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Interview: Killcode talk about new music video, thoughts on the future of rock music

KILLCODE “Let’s Get Back To Rock N Roll” (rock)

Pick a style of rock music. No matter how obscure it might seem, you can be certain somebody in New York City is making it. In the Five Boroughs and beyond, the rock flame will never be extinguished. Fashions may change, and mainstream attention might waver, but there are too many true believers in the city to stop the rock from rolling on. To the five members of Killcode, rock music is more than just a pastime or an art form — it’s a way of life. They speak for thousands upon thousands of others who consider rock central to who they are, what they do, and how to do it. So when Killcode says “Let’s Get Back To Rock N’ Roll,” raucous assent is sure to follow.

In the New York underground, these musicians are already viewed as tireless champions of rock at its most elemental and powerful. Killcode has shared the stage worldwide with bands such as Rammstein, KISS, Aerosmith, Five Finger Death Punch, Twisted Sister, Queensryche, Alter Bridge and Airbourne as well as sold out headlining shows at premiere NYC Venues such as Bowery Ballroom and the Gramercy Theater. They have also released two albums and a series of ferocious EPs to regional acclaim. In recent years, they’ve taken their distinctive amalgam of Southern rock, metal, roughneck barroom blues, and pure Downtown grit across the Atlantic and beyond, appearing at the Bang Your Head Festival in Germany, Rockfest Barcelona in Spain, Hell and Heaven Fest in Mexico, Riverside Aarburg in Switzerland and other gatherings of the faithful worldwide. Wherever they’ve gone, they’ve made their total commitment to rock manifest for audiences and left pure hysteria in their wake.

Although “Let’s Get Back To Rock N’ Roll” is an unapologetic anthem for traditionalists, it’s a more complicated song than it initially seems. The interplay between guitarists Chas and DC Gonzalez is subtly intricate, and even as the pair foreground power and attitude, they never stop thinking about how to hypnotize the listener. Bass player Bobby Flores and drummer Rob Noxious never lose the groove, but they strategically vary the intensity of their approach, always remembering to let the song breathe. And singer Tom Morrissey shines in a mid-song breakdown that doubles as an opportunity to rally the crowd behind his great cause: rock music, played with absolute passion and conviction and no compromises whatsoever.

And in case it wasn’t clear where Killcode is coming from, David Swajeski’s raucous clip for “Let’s Get Back To Rock N’ Roll” situates the band in the heart of the city. He gives us great aerial footage of the city at its most dramatic. But the clip really comes alive when he dives into the clubs and bars, where he catches Killcode in action, driving crowds of leather-clad rockers into sheer delirium. That’s what they do. As long as they’ve got musical instruments and voices to shout with, that’s how it will always be.

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The music video perfectly captures the essence of classic rock n’ roll! Can you describe the experience shooting & editing the visual?

The video was shot by our long-time friend and collaborator, David Swajeski. I can’t speak for the editing, as that’s all David, but as far as the shooting, as always, it was a great collaborative experience. David has a knack for bringing out the best in us – both in our performance and the general feeling of the video. David had a certain concept and feel for the video, which was a “fly on the wall” perspective mixed with a genuine feel-good rock ‘n roll vibe.

How have you witnessed rock n’ roll impact people’s lives?

That’s a pretty loaded question, but I think the answer in its simplest form would be that it allows people to let their guard down. It allows them to not think about the status quo, and lead with their heart and what makes them feel great, versus what’s “right.”

Why should we collectively “get back to rock n’ roll”? Why is this genre so timeless and significant?

First of all, I don’t think we have to get “back to rock ‘n roll” as a style or genre of music. I think it’s more important to get back to the essence of what rock ‘n roll means to me – being able to express yourself in a way that is free of expectations or boundaries.

Can you explain the decision to include the clips of each band member holding up photos of people closest to them?

This was one of the many great ideas that David Swajeski, our director, brought to the table. We collectively decided we wanted to include some sort of montage – past, present, family, friends and general band experiences. David then suggested we all highlight a few photos we were each particularly drawn to.

What do you hope to see happen to the rock genre in the future?

In general, I hope to see the rock genre – and all music – continue to thrive and move past the instant gratification culture (what’s “hot” at the moment). I hope to see artists and bands feeling comfortable in their own skin. I would tell new bands to just be you, and not whatever anyone else is telling you to be, sound like, look like or perform like. I think if newer bands embrace this spirit, it might ignite a fire that has been lacking.

Can you share any upcoming plans or projects that KILLCODE has in store?You can expect several more single releases from Life, Death, Rock N’ Roll, several new videos, and touring. We’re currently booking shows, but have a few confirmed 2023 dates across the east coast and Europe. Stay tuned on all our socials. And…don’t be surprised if we leak some more brand new music. We already have several new songs recorded and in the can, and several more ready to bring into the studio!

About Michael Stover

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