EMQ’s with KINKSHAMER
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Los Angeles, California based Progressive Metalcore band Kinkshamer. Huge thanks to vocalist Riley Rowe for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hey there, I’m Riley Rowe, the vocalist of Kinkshamer. The band formed in 2018 between college classmates and began working on material within a DIY dorm studio. After months of writing and recording, we had five tracks that made up our 2019 debut EP release ‘Societal Sects.’ From there, we landed our debut local show and have been working on some sweet visuals for the music.
How did you come up with your band name?
I’ve always been attracted to musical projects that push the envelope not only musically, but thematically. A band like Marilyn Manson took the world by storm in the late 90’s/early 2000’s by pushing the pressure points of Christianity and conservatism in America. Nowadays, society has become so desensitized to many taboos, but I felt compelled to reignite the art of shock in music. I wanted to create a band that heavily emphasized sex but in a visceral and dark way, highlighting topics of frowned upon fetishes and fantasies. Once that concept was ingrained in my head, the term Kinkshamer perfectly presented itself and so began the band.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Our line-up is spread across Los Angeles, CA. There’s plenty of huge name venues here like the Wiltern, Hollywood Palladium, Troubadour, The Roxy, Belasco, Glasshouse, etc. where I’ve been fortunate enough to see bands such as Gojira, Ministry, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, Devin Townsend, Fallujah, After the Burial, Born of Osiris, and many more. Since moving here about four years ago, I’ve also tried diving into our local metal scene where we have tour packages and local acts play at the 1720 venue. We have some sick local bands like The End of an Age, Better Left for Tomorrow, Akasha, Throne of Tyranny, Zombie Eating Horse, The Arson Choir, Apricity, Within Reach, and Elixir of an Alchemist.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Last year, we released our debut EP, ‘Societal Sects,’ where each track revolves around a specific fetish, kink, or aspect of sex. More recently though, we’ve edited together music videos for each track off that EP. The “Foreplay / Beauty and the Beast” music video is out now, but more will release this month too.
Foreplay / Beauty And The Beast (Music Video)
A Most Vulgar Display (Music Video)
Disregarding The Generational Gap (Music Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Musically, I’d say the modern djent scene was super influential, so I’d point to After the Burial. Lyrically and thematically though, early Nine Inch Nails is a big influence for the sadomasochistic vibes on the “Broken” EP and “The Downward Spiral” record.
What first got you into music?
Back in middle school was when I really developed my own taste of music. Funnily enough, Guitar Hero 2 exposed me to lots of heavy music. I discovered the whole grunge genre and the heavy side of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, which eventually led me to other heavier music from industrial, nu, and progressive metal to death metal and metalcore.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
One of the most inspirational modern acts right now would have to be Code Orange. It’d be sick to have Reba or Jami lend vocals or even Slade lend some synth noise to a track of ours.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
A big fest in Southern California is Knotfest. I’ve seen Slipknot headline the festival multiple times, but Korn, Rob Zombie, Gwar, Emmure, Code Orange, King 810, and Loathe have also been highlights. Usually they give some local bands time slots on a small stage earlier in the day, so I could potentially see Kinkshamer playing there one day.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We had a fan cross stitch our logo in those wooden hoop rings. It was definitely cool, but I can bet no other band has received that before.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We love you all for the support and be as damn kinky as you please, as long as it is consensual.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Absolutely Peter Steele from Type O Negative. He had one of the most luscious vocal deliveries in metal and I heard he had a huge schlong. I read somewhere that it was eleven inches. Like damn, the man was truly blessed in so many ways.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I don’t think anything is as fulfilling as being an artist. Having a vision in your head, putting hours into creating it, seeing the end result, and sharing it to the world is truly one of the best parts of life. Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Having your music reach the right people in a world where there’s thousands of other bands trying to do the exact same thing is a certain struggle.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
While it’s frustrating that it’s nearly impossible to make a living off of music with the minuscule payoffs from streaming services, I don’t have a realistic solution that could pay out all artists fairly. Maybe with time, someone will figure out how to correct the unfair payments to artists, but in the meantime, the one thing I’d love to change about our industry is weeding out all the abusers. It seems like at least once a month; some form of sexual abuser is outed whether they’re an artist or involved in the business side.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
I mentioned Type O Negative before, so I’d dedicate their “October Rust” album as one of my all-time favourites. That record is perfection from front-to-back…well, except for “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend;” that song is too cheesy. It’s also a perfect album to jam to right now since it is spooky Halloween time.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I have crates of CD’s in my garage and car trunk, so I definitely love collecting them. But I also love the vinyl resurgence. I don’t think I have ever own a cassette, but props to anyone who has passion for such a dated commodity.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Kinkshamer has only had one official show, where we opened up for Brojob and other acts. There may or may not have been a sex doll in the mosh pit. We would love to play more, but have to be patient until things are safer for shows. Hopefully, next year we can get back on stage and get freaky.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’m definitely a bit of a Halloween junkie and last year was involved in acting in a haunt maze, which was so much fun. While this year, our usual Halloween events are practically cancelled, I’m looking forward to jump scares again next year. So, if I wasn’t taking a music career path, I’d love to get more involved with theme parks, haunt events, and such.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Borat, Trent Reznor, Bernie Sanders, Poppy, and Bo Burnham. Now that’d make for some interesting dinner conversations and there’s no denying it.
What’s next for the band?
Ever since Covid and lockdown, it’s been difficult to write and record more music, but we definitely have ideas for a follow-up EP and are equally excited to play more live shows. For now, we’re releasing a music video for each track off our previously released EP this month.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We’re active on Facebook and Instagram.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I think this is a…British thing? Looks like a cookie to me. I guess we’ll have to order some overseas because us Americans go hard with Oreos.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?Keep your eye out and subscribe to our YouTube channel for our upcoming music video
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