GUEST POST: Lone Kodiak Talks New Single, Influences, and More – New Single “Let’s Hear It For The Kid” Out Now


We teamed up with Los Angeles-based Rockers Lone Kodiak, who have released their new single “Let’s Hear It For The Kid,” for a guest blog today to discuss their influences!

Coming along late in the album writing process, I had been listening to a lot of Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. and after so much time writing with deliberateness and rigorous attention to detail, I could not resist the urge to indulge in something less polished, more unruly, less thought out, more ‘don’t think, just play.’ I’d been writing many big, sometimes overly complex guitar lines and wanted something less written, the way Trent Reznor wanted his vocals in “Hurt” to be less sung. The hook was written on guitar, but translated perfectly to piano as an I don’t care I’m having fun jingle which gives way to a stompy intro that finally introduces a lead guitar that is literally just two notes. To emphasize the dissonance, we layered two tracks on top of each other, and I switched notes at slightly different intervals for each of them then our engineer Zach Fisher invented a distortion right there in the studio, nearly converting us to a noise rock band (you can clearly hear this effect when the climax bleeds into the outro).

 

 

 

Alden turned the dirty dial to 11 for bass, and I’m not sure Josh could have hit the toms any harder. One note we got on early mixes was that the kick and toms were way too loud, so we had our producer Kyle Mangels turn them up. Speaking of Josh, I believe this is the only song to feature a tambourine (“Werewolf Girl” might be the other exception), and throughout the mixing process, he kept asking for more like he was Christopher Walken in the cowbell sketch. The piano track was initially a cheap keyboard with a rolling reverse effect which we felt would age poorly, so we had our friend and recording artist Chris Cribb, who often joins us for live shows, track it with his setup. This gave it a more raw, in-the-room vibe, right down to the sustain pedal being the first thing you hear. One last interesting tidbit: while I’d love to credit it to musical genius, the e-bowed guitar doing a scale on verse 2 was completely unintentional … the tape was still rolling and so I kept riffing and despite my obviously wrong note, it managed to not only survive the editing process but get highlighted for its trippy moodiness.

 

Vocally there are three elements: the storyteller, the call-and-response, and the rallying cry. For the verses, and as silly as it sounds, I looked to Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Prince, not in some vain, futile attempt to emulate them, but for their ability to engage their audience with a sort of half-spoken, half-sung delivery as the narrator of the story. Lots of style and soul, but it should feel casually delivered as if in the moment. For the call-and-response, we’re basically doing crowd work, energizing the unruly group for the chaos that is coming: the battlefield charge, the corporate takedown, the government overthrow (I’ve liked this last analogy less since Jan. 6). The same line is repeated over and over with just slightly more intensity, until finally culminating with the rallying cry, a brutal, ugly, screamy anthem for our hero.

 

Lyrically, simplicity was king (the song title is repeated literally 16 times in a row at one point). A straightforward bank-robber-escapes-to-Mexico-falls-in-love-lets-their-guard-down-gets-caught story to which you could ascribe any kind of deeper meaning you wanted to. For me, the song is of course autobiographical, celebrating the younger version of myself and everyone else that obviously did not rob banks, but rejected the societal expectations they’re burdened with from the moment they can understand their language. They followed a different path than the one that was laid out for them – they painted and drew and sang and played; they practiced and performed and auditioned, all with zero guarantees of success and no safety net, often never realizing their dreams and living with those consequences (“the sentence was long and the punishment harsh”). Let’s hear it for the kid who is smart but gets bad grades, who is talented but disorganized, who is creative but unfocused, who works hard but burns out quickly, who drops out, quits, runs away, and despite the risk, starts something new in pursuit of what could very much be pure fantasy. They’re doing it. What we all wish we had, but lacked the courage.

 

Recorded at Big Bad Sound in Los Angeles and produced by Kyle Mangels, “Let’s Hear It for the Kid” is the second single off of Lone Kodiak’s forthcoming album, Inside Voices.

 

Bio:

There’s something singular about Lone Kodiak.

Founded by Portland natives Dainéal Parker (vocals, guitars) and Daniel Alden (bass), the group found revelation with the inclusion of their drummer, Josh Harris. Drawing inspiration from iconic bands like The Cure, Hum, The Smashing Pumpkins, Explosions In The Sky, and Deftones, the group embarked on a creative journey during the pandemic, molding a distinct sonic identity that has marked them out as the next new act to watch.

Whether trying to nail down their sound or find another group as hardworking as them, the band stands alone as their namesake would against a barren backdrop. And, of course, the East LA outfit doesn’t fit in with the pomp and bluster of the Hollywood rock scene, unconcerned as they are with clout, glory, or grandeur.

The quartet (with guitarist Ben Palmer squaring the circle) combines the grit of East LA with the sublime wildness of the Pacific Northwest – a group that is at once solitary, capable, dangerous, and self-assured.

Follow Lone Kodiak:

https://linktr.ee/lonekodiak