Kinski

Seattle Weekly: Do you guys improvise much on your new album, Alpine Static [Sub Pop]?

Chris Martin (guitar): Normally the band jams on a riff or basic structure, and then everything gets rearranged. So it's a combination of traditional songwriting and improvising around those ideas. I co-produced Alpine Static with [engineer] Randall Dunn. Especially with this record, we all had a strong focus on what we wanted.

How about onstage?

It depends on the show. If there isn't a large audience, we'll improvise more. In a full room, it seems like we play things more straightforwardly. There's always room within some of the songs to go off on a tangent and see what happens.

You recently reissued Kinski's first two albums, 1999's SpaceLaunch for Frenchie and 2001's Be Gentle With the Warm Turtle, on your Intellectual Drunks, the label run by yourself and Lucy Atkinson, Kinski's bassist. Those records are denser than Alpine Static. When would you say Kinski began incorporating broader, more spacious elements?

Those elements have always been there. We felt Alpine Static, at least the first half, returned full circle to the density of Be Gentle. Actually, the music got spacier with Airs Above Your Station [2003]. The music always ebbs and flows, I don't think it was a conscious decision to move one way or the other.

Is Intellectual Drunks planning to release music from other bands?

A couple bands have written and asked if we're accepting demos. It would be fun to put out other records, but we have to wait and see how these reissues do, and whether we can afford it.

You have a side project called Ampbuzz. What does that bring to Kinski? Is it a springboard for ideas or a completely different facet of your musical side?

It's completely different. This Is My Ampbuzz [2002] contained more electronic-based ideas. I didn't have to think about structure or what key it was in. I could just lay stuff down on tape and not worry about ever having to play it again, [which is] a lot different than writing for Kinski.

Are Kinski big gear-heads?

We're not one of those bands who have tons of guitars, always changing. We've all had the same amps and guitars for a long time, though we've slowly accumulated several pedals.

Who are you most excited to see at Bumbershoot this year?

The Stooges! We're playing a couple hours before them, so we're trying to figure out how to get rid of our equipment and run over to watch.

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Kinski play the EMP Sky Church during Bumbershoot at 6:15 p.m. Mon., Sept. 5. $28 one-day pass/$45 two-day pass/$80 four-day pass; $8 ages 5–12 and over 65. www.bumbershoot.org.

 
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