people up and say, "This is us," because right now, we don't have that sort of online representation.
In the meantime, we assume you will still be gigging like mad men.
Ben: Yeah, we do play a lot. I always say, "It's nice work if you can get it." We play a lot because we enjoy playing and we are very grateful to be able to play.
Micah: Being a working musician has always been the goal and we are fortunate enough to be able to do it.
The Killbillies CD release party for Transplant Life is this Friday, May 30, at 9 p.m., at the Bamboo Room located at 25 S. J St., Lake Worth. Tickets are $7. Visit information on the event Facebook.