Introducing KMRO: Political noise

20190424_161717Rebecca P.

A few months ago I found an interesting punk/electronic album on bandcamp. I emailed the band (KMRO) and got an email back. We started emailing and they agreed to answer some interview questions. But check out KMRO kmro.bandcamp.com

Why do you call yourselves a human/electronic hybrid?

K: A big part of our daily lives are governed by machines. We use computers for work, for leisure (to make music) and to socialize. But at the same time we are animals who prefer to walk barefoot on the beach and ride bicycles outside. We feel like cyborgs – human / computer collaborators. And of course the machines make a lot of KMRO sound – they actually do some chaotic stuff that we sort of program. They run more than half of the band.

Tell me about the new album “Free Wifi?”

K: “Free WIFI is a reflection on just how poisonous digital communication is. If you’ve ever been in the airport, or a hotel, or driving on the east coast, you get these intrusive offers for free wifi that pop up on your phone (fuck you xfinity). We all need actually free public airwaves, but instead these systems offer you bloatware and advertisements and viruses. “Free WIFI” is almost never Free. So this was a series of songs that we wrote about how pissed we are at this environment.

Doesn’t that seem inconsistent? To offer your album online and be pissed about the internet?

K: Not at all. Most of us dislike something that we also can’t live without. Someone who is addicted to cigarettes probably knows more than non-smokers just how tricky the tobacco industry (or juul) is. We aren’t going to wait until we’ve become perfect vegan activists to yell about animal liberation. And we aren’t going to stop emailing our parents because we hate facebook. But in this tension is a desire for expression and maybe to be smarter about this shit.

Who is in the band? Tell me what you play?

K: The band stays intentionally opaque. The players aren’t really all that important. If you see us live, you can easily figure out who we are. It isn’t a secret . . . we aren’t wearing masks (yet). It isn’t what we want to prioritize. But the core instruments are modular synthesizer, home-made circuits of a variety of types (mostly drone noise boxes), bass, guitar and vocals (distorted).

Did you play music before KMRO?

K: Yes, we all had past incarnations. Some of us were Djs, some punk musicians and at least one member played in a classic rock cover band.

How would you describe the sound?

K: We intend to honor the drone. Lengthy exploration of a single note or a distorted chord are central to the project, sort of stoner/doom like. But this mixes with song-writing where we might compose some lyrics or have a plan to play a little more quickly. This lends toward more punk songs like “gender traitor” or “border nazi.” It really varies what we feel like playing. But drone electronics and distorted guitars are at the heart of what we do.

What are your influences?

K: Coffee, water, cats, dogs, dandelions, ocean mammals, circuit boards, resistors, veroboard, calligraphy pens, Sam Bee, that Canadian raven (Canuck), cheap guitars, home-made guitar pedals, Modular Addict, Mutable instruments, Sleep, Bongripper, Merzbow, disco, and books.

What is next for KMRO

K: We’re finishing up an album about animals, wildness, being feral and animal liberation. Then some summer public performances and more bizarre electronics.

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