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Interview: Mysterious duo Ready Steady Die! talk new single “Kiss It”

Ready Steady Die! “Kiss It” (Alternative)

Combining sounds and artists from across the pond, electronic duo Ready, Steady, Die is here to destroy your expectations. New York-based composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Morgan Visconti respectfully brushes his pop’s name off his shoulder with an enhanced ear for more modern sounds. He lobs up crafty gems for his powerhouse partner, London-based Sam K, to belt into oblivion or whisper into seduction. The team combines a clever approach to themes from modern life with a raw irreverence for what your mom thinks is appropriate for you to listen to – which probably doesn’t include their upcoming LP Accidents. But you know what, mom?- we say feed that rebel soul.

The third in a procession of singles trumpeting up to Accidents, RSD’s new song “Kiss It” might be dangerous to play at work. Not only does Sam K ooze sensuality through borderline raunchy lyrics, but the composition takes us from staccatoed synth-y foreplay to full-out orgiastic big-boy bass runs under soaring distorted arpeggios that’ll have you feeling like a middle-schooler all over again. (Textbooks on your lap, catch my drift?) This song could be a ballsy anthem for sex positivity, or it could just spice up a night at home. Either way, it’s bound to set you in some kind of mood.

And that goes for the video as well. Quite professionally directed by Max Clendaniel, we encounter a seemingly innocent children’s show. Our host, clad in a Mr. Roger’s sweater, prompts some fun with shadow puppets… which goes incredibly wrong, incredibly fast. In what might be the most unsophisticated – yet incredibly accurate – representation of Jung’s concept of the shadow self, the puppets (animated by Immix) begin to do what the animals do. And, boy, do they do it. Though at first glance it’s a hedonistic fever dream, the puppets exhibit resilience against the host’s attempts at repressing their urges. And the video ends up kind of a nice reflection on our simultaneous obsession with sex and denial of it. Or, you know, it might just be f***ing puppets. That’s for you to decide.

How would you classify your music?

Electropop. Dark pop.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Portishead. Massive Attack. Radiohead. PJ Harvey. The Blue Nile.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

We’d like to think that each song we ever write has a message that will resonate with somebody. We’ve written about dark sinister stuff and offered humorous tales of sexuality and love. Musically we hope to move people.

How’s the music scene in your locale?

Sam is in London and Morgan is in Brooklyn and New York.  So I think it’s safe to say ALL music scenes are covered nicely!

When did you know you were destined for music?

Both of our dads surrounded us in music when we were growing up. Sam’s dad was an exec at Capitol Records in the seventies and Morgan’s dad is Tony Visconti, who was recording extensively with Morgan’s mother, Mary Hopkin and kept a home studio during Morgan’s childhood.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

Sam: Radiohead at Brixton Academy.

Morgan: Fleetwood Mac, Madison Square Garden 2014. While RSD won’t play live (due to our massive geographical difference) I have enjoyed playing solo with my laptop as my sidekick and using video (projection). Maybe one day the stars will align for us but not for the forseeable future.

Is there a song on your latest release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

Sam: Kiss It. I love the video but also the sassy celebration of female sexuality.

Morgan: I’m alone in this but the last track, Fooling always puts me in a trance and makes me want to rewind and play the album again from the beginning. It’s made of the woods from where I live now (literally the snare drum is a twig snapping) and it calms and haunts me in equal parts.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

Sam: I’m not looking to please the crowd and fit in to what’s selling records for the suits. I want to write about things that interest me and if that interests you too, then that’s a match.

Morgan: Similar to Sam I think we’re coming straight from the heart and sonically distancing ourselves from our influences and not caring so much about where we slot in to the market.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Sam: That’s really hard. But without giving it too much thought otherwise I could be here for a while…Co-write with James Blake. His work is beautiful. And dinner with Dave Grohl and the Foos because that would be FUNNY.

Morgan: Mine are all writers/comedians/musicians. I would like to play a gig with Matt Berry, write a song with Peter Serafinowicz, dinner with Peter Sellers and a drink with Phoebe Waller-Bridge… I love how the best comedy and music can both be tragic and silly.

What’s next for you?  

Sam: Theme for the next Bond movie would be nice. Other than that, album 3.

Morgan: Definitley album 3. Collaborating with film makers either us scoring a film or someone writing something to our music would be a dream.


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