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Brief interview with Steve about Isidore Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 January 2005
Originally published at http://www.annecarlini.com/ex_interviews.php?id=335 Steve Kilbey ('Isidore')
'Reborn and Rekindled'

Two of alt-rock?s most influential unsung heroes, The Church?s Steve Kilbey and Remy Zero?s Jeffrey Cain, have created a masterpiece on opposite sides of the world without stepping into a studio together. The result, 'Isidore' in album title and band name, is a fascinating ten-song (eleven if you include the hidden track!) excursion into the layered and textured minds of Kilbey and Cain. Isidore was released on October 12 last year in the U.S. on Brash Music and has already sparked massive interest from the music media.

As vocalist, songwriter and bassist of the seminal alt-guitar band, The Church, Kilbey traipsed through the last two and a half decades, releasing critically-acclaimed album after album. The band saw huge mainstream success with their 1988 breakthrough Starfish that spawned the hits ?Reptile? and ?Under a Milky Way.? A fan of Kilbey?s, Cain was a successful musician in his own right. As guitarist for Remy Zero, Cain had seen his band through successes of critically-hailed records and even incidental acclaim through their song ?Save Me? which is the theme song to the WB?s #1 television show, 'Smallville'.

Isidore is an exploration of textures, layers, and deeply personal ideas and melodies. Sounding at times like a combination of both The Church and Remy Zero, while simultaneously sounding like neither, the album flows from the rhythmic ?Ghosting,? to the meanderingly soothing ?Transmigration,? to the soaring, guitar-driven opening track ?Musidora,? without losing its continuity or rhythm.

Chatting one-on-one with Steve Kilbey, he graciously answered a few of our questions one day late last year:

 What was it about the instrumental track handed to you by Marty (from Jeffrey) that made you begin the wheels turning on this project? "Jeffrey's music was like music I could have written myself but never actually had. It was begging for a vocal and lyrics from me. It had that intangible 'X' factor that lets you know when you've stumbled on something that's right up your alley. It was subtle and succinct. It was modest yet it hinted at great command and power. When the slide guitar started its ascent 3 quarters the way thru - the track was transmigration - I felt like a razor had opened me up and the words poured out of the wound."

Having had so much success with The Church for so many years, how does the quietened expectancy for this new project match up? "I compartmentalise the music and the hopes for success. I think this record is extraordinarily beautiful but I don't have any particular hopes for changing the way the music biz works. It could sell a million, it could sell a hundred ... nothing would surprise me with it!"

How easy was it to record an album ... and not even be in the same room EVER with your musical partner?! "It was real real easy! No arguments, no meetings no nothing just these great tracks dropping out of the blue. All it needed were some words and vocals and I could do anything I wanted! Hey, that's easy!"

From the new album, what track stands out to you the most ... and why? "I think 'Sanskrit' is great. We're dealing with a very elusive subject here - pre destiny and the inevitability of everything - and I think Jeffrey's rolling boiling music - those strange warped strings, the mechanical guitars - sets it up so nicely. My words are simple yet the song conveys the feeling of its intent."

Finally, describe yourself in just three words "Mercurial, lazy, and perfectionist!"

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