Mackenzie Robert IS Kenzie Kaos
As I meet Mackenzie and sit down to begin the interview. I get my recorder ready and test the audio to make sure I’m good to go and it hits me, could I be sitting across from the next Lady Gaga? Katy Perry? It is quite possible because this girl has her head on her shoulders and is getting ready to make waves in the electronic indie pop genre. I had the opportunity to sit with her prior to the release of her music coming out in the spring along with an indie film and this is how the interview went. Enjoy.
Nashville Rocks: Who is Kenzie Kaos? Tell us about your band and your music.
Kenzie Kaos: We are an electronic indie pop group. We met at Belmont University. We started writing together and our vibe really matched. We continued on and created Kenzie Kaos and we have our first release coming out this spring in the movie Butterfly Kisses. Our song, Butterfly Kisses will be the title track. I’m grew up in musical theatre and Connor played in a pop punk band that toured in the Vans Warped Tour while he was in high school.
Subscribe to the Nashville Rocks Music Newsletter
NR: So we definitely need to meet.
KK: So you are a fan of that?
NR: I just usually prefer hard rock.
KK: Awesome, yeah Connor played Warped Tour in 09’ and ‘10 with his band, Rosie Likes Red.
NR: So tell me what Connor does as part of Kenzie Kaos
KK: He creates the beats and tracks and plays keys.
NR: He does the sequencing?
KK: Yes, he does. He is the Mozart of Kenzie Kaos.
NR: Do you collaborate on song lyrics?
KK: Yes, we write everything together.
NR: Do you write on keyboard or something else?
KK: It depends song to song. Connor usually writes starting from the keyboard
NR: On the website you are putting forth a goth kind of theme.
KK: We are pretty goth aren’t we. (laughs)
NR: You were the innocent college girl weren’t you?
NR: It’s theatrical though. You did say you were from a theatre background.
KK: It’s very theatrical and 100% reflects the sound of the music.
KK: Exactly, yeah, we’re somewhere in between there.
NR: So you’re not wearing some androgynous body suit on stage?
KK: No, but we might you never know [laughs]
NR: whatever captures the fans interest right?
KK: It just depends on the message of the song.
NR: A new band for me to look up…
KK: I think you’ll like them. Those are the two people we are kind of a cross between. On the branding thing. We really thought about our message. We really want to shed as much light on the darkness and rooting for the underdog, a celebration of life and the human experience. There’s light and dark aspects in both so we celebrate both extremes.
NR: How did the connection to the film come about?
KK: We were approached by the producer. Connor and I celebrate the underdog, the fighters, and overcoming obstacles in our songs. We also celebrate and believe in both the dark and the light. All of this really resonated with them because Butterfly Kisses is actually about a young woman who is contemplating committing suicide and the struggles she is going through. We wrote Butterfly Kisses for their film based on that struggle and not giving up.
NR: That’s coming out in the spring? Is it a local film or is it a world wide distribution kind of thing?
KK: It is going to be a national distribution to in indie theaters.
NR: You recently played a gig. What was the audience like?
KK: Yes, we played the ArtLightenment Art and Film Festival about a week ago. The audience was amazing.
NR: What is Art Lightenment? Were there other bands playing there as well?
KK: No, we were the only music and we actually opened the award ceremony that night. So, that was great! A majority of the people there were visual artists and filmmakers.
NR: It hits all the bases…
KK: We definitely resonate within the artistic community. So, yes, it was really cool playing for people we knew it would touch bases with and effect.
NR: So as far as the music release coming up, is it an EP or a full release.
KK: We’re actually going to be releasing singles through an app. Butterfly Kisses will release in the Spring and then the other tracks will be released based on what we’ve observe from the first. We have a lot up our sleeves. It’s just timing. So I’ll let you know.
NR: That’s about 45 minutes worth of material, pretty standard…
KK: They’re ready to go. We are just waiting for the right moment. They are like our little children.
NR: ??? So give us a picture in our minds eye of the stage and of the theatrics of your live show.
KK: I was wearing bedazzled cat ears at the Film Festival. For the one before, I had customized and attached pinwheels to the top of my dress on my boobs [laughs]. The song was kaleidoscope so, it was clearly a no brainer.
NR: So do you have someone doing custom dress work or do you do it yourself?
KK: Connor and I do it all ourselves. We could basically outfit the cast of Xanadu at this point. No, not yet…we’re not that cool. But maybe one day! Gotta have goals.
KK: Oh yeah, we are all about it. We hold our visuals to the same standard as we do our music.
NR: I guess that’s the reason I ask that is because it’s as much of a visual experience as much as it is auditory.
KK: It is, 100% a visual experience. We like to tie in every sense.
NR: So what are we tasting?
KK: Well, we have some pretty interesting drink ideas.
NR: You could have the bar serve special drinks when you play.
KK: Exactly, we’ve partnered with a food truck to do exactly that. Create a specialty drink and be at our events.
NR: That’s awesome.
KK: Ok ok, I would be lying if said Lady Gaga wasn’t an influence. They called me Lady Gaga in High School for God’s sake. I will always be a little monster. We have a giant ear of corn in production curently. I can proudly say that Lady Gaga might possibly, just possibly, also have a giant ear of corn, probably already made though.
NR: Do you have any gigs coming up?
KK: Yes, we are playing December 17th at Cafe Coco in Nashville.
NR: When you play out do you get to play with other bands much?
KK: Lately, we’ve been collaborating a lot with Hooligan Recordings and Gold Dash at house parties.
NR: How does your songwriting begin?
KK: We just hear something whether it be a melody or an idea and it goes from there! Connor and I make a great team because he push each other in different areas writing wise.
NR: Do you have anyone helping you on the business side?
KK: We are currently managing ourselves.
NR: It’s like a marriage…
KK: I guess (laughs)
NR: Say I’m a teen or in college and thinking about putting together a band. Do you have any tips for those folks?
KK: Yeah, I would say listen to your inner six year old. If you’re doing something your younger self wouldn’t approve of, I’d say most of the time, don’t do it. Stay true to who you are and think on your feet.
NR: Good wisdom. Listen to your inner six year old.
KK: Yeah, it’s the purity, compassion, positive decision-making, and stick-to-itiveness of people’s younger selves that often dies way too early I think. So yeah, I’d say its important to keep that six year old alive.
NR: I have a six year old and I’m thinking….noooooo I don’t think so…
KK: Well, also surround yourself with the best people you can.
NR: See that six year old part would mean I could jump from the couch to the chair in the living room….
KK: I was scheming in my room at 6.
NR: a little Dr. Evil.
KK: Yeah pretty much. No really….
NR: Where can we hear some of the samples of your music?
KK: You can hear samples at Kenzie Kaos dot com.
NR: Where will you be in 5 years…stupid interview question….
KK: I hope I’m alive…I would really love to be touring full time.
NR: Who would you tour with?
NR: Hows your coffee?