Our relationship with Kickstarter Ritual goes back to when bassist Gaby was playing with an incredible Sydney metal band Scorpion Tailor (a sticker of which still adorns TNEG central). But we jump in too early with this connection.
The origin of this extremely active band has a quirky yet terribly rock and roll origin.
Drummer, Fortu (already a known metall-er in Northern Italy) felt it time to expand, extend and meld his intense and unwavering love for rock ‘n’ roll. As with every new band auditions must be held and held again until they find that individual who fits with the “vision”. Enter stage left stoner bassist Francesco and shortly after that hard core punk guitarist Goran.
The original band auditioned a singer, but as with most great bands, whilst not immediately aware of it, they had in fact achieved the sound and rhythm that would ultimately define them. The future for Kickstarter Ritual had started to take shape organically.
Pushing forward, this hard edged rock and roll trio released their debut four track EP “Black Mama” and ripped into the live scene while still honing their songwriting skills. Without taking a breath, they then released a follow-up single “Cooperate” (which to this day remains a set regular), went on tour, lost a band member, found a new one (Juliusz), kept writing and plugging away at a sound now heavily influenced by bluesy punk (think Hellacopters meets The Stones), had yet another line up change with Gaby (Scorpion Tailor) joining them and their look and sound was now complete .
It’s an interesting history you guys have collectively and individually and one seems to be fairly typical of the music industry. We particularly like the organic nature of the formation of Kickstarter Ritual, and curious beings that we are, we KNOW that choosing a name can be as random as European fashion. So….how, who or what was the catalyst for the band’s name? (and don’t be shy….gotta luv a good background story)he band have set their eyes further afield and are ready to raise the bar.
Hey! Yeah it was such a random way of getting at the stage we are at now!
Fortu and I met a decade and a half ago, we were great mates and hanged out a lot, went to concerts and had lots of fun. However we never played together until, in 2005, Fortu asked me to join a project he was putting together with two friends. Houston! was the biggest project we ever had until that moment, we loved it and it worked! Things fell apart after a few years and me moving overseas didn’t help to keep in touch! Kickstarter Ritual was Fortu’s idea, and the name reflects his love for old motorbikes (the ritual of placing the starter pedal in place to push the piston in the right spot before kick starting it).
Juliusz is the bass player, then shifted to guitar when I joined the band 6 months ago. He’s a rad guitarist, a bear of a man, the sweetest person you ever came across, an animal on stage! He’s a pro opera singer also and studied classical music.
Let’s talk about the Black Mama EP. It’s like being swept up in a tornado to the highest level rock and roll where pockets of air are thrown in only to allow a change in direction of groove. Who or what have been the major influences on not only your style of music but the direction you are heading and how far are you prepared to go to reach the peak where you can sit back and say “yeah, this is it. this is what we wanted, this is where we want to be”
That EP was the result of great work, as well as a primal expression of the inception of Kickstarter Ritual where neither Juliusz not Gaby were in yet. We loved (and still adore) stoner rock, doom, slow deep sounds and wanted to create something innovative, catchy and original, following the style of these bands we loved. “Black Mama” itself (the song) is still one of the favourites at our live shows, it’s sharp and it’s one of the best songs to play live!
At the same time we were quite naive back in the days and this was a spontaneous expression of what we were, not too much planning or something, we just switched on, turned the volume to ten and started playing.
Now things have changed quite a lot. Our sound is more refined and technically more advanced. Kickstarter Ritual is a mature entity and our music will definitely reflect this change. Influences are slightly different as different are the musicians that play now, so sounds will probably be more articulate, dynamic, I’d say more entertaining.
We will probably never sit back and relax ahaha! We love playing way too much and research and growth are two of the best expressions of creativity. However I could definitely sit back and say ‘well that was it’ after playing a gig in front of 20000 people as headliner! The answer to the ‘what are you willing to do…’, I tell you, we are willing to do pretty much ANYTHING!
Gaby we know you from Scorpion Tailor and we still have one of the set list proudly preserved for all the remainder of life on this mortal coil. What is your involvement with them now that you are not only in another band but literally half a world away. Dare we ask if there is another sessions with them on the not too distant horizon?
Scorpion Tailor was such good fun. I literally loved Paul and Rousseau, I had the pleasure to play with two reliable, great men with whom I shared not only music, but also a thorough friendship that will never fade. We had a few songs and some plans for the future, but then we faced reality and realised that our personal lives could not also support a music project. It was hard to rehearse, even harder to book gigs. Sydney is competitive and we didn’t have a strong network so we had to literally start from scratch. As the mature men that we are, it was hard to keep up with so many talented young bands that we were playing with. Not because we lacked energy (actually, we always had so much of that!), but we literally had no time or space to logistically grant a future to the band. It slowly became a hobby, which I cannot tolerate as a musician.
But if destiny drags me back to your fantastic country, I would be honoured to organise a reunion for a gig or two!
Back to Kickstarter Ritual and inevitable topic of touring. It’s fair say that it’s not all “that”. It’s not all fast cars, fast girls top end hotels and being surrounded by the predictable Yes people (dare we say “entourage”?) and some simply fall out of love with the music and thus the band. It’s gotta be said that the decision by Fortu and Juliusz to keep playing no matter what during a rather tumultuous time in literally the band’s first foray on the road, is simply one that can’t not be admired no matter how hard edged or jaded a rocker an observer can be. Do you think that it was that simple decision to keep playing no matter what which helped the band make its mark amongst its fan base?
Ah that tour was awesome. We were finally on the road and no it was not hotels fast cars and hot chicks! It was hard, haha! We slept wherever we could and played as hard as we could! People loved us and we loved the crowd. As soon as we were back from the tour, Goran (former guitarist) told us he no longer wanted to be part of the band. He just cut it short with no particular explanation. He wanted to move to Hamburg with his girlfriend. We were like ‘ok man, it might be stupid to leave us, but it’s fine’.
That was when the hard part started: Fortu and I played a show without bassist (I learnt the songs on the guitar just a couple of days before) and people actually loved it. I’m not sure about the sound, but the energy was there, the passion… they felt it and the response was honest and supportive. Gaby joined us shortly after that, and we managed to play a show the following week with both him and I trying to rock out while literally trying to remember where to slide our fingers! We thought it was not a great show but, hey, we saw a couple of amateur videos of that night and we didn’t do a bad job!
So you guys have made and continue to grow within Europe. Simple question: What’s next for Kickstarter Ritual (and let’s not forget to include Sydney in your answer!)?
We are now booking shows in Europe to promote ‘Ready to Take a Ride’. We are collaborating with a couple of small agencies to promote us in Holland and Germany. We are definitely going to work as hard as possible to get to England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland.
Our top three overseas country are obviously Australia (Ah we cannot wait to be in Sydney!!), Japan and USA.
We will lock ourselves in a studio starting from the beginning of fall and potentially be able to release an album within the end of the year. We are hoping to be in Sydney for next Australian summer for the promotional tour of our next album (unless someone calls us earlier!!).
Final (and yes, somewhat predictable) question: ultimate line up at the ultimate venue is…..
Late 70s Aerosmith
Jack White (dead weather and solo)
Sia (oh yeah she rocks)
Venue: Roundhouse in London!
Venue: The Whiskey A Go Go