Kill It Kid (sometimes shortened to KIK) are a British blues/grunge/Americana band based in Bath and fronted by both Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward.
The band was widely recognised as one of the best new acts of 2009, with magazines such as NME and Clash rating their debut album 8/10 and 9/10 respectively; the album was nominated for XFM's New Music Award 2010.
Kill it Kid released their first two albums with London indie label, One Little Indian Records, whose roster includes Björk, Paul McCartney and Skunk Anansie. They signed a publishing deal with EMI in September 2011. In late 2012 the band signed a worldwide recording contract with legendary A&R man Seymour Stein, inking to his Warner Music imprint label Sire Records. Spring 2013 saw the band head to LA to begin work on their third studio Album.
Influences and sound:
Kill it Kid's blend of roots, rock and blues features lead vocals by both Chris Turpin and Stephanie Ward; their line-up has included slide guitar, fiddle and at times banjo. Although the band never really saw their music as folk, the band are still often linked to the British nu-folk revival.
Now a four piece, the band's output, as showcased in their album 'Feet Fall Heavy' (2011), is guitar-driven, drum heavy and raw, and has drawn comparisons to bands like The White Stripes. Chris Turpin describes the change in a 2011 interview: 'It's an entirely different record, it almost feels like a different band, to be honest. It's just the reality of living and working in the music industry for two years and turning into a family band. You all become siblings which is a bit peculiar after like, the seventeenth day on the road. The main difference is there's no violin and there's no acoustic guitars, it's a much heavier process. ...'
The band are influenced by British Blues, Delta Blues, roots and Ragtime; the band's name is a reference to a Blind Willie McTell song, "Kill it Kid". Other influences include: Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Ben Harper, Nirvana, My Morning Jacket and Johnny Cash.
Kill it Kid met and formed in Bath, where its original band members lived (most were students at Bath Spa University): "I Chris was gigging on my own doing solo pre war acoustic blues, Steph was doing similar on the other side of the scale, Bessie Smith and all the early female blues. We started playing together in different little groups, I was playing behind her in some jazz concerts and she had come to see my shows. Marc sic. saw me at a solo gig, he backed me at some gigs. we then decided to get everyone in a room together."
In February 2008 John Parish producer of PJ Harvey, Eels was invited by a tutor at Bath Spa University to exhibit his recording skills by taking a group into the studio and letting students watch - Big Brother style. Kill It Kid were that guinea pig band. "We sat and slogged for like 12 hour days singing over and over again trying to get these songs right whilst about 20 students sat in the other room listening to us," explained KIK's vocalist Chris Turpin. "It was a bit strange - I don't know if there was tutoring going on or what." The finished product became their debut EP, which drew increasing label interest.
Kill It Kid were signed to One Little Indian Records three months later and began touring the UK. In January 2009 they went to Seattle to record their debut album with producer Ryan Hadlock, (Foo Fighters, The Gossip, The Strokes) in Bear Creek Studios After two successful single releases, they released their self-titled debut album in October 2009, to critical acclaim. The album was subsequently nominated for XFM's New Music Award 2010.
Kill it Kid's second album, Feet Fall Heavy was produced by Leo Abrahams and recorded at Fortress Studios in Shoreditch over a period of ten days; it features samples of Alan Lomax field recordings, and has received widespread critical acclaim.Feet Fall Heavy was to be released on September 19, 2011 but distribution was disrupted after rioters set fire to and destroyed a Sony warehouse in Enfield, North London (used by independent-music distributor PIAS) in which most of the existing physical copies of the album were being stored (see: 2011 England riots).
Kill it Kid have toured the UK and Ireland extensively, both as headliners and as supporting acts for the likes of Brandi Carlile, Feeder, Vintage Trouble and Foy Vance. The band have also toured throughout Eastern Europe and Western Europe, and have gigged in the US. They have played festivals including South by Southwest (Austin, Texas) in 2010 and 2011, and Hop Farm in 2010 (headlined by Bob Dylan).
Their song "Run" is featured on the 2013 commercial for Samsung's Smart TV. The commercial depicts a man sitting on the beach in an armchair with scenes from multiple movies (police cars, horses, warriors, dinosaurs, etc.) rushing at him before he uses only his voice and hands to select a recommended movie for the evening.
Chris Turpin - guitar, vocals,
Stephanie Ward - piano, vocals,
Marc Jones - drums,
Dom Kozubik - bass - (2011-present),
Richard Jones - violin, backing vocals. Left band in 2011. Credits: 'Burst its Banks' EP;'Kill It Kid' album,
Adam Timmins - bass, banjo. Left band in 2011. Credits: 'Burst its Banks' EP; 'Kill It Kid' album; 'Feet Fall Heavy' album