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Interview with Daredevil Falls (Kevin Kimberlin)
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music has been a passion of mine from a very young age, and it still is. My life was changed when I saw Cream on their farewell tour. I bought a cheap guitar, practiced until my fingers bled, and then told my parents that I was going to briefly delay going to college. Teaming up with some talented friends, my first band won a local battle of the bands contest, earning them a slot to open the city’s first all-day rock festival. We then decided to follow John Mellencamp and move to New York.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I practice Transcendental Meditation (TM), which I studied under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. TM has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve brain function and cardiovascular health, and enhance creativity, among many other benefits.
How long have you been making music?
I have been writing, composing, and playing music since the early 1970s.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in the NY metropolitan area.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
During the summer of 1972, I opened for KISS at the Hotel Diplomat in New York. Backstage, Paul Stanley offered to trade his 1957 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst for my Gibson Flying V. I obliged after Stanley told me that the guitar was once owned by John Lennon.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I prefer small to midsize venues. Those intimate spaces are where I feel most connected to audiences. This summer I performed for a crowd of 8,000 alongside Rob Mathis at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Connecticut; this is definitely one of my favorite outdoor venues–and my children joined me on stage that day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to do the entire album live with the Afro-Celt Sound System as my band. Plus Oz Noy on lead guitar and Pinkie Truzo on backup vocals.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Sapphire Tears is a cry to look past each other’s faults, a plea for atonement. The music swings through emotional swells and precipitous drops, like every relationship I have ever had. Its sonic atmosphere and emotional energy gives the song a special mood that allows me to express words that are so hard to say: “I’m sorry.”
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am inspired to express my feelings in a unique yet relatable way. I want to stay fresh creatively so the tunes prick the ear with new sensations. Every song must carry one message. I like to learn new instruments and create new sound effects.
I usually start with a chord progression or riff on the piano or guitar. I jam around with it until I feel a “hook” emerging that might stick in the mind. I record everything.
Once I have a melodic skeleton (hopefully a draft of the chorus and maybe the verse), I will use the mood that is being evoked to guide the lyric development. That gives me some sense of the story that needs to be told or the message that might be conveyed.
Then I do the back and forth between lyrics and melody to reconcile them to the structure. Anything that sounds like something I have heard before gets scratched in favor of the odd or the deviant.
Once all is in palace, I lay down the track in ProTools and start to layer build ups, sound effects, and rhythmic elements. I like to give the other musicians guardrails for their creative contributions.
Then comes the editing and arranging which takes me forever, since I am striving for a self-contained sonic movie. I strive for clear intros, clean endings and a song unlike anything the listener has heard before. It may ring some bells, but I hope that every song is a one-of-a-kind.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
The pervasive theme throughout Daredevil Falls is an honest sharing of real-life experiences, with a particular focus on the trials and tribulations of romantic relationships and attempting to understand human nature.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My self-titled 14-track debut album, Daredevil Falls, was just released and is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?