Discover thrilling artists in 10 questions…
17 April 2018
Together Samuel Buss and Brittany West are KOBAN. A highly intriguing darksome tandem describing themselves as a ‘drifter satanic murder couple‘. Don’t get scared, it’s just that as artists they love to explore the nightmarish side of humankind. For this pair, making music about the saturnine side of daily life works like therapy. They design twilight soundscapes pushed by obscure bass lines, ongoing electric-powered guitar waves and rhythmic synth beats while dusky vocals intensify the overall gloomy picture perfectly. Last month they played Turn Up The Volume‘s hometown Ghent (Belgium). An ideal opportunity for a Q & A. Let’s get in the right frame of mind first with ‘The Instinct Of Ego, a doom-loaded track from their latest album ‘Abject Obsessions‘…
Hello Britt & Sam, hello KOBAN
Welcome at Turn Up The Volume!
1/ What’s the story behind the band’s name?
“It’s not a very good story…we got the name when we were teens traveling in Japan. We kept on seeing these signs everywhere that said ‘KOBAN’ and we liked the aesthetic look, and the neutral tone that came with it. Turns out they were community help boxes? Who knew!”
2/ What does the term/label ‘Goth Music’ really means to you?
“We never really wanted a label for our music, as we didn’t want to be confined into a box and stifle any creativity. However, our music is often an expression of the harder emotions to show in everyday life, so a darkness does come forward. It’s a release. Therapy. I guess that darkness is why people connect us with Goth music.”
3/ The band’s artwork/image by Colin Cey is really fascinating.
What is its signification?
“Colin is an amazing tattoo artist, and a dear friend, who often draws femme figures,
and deals with concepts of death, time and space, literature and nature. We asked him
to create a T-shirt design based on one of the femme figures, and that is what he gave us! Interpretation is up to the wear-er…”
4/ Which track is KOBAN’s signature one so far and why?
“‘We Run Red Lights’ epitomizes us pretty clearly. It encompasses all the elements of
our music. Sam and my vocals simultaneously playing off each other, repetitive drums, punchy bass and washed out guitar. We don’t play this one live, but after reflecting on it…we probably should!”
5/ Why is your latest EP titled ‘Part Time Punk Sessions’?
“Part Time Punks is a weekly night hosted in Los Angeles where they play Punk, Post-Punk, Minimal Synth, Industrial and a whole range of other types of music. When we opened
for Crash Course in Science there in April 2017, they recorded the session afterwards in a studio. We really enjoyed the tracks and wanted to get them out ASAP and we didn’t want to wait for a label to pick them up so… voila! Digital “Part Time Punks Sessions” released!”
6/ If KOBAN would be an animal, which one would it be and why?
“I think we would be lions because we are ferocious and strong
on the outside, and cuddly babies on the inside.”
7/ Any rituals before going on stage?
“Drinking profusely (to cut the nerves)
“Pacing back and forth (to cut the nerves)
“Doing push ups/stretches (to cut the nerves
and get STRONG.)”
8/ Which movie would you pick to visualize your music on
a big screen at when playing a concert?
“Eraserhead. Because it is so eerie and beautiful at the same time, and
I can’t get enough of that gross, weird alien baby thing… forcing people
to look at it for a whole set would please me.”
9/ If you could go back in time on which artist’s front door
would you knock and ask to have a selfie together?
“We would go back in time to visit the Neanderthals who created the Red Disk and hand stencils in the El Castillo cave. We would do this in order to see what the early man was like, and what they were thinking at the time. We would ask them to explain to us why
they drew these stencils, and if they would take a traditional selfie: a handprint on the
10/ Future plans for KOBAN?
“We’re taking a break now from writing and will be working on a new
electronic project called “SIGSALY”. Check it out here on Bandcamp”
Thanks, Britt and Sam for the chat.
May the road rise with KOBAN!
Here’s KOBAN‘s latest full length
‘ABJECT OBSESSIONS‘ right here…
(concert pics: JL/Turn Up The Volume!)