The Killing Gift is a new awesome experimental rock band. Their record “Who Watches the Watchmen” is coming out on July 13th through Immigrant Sun Records. I had an opportunity to interview their drummer Benny via an AOHELL Instant Messenger conversation. I have edited it into to this lovely version. The only thing that’s missing is our screen names for safety from being warned, because that would suck.
So how and where did The Killing Gift form, and how long have you been a band?
The Killing Gift formed in my basement, in the lovely New Brunswick, NJ and stemmed off of mine and Parker’s old band, The Low End Theory...we broke up in February of 2003... Jon (guitar) and I lived together, and he worked with Renee, in March we jammed out and I was super into Renee's vocals and we decided to take Parker back on, and got Alex for second guitar. We started writing songs that April, played our first show that May, and here we are...
I played drums for a band called The Cable Car Theory on a European tour...Sean from Immigrant Sun was the tour manager, so we became good friends on the road, and when TKG started I sent him some stuff, they liked it...that's that. Oh, I think they're sexy, and sexiness is the most important thing a label can offer.
“Who Watches the Watchmen” will be out on July 13th through Immigrant Sun ... What can you say about the record that people don't know yet?
Eleven hott elbow throwing club jams straight out of the dirty Jerz. No wait, that's my other band... I can say it's easily the best thing I've ever been involved with, from songs to production. It's pretty, it's evil, and it rocks...kind of all at the same time. Matt Squire (editors note:who most recently worked with The Break, Northstar, and Let It Burn...he has also worked on the new Thrice, Hot Water Music, and Don't Look Down) did an amazing job, so it sounds phenomenal...I'm super excited for people to hear it.
Any plans on doing a video?
Yeah, our friends at Grey Sky Productions are hooking us up, for the song "Where's the Goot?"
Collectively, what are your influences?
The band is definitely influenced by Cave In, Quicksand, Ashes, Botch, Texas is the Reason, Coheed... but our weird tastes shine through, Alex is a giant Cure fan...that's where the ambient guitars come from, and I'm a huge groove kid, that's where the head bobbing shit comes from. Parker is a pop addict, so we got poppy bass lines. Renee's influence is all over the board too… so she seems to use a lot in her vocals. She loves epic sounding singers...but ballsy ones...like Cave In. She also can't stop listening to Denali lately.
What is the message behind "Who Watches the Watchmen"?
We got the name from an Alan Moore graphic novel called "The Watchmen"...first off we just liked how it sounded...but it does take on a meaning with the current state of America. Mainly the Patriot Act, and disregard for civil liberties...who's watching the people who watch us? Nobody, and that's the problem.
What are your favorite movies?
Wow, well I'm a huge movie buff...my personal faves...Donnie Darko, Bowling for Columbine, Almost Famous, How High, Taxi Driver, Good Fellas, Wonderboys, Fight Club, X-men, Run Lola Run, Gangs of New York, Office Space, and Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence.
Led Zeppelin, Botch, Cave In, Hum, Far, Sunny Day Real Estate, Poison The Well, Avail, Nas (check out the remaster of Illmatic, so good) Cursive, Nora, Texas is the Reason... so many more. Recover kicks my ass.
So, what is The Killing Gift's goal as a band?
I guess most bands’ goal, be able to quit our jobs and play music all the time. I think all of us have found the exact band we wanna sound like with TKG, so we just wanna continue writing, playing, talking to fine folks like you...and hope enough people wanna hear it so we can quit our shitty jobs.
If heaven exists what would you like to hear God say to you when you arrive at the pearly gates?