Say Psych: Interview – The Orange Kyte

Vancouver based four-headed, eight-legged The Orange Kyte have been attracting increased attention, partially due to the release of their LP Grow It Right recently on Portland label Little Cloud Records. They create a full-on immersive psychoramic sound that fizzes, fuzzes and fragments within shimmering pools of vividly colourful mind-expanding kaleidoscopia.

Intrigued by this, BSM had a chat with their main man Stevie to find out more…


Q – Hey Stevie, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! So, tell us a bit about yourselves, there are those, shockingly, who don’t know much about you this side of the pond…

A – The Orange Kyte began as a solo project in January 2016. The aim was to release a single a month collaborating with whoever was around and recording by whatever means available. So first album ‘Grow It Right’ is a compilation of all those singles, 12 tunes from January to December. Over the course of the project show requests came in and I had to put a band together for them and ultimately the lines blurred between the live thing and recording project, resulting in the Orange Kyte becoming a band in a more traditional sense. So now we consist of me on guitar and vocals. Dave on drums. Mat on organ. Robin on bass. And Matty on sax. The songs generally begin as an acoustic meandering by me and then fleshed out in the studio. Although of late some have been borne out of organic studio jams.


Q – You have relocated from Dublin to Vancouver, has that had a big impact on you musically with it being, I am sure, a different environment and people?

A – Yeah totally. It may have had more to do with personal lifestyle choices, but Vancouver felt far less claustrophobic to me, and that feeling informed by song writing. Evolving from paranoid and moody stuff, to just being more laid back and easy going. A direct reflection how I felt personally. I live right by the beach and hike in the mountains regularly. You can’t help but absorb that into the songwriting. I also get more opportunities to see my favourite U.S. bands here who rarely make it over as far as Ireland on tour.


Q – It’s quite an unusual band name, is there meaning behind it?

A- There is no meaning behind it really. It was the eve of releasing the first single and I needed a name to set up the social media pages and all that jazz. It was informed I think by the Red Krayola. Maybe. I can’t really remember exactly but I do remember my girlfriend had suggested the colour orange as her favourite colour. And I had read about the word ‘kyte’ being prison slang for contraband communication. So just stuck them together. I guess the creation of the name was in the same collaborative and easy going spirit as to how the songs were being put together. I guess the William Burroughs cut and paste/Exquisite Corpse/Oblique Strategies approach comes into play sometimes.


Q – So how about inspirations, either musical or otherwise, seen as how you just mentioned Burroughs?

A – Outliers, miscreants, weirdos and mind-expanding fungus. Musically, punk, psychedelia, krautrock, The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, Primal Scream, Death in Vegas, CAN, White Fence, Spiritualized, Super Furry Animals. We try to keep it as visceral and automatic as possible without letting too much thought get involved but all of the above are a small batch of the many musical staples.


Q – You peddle psychy dream pop loveliness, how did you come to be involved with this kind of music?

A- It is just what comes out naturally. I think getting hooked on Primal Scream’s Screamadelica kick started that particular love affair. A this point it is just the style of music that comes naturally.


Q – Grow It Right, has been released on the wonderful Little Cloud Records, how did you come to be involved with them?

A – Mike from the label is also involved with Pure Salem Guitars. Pure Salem are pretty synonymous with the current psych scene and I guess they’d heard us and contacted me to see if I’d like to try some guitars out. I actually then recognized Mike’s name from buying the singles through Bandcamp. We got to talking then and the conversation arose about releasing the compilation. I got introduced by Mike to his business partner at Little Cloud, Josiah, and we clicked. It’s been a thoroughly great experience meeting those crazy cats. Josiah’s band Magic Shoppe are also one of my favourite bands.


Q – How would you sum up your sound in one sentence for the uninitiated?

A – A loose cacophony of visceral sonic tomfoolery, fixed together with pop-informed melody, three safety pins, and some scotch tape.


Q – Any plans to play live or tour?

A – Yes we play Desert Daze in Joshua Tree, California in October. We are touring around that with The Babe Rainbow from Australia. We are on the roster at Space Agency Booking and look forward to getting out on the road as much as we can.


Q – What’s next?

A – Hoping to get album #2, entitled ‘The Orange Kyte Says Yes!’ out by the end of the year. With the third record already underway. We have begun tracking that one with Chris van der Laan AKA the Godfather of The Orange Kyte, without whom, the Orange Kyte would not exist. We are his fault. Blame him! Myself and Chris are finishing another album together too, for a project helmed by Chris, and we hope to get that record out this year.


Q – Is there an overall goal?

A – To create an ever-evolving and vast body of work, play shows in every corner of the globe, and laugh our arses off while doing so.

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