Kilter takes us behind the scenes of his Through The Distortion tour
Mid-way through his current tour, supported by Feki and ALTA, Kilter shows us how the magic happens.
Off the back of his evolving, genre-diverse debut Through The Distortion, Kilter's been flying around the country with his infamous, ecstatic live show, joined fellow Australian electronic guns Feki and ALTA. Kilter's live show is something you can't just see once, with his impressive percussion skills in the spotlight as he dives into his extensive catalogue of remixes and originals, with an explosive live presence comparable to little within the Australian electronic live circuit. Currently mid-way through the tour (he has shows in Perth and Adelaide this weekend, before heading to Melbourne and Sydney next weekend and finishing at Splendour In The Grass), we got Kilter to walk us through his live show, including how it works, what makes it run, and if we should be expecting any special guests in the remaining tour dates, which you can catch at the bottom of this article.
What kinda gear are you running up on stage for this tour?
I’ve always been an all-hardware guy avoiding using a laptop, so I’ve got a few different keyboards, synths and samplers to cover all of the sounds in my songs as well as a stack of live percussion. I use a Nord Electro 5 and a Microkorg for keyboard parts and synth shreds/effects, a Roland SP404-sx sampler to trigger the majority of the songs parts and a Roland SPD-s Drum Sampler to play melodic percussion samples and other random hits and stabs.
How much prep goes into the live set?
I’ve been growing the show piece by piece over the last few years, so I know the instruments well enough now that I don’t have to spend much time debugging problems with anything. Most of the prep involves working out the best way to perform each song and re-learning all the chords and melodies.
How does this compare to your early days of Kilter live sets?
Initially, I was just using the 404-sx and Microkorg which makes up only a tiny portion of my set up now. After a few shows I added the SPD-s into the mix which really inspired my growth into, and I’m quoting you guys here, “fancy drum kit” territory. I’ve been playing drums all my life so I find it kind of funny that using percussion in the live show wasn’t actually my first choice of equipment to perform with.
How hard is it to find the right balance between the backing track and what you're doing live?
I remember talking with Touch Sensitive early on in my days of touring and he gave me some great advice. I’m paraphrasing but he essentially said not to worry too much about the parts that aren’t fun for you to perform as they aren’t fun for the crowd to watch either. What this means is don’t worry about sequencing every little element instead focus your energy on the stuff that allows you to be expressive and perform comfortably. I have a lot of respect for “purists” who can change the arrangements of their songs so freely by sequencing everything, but for the majority of the crowd, this will fly under their radar.
Any guest vocalists/performers on the tour?
Yup! I’ve been pulling up guests all over the place depending on where they are from. I don’t want to give too much away but Gill Bates jumped up to do No Games the other night in Brisbane and it was a huge vibe.
Any essential touring items outside of live gear?
ArmaForce - to stay healthy; gaffer tape - the magic that holds the music industry together; and a good team to have your back when you miss flights or are too hungover to work out what you are supposed to be doing.
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