The KVB released their new EP “Out of Body” the other week, and after listening to it about 10 times, each time becoming more enveloped in the layers of sound and waves of emotion, I resurfaced, toweled off, and ran over to Berghain to catch their show there. If it weren’t for the fantastic art-wave opening set of the newly christened List Noire (Velvet Condom), I would have thought I had time traveled back to 1991 during the height of the shoegaze era.
Afterwards, I sat down for a chat with Nick and Kat of The KVB, and discussed touring, their influences, and the new EP:
Post-Punk: I think your music is very sexy, but “Out of Body “feels a little bit more erotic. I don’t know, was that an intention, or…no?
Nicholas: There’s a sort of tension there.
Kat: Well maybe because we’re boyfriend/girlfriend..Nick and I are together, maybe that’s what it is. We’ve been together for, like, three-and-a-half years now.
Nicholas: It preceded the band, so…
Post-Punk: So maybe you bring that chemistry to the music?
Kat: Yes, I’d agree with that.
Post-Punk: I feel like everything has gone full circle, kind of back to the early ’90s lately. Because there was a post-punk revival and now there’s a minimal wave thing with Veronica and what she does…and now I feel like there’s this big shoegaze revival happening; maybe everybody’s smoking a lot of weed or something? I mean, at least they were at the show, you know?
Kat: I could smell it too!
Post-Punk: it’s probably been said before – Klaus Von Barrel, abbreviated KVB; it just seems…living in Berlin, you just think, you know, like SMERSH or the Stasi, the secret police type of thing going on. Was that intentional?
Kat: Well we never intended to move to Berlin, so…
Nicholas: No, it’s all been accidental…but yeah, we moved here.
Post-Punk: Everybody’s moving here! And you guys are a little bit late, like, for the trend.
Kat: Yeah, we’re too late, but I had to finish uni.
Nicholas: I lived in London before this so I just fancied a change. It’s been, like, two months?
Kat: I love London still but…I lived in London for five years so I wanted a change too.
Post-Punk: I’ve only been there once but it was very expensive, very difficult. And actually I’m from New York-
Kat: And you say London’s expensive!
Nicholas: I guess it’s similar.
Post-Punk: The only place I’ve been robbed is London.
Kat: Oh I’ve been robbed in London. And Berlin!
Post-Punk: Berlin, yeah, it’s got its dicey neighborhoods. I live in Lichtenberg and when I moved here it was still very Nazi, and it was just…well…they had the NPD posters everywhere…
Post-Punk: After Berlin, Do you have more dates down south on the German tour?
Kat: Cologne, Munich, and Dresden.
Post-Punk: Cologne, Munich, and Dresden. Have you played Munich before?
Nicholas: Yeah, we have.
Post-Punk: Were you well received down there before?
Kat: It was alright.
Nicholas: We played a kind of-
Kat: -weird place. It was almost like an old World War Two bunker.
Nicholas: It was kind of like a night club, so it was quite a strange atmosphere. You know, like a sort of floor show.
Kat: There were all these weird chairs hanging from chains everywhere.
Nicholas: A fetish-type thing.
Kat: Yeah, it was strange!
Post-Punk: Are you planning on touring anywhere else besides Germany?
Nicholas: Just a few shows here and there at the moment. Like in France-
Kat: Switzerland and Paris Psych Fest…
Post-Punk: Over in Los Angeles, Did you guys play Part Time Punks a long time ago?
Kat: Yeah! Oh I love Michael. I think he’s such a great guy. It’s so good coming back to play there.
Post-Punk: So there plans to return over to the US?
Nicholas: We hope so, yeah.
Kat: It’s just more a case of work visas.
Nicholas: I’m working out a tour.
Post-Punk: Yeah, you gotta be careful…some people, they just go over with no equipment, they just rent the equipment there and they bypass but then sometimes they get you and really…it makes no sense that you are required visas. The US Government doesn’t make any money off of that.
Kat: No. It’s bad. It’s a shame that it’s like that but…We know other bands that have been caught and been banned from America, so we don’t want that to happen.
Post-Punk: Do you know the guys from Lebanon Hanover?
Kat: That’s who I was referring to!
Post-Punk: Yeah! They made the mistake of-
Kat: -coming back through Canada. It’s so sad.
Post-Punk: It seems the most severe border. It seems more tough than the Mexican border.
Kat: I hate that that’s happened to them.
Post-Punk: Yeah, I mean…I just tell people, “You’re going on tour in the US? Do not drive up through Canada and drive back. Take a plane.”
Kat: We haven’t played Canada, so…
Going back to the record, there seems to be kind of spiritual theme going on, like kind of visions or hallucinations…
Kat: Meditative and immersive.
Post-Punk: “Immaterial Visions”, “Out Of Body”?
Kat: I’m really interested in how sound and vision can really affect the body and, for example, with the visuals, how the pixels become so material that your eyes can almost stroke the screen and can really feel them.
Post-Punk: You really get that from the video projections in the shows. Definitely. And it just reminds me of old, like, record covers from a lot of music that came out – I’m talking about the shoegaze stuff – there was a lot of that there. Erm…Imagery form My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive…By the way, did you see them in London? Slowdive?
Nicholas: We didn’t actually. That was recently, wasn’t it?
Kat: Yeah. We’ve been living here, so…
Post-Punk: I’m going to see them in a couple of days in Leipzig-
Kat: The line-up’s so good for the Wave Gotik Treffen.
Post-Punk: It’s amazing!
Nicholas: It’s a good line-up.
Kat: The Soft Moon are playing as well. We’ll be playing with them in Paris. At Psych Fest
Post-Punk: Oh that’s going to be a great show!
…So my favorite track on “Out of Body”– I mentioned in via email beforehand.
Nicholas: From Afar.
Post-Punk: From Afar. And I believe that was the third song you played?
Nicholas: Yeah, we played it tonight.
Post-Punk: It’s great!
Post-Punk: Can you tell me anything about that song?
Nicholas: It was written quite a while ago; it’s been hanging around for two, maybe three years before we recorded it. I can’t even remember the story or anything behind it; it just came about in a lot of the recording sessions I used to do back then when writing a lot of songs at home.
Kat: In Southampton.
Nicholas: Yes, when I lived in Southampton. It has been around for a while and it was too good to not…that’s why we put it on the EP, because we’ve both liked that song for a while and we wanted to give it a chance.
Post-Punk: It’s really, really beautiful. I was just…I kept going back to it; I listened to Out Of Body like four or five times, you know, the past two days and yeah, that was the one that really stuck out for me.
Nicholas: Thank you. That’s really nice.
Post-Punk: So the record to me sounds very kind of oceanic…I just think of water when I listen to it.
Kat: Yeah…Like washing over you.
Post-Punk: Yes, exactly. Like there’s out of body experience that drifts over and through the waves.
Kat: Well water’s very immersive and that’s exactly what we wanted to convey with the music as well as the visuals, I think. And I really like using nature and turning it digital. For example, in our up-coming video that’s yet to be released, I use water actually!
Nicholas: Across the Sea
Kat: For Across the Sea, of course. But all the water is not from natural sources, it’s purely from digital data, so I’ve tried to almost…use data as nature? I don’t know. You’ll have to wait and see when it eventually premieres. But it’s using computer game programs and things like that.
Released June 2 2014
Out Of Body EP