Summerfest Sessions: Kink Ador
Episode two in our Mobile Studio Summerfest Sessions series brings us the Nashville based band Kink Ador. Although they are based in a town that is traditionally seen as a hub for country music, Kink Ador can be described as a rock band with an indie/alternative and often punk flair. Their sound harkens back to bands like Blondie and could even be compared to the more contemporary Yeah Yeah Yeahs. While their sound may be fun and energetic, their message is deeply thought provoking with questions about the current state of rock and roll and a proclamation to the world that we need to start living our lives to their fullest potential. The singer/bass player Sharon, guitar player Nick, and drummer Pearce all bring a sense of humor and humility to their philosophical underpinnings whether that be in their music or during the short interview we had together.
All of the microphones were running into the Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2 FireWire interface and live sound mixer. The StudioLive was then routed to Pro Tools 10 via a single FireWire cable. Within Pro Tools 10 we used their extensive sets of plug ins but generally stuck to their phenomenal reverb plug ins to bring out the sounds of the acoustic guitars and vocals
For the recording we used all Sennheiser microphones. For the vocals we used the Sennheiser e935, and for the acoustic guitars we used the e914 microphone. For the impromptu microphone case drum, we used the e935. Kink Ador also grabbed the Taylor Guitars that we had featured for the Summerfest Sessions. Sharon grabbed the baritone guitar to help facilitate a deep bass sound and Nick grabbed another Taylor guitar that he was quite happy to be playing. Give it a listen and tell us what you think.
Check out the videos of their acoustic studio recording of “Who’s on the Line,” as well as the interview. If you just can’t get enough of Kink Ador, check out the full interview below.
Nick: We are Kink Ador from Nashville. I’m Nick I play guitar.
Sharon: I’m Sharon I play bass and sing,
Pearce: I’m Pearce and I play the drums.
What are you guys doing here in Milwaukee?
Sharon: We’re here for Summerfest, we got to play on the US Cellular stage
Pearce: It was hot, It was really hot.
How’d the show go?
Pearce: It was the best you could ask for at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a holiday
Sharon: I was super excited to play on the fourth of July, I think it’s a really exciting day to play.
So you guys are on tour right now. Tell me how that is going.
Nick: It’s going good, we drove up to Lafayette, Indiana for the night, then we got to Milwaukee last night, did a bar gig at the Up and Under which was really fun, and then played today at Summerfest, which in my opinion was one of the best shows we’ve ever done as a band. It was really exciting playing for a whole bunch of people who had never heard of us before.
Sharon: It was great! There was a big stage, and we got to go up and meet new people so it was really exciting.
Pearce: Good sound system, that always makes a difference.
How important is the Emerging Artist Stage for artists like you and other bands that come and play to people that have probably never heard you before?
Sharon: It’s really exciting for us because just like you said, we get to meet new people. People that have never seen us or heard us, or people who we might not ever get to play for. Because Milwaukee is a long way from Nashville it’s a great excuse to come up here and show people what we do, and they seem to like it.
Pearce: I like looking up when I’m playing and you look out when you started the show and there are a couple people there. Then you look up again and there are just these faces and you know they get it. They have it in their face, they’re like “oh I really like this.” That’s what I do it for.
Nick: I think the setup is important too. The fact that we get to be on the stage and it’s good sound and it kind of reaches far. I think that makes a difference in the presentation of the music as opposed to a small club. I think a lot of our songs are designed for that larger atmosphere, so it’s kind of nice to have that presented in that way.
Sharon: We’ve got those anthemic, rock, huge sprawling sound with sprawling choruses so it’s fun to let the sound waves reverberate across the whole state of Wisconsin.
Pearce: We jammed a little today, we opened it up I saw ya’ll two getting down.
How would you describe your sound?
Sharon: I love the comparison to The Police because we’re a trio. We’re high energy. We have these sort of punk roots but we love the groove and we love building songs around melodies and hooks, and then we’ve got me singing so we sound like other bands like Blondie, or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or No Doubt.
Do you guys have a record out?
Sharon: Well we have a couple EP’s. We’re actually working on our first official record now.
Tell me about recording on the Mobile Studio.
Sharon: We’ve never done acoustic anything so this is a really special time. I thought it was great.
Give me your initial impressions of the Mobile Studio.
Nick: You walk in and Taylor’s here so you know you’ve already got a great guitar that already sounds amazing to play, and Sennheiser has all these great mics set up. It made the whole thing easy. Sometimes you show up to a session and it’s like, “Well what did you guys bring. Let’s see what you’re working with. Let’s make something work.” Whereas the vibe here was do it fast but here are some awesome guitars to play.
Sharon: The best of everything right here. It’s so cool that the festival is going on right now and it’s total chaos and it’s so hot and so many people it’s just wild, and to come into this little Sennheiser Oasis and record and just have this amazing moment.
Pearce: I’ve heard rumors about busses like these I have heard about being at festivals but it’s nice to see one. I mean you’ve got Taylor guitars lining the wall. It doesn’t get much cooler.
So you guys got a chance to use the Sennheiser Microphones. Have you used Sennheiser Mics before?
Sharon: Every time we get a chance and have a choice we request Sennheiser.
Nick: I’ve used the 609s a lot live and those are really great for guitar cabinets because they fit right up on the grill. I like the pencil ones on the acoustic. It kind of makes it bright but still full. It’s cool.
What do you guys value in a microphone when you’re performing or when you’re recording?
Pearce: The number one thing when you’re recording drums or producing a live drum sounds is low end. If you don’t have that low end, you might as well hit the drum head without it even being on a drum because it will save you thousands of dollars. But with good mics comes good sounds, and with good sounds comes enjoyable music.
What about for vocals?
Sharon: For vocals, when you’re playing on different stages with different tone environments and different soundmen, you need to have something that’s consistent from stage to stage, and is really reliable and robust. You need a microphone that can have that clarity, without a lot of weird sound patterns being added. The clarity, and something that’s just going to work every time.
And for guitar, you mentioned the 600 series.
Nick: Yeah the 609 is always a go to for the speaker cabinets.
What does the future hold for Kink Ador?
Pearce: We’ve got Chicago, Indiana, and Lafayette and I think that’s going to wrap it up until August, then I think we’re headed to New York and a whole bunch of places.
Sharon: I think for us this has been a really exciting moment in time because we’ve been working really hard to make our music and connect with people and connect to this idea of, what does it mean to be free? What is a free world? For us it is sort of a state of mind, it’s who we are, it’s how we live and so we’ve been making this record that encompasses that idea. We’ve just been getting ready to share that idea with the world and I think it’s something that resonates.
If you want to find out more about Kink Ador check out their website: www.kinkador.com
If you want to pick up the gear we used to record the Kink Ador session, head on over to UniqueSquared.com for the best deals on recording and production equipment.