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The Paper Kites Interview

The Paper Kites are an indie folk band from Melbourne. Initially, they found success via the interwebs, with people discovering their tunes, sharing them, and sending them semi-viral. Following last year’s release of their first album, States, the band are gearing up for life on the road. We managed to catch up with them while they were still chillin’…

the paper kites illustrationIllustration by Michael Sandford

HAPPY: I had a chance to see your set at Southbound festival – you guys were awesome btw – how was the band formed? Did you guys know each other beforehand?

TPK: Thanks! Sam and Christina formed the band after playing together for a long time as a duo in bars and at weddings. We all knew each other through previous bands and mutual friends, so it was a natural progression to play together when the time came.

HAPPY: For those that don’t know you, can you tell us a little bit about your sound?

TPK: It feels hard to pin down using words I guess, but we have a strong folk songwriter influence, with finger picking acoustics and fluttery drums, to wild psyched-out electric lead breaks and heavy drum and bass grooves.

HAPPY: You have released a couple EP’s in the past, was it daunting at all making the jump to a full length album?

TPK: We’d been thinking about the full length for a while, so it wasn’t daunting, but exciting to get stuck into the process and work hard for the outcome.

HAPPY: How psyched were you guys to be touring with City & Colour, aka Dallas Green? Did it make you all want to increase your ink to skin ratio?

TPK: Haha nah, we’re all pretty happy with our ink ratio, although he does talk about forcing himself to pursue a music career by getting his hands and neck done, which I’m not sure is the truth or just a romantic story? Touring with City And Colour took to places and venues we could never have been by ourselves then. So we were pumped, and super grateful!

HAPPY: What other Australian bands are you guys digging right now?

TPK: Well I can speak for myself when I say Cloud Control’s Dream Cave is still getting a bashing on my stereo. Big Scary, Courtney Barnett and The Holidays are also on regular rotation.

HAPPY: How would you describe the rise to glory for you guys?

TPK: Whoa glory is a word reserved for some but not all things or bands. Our music has flourished in the modern day online era of instant sharing and connectivity, both a blessing and a curse in my opinion. We have everything, but everything is too much for us to cope with, so we develop EMMS or ‘erratic music and media syndrome’ (just made that up then) which is impatiently listening to playlists rather than albums, digital rather than analog, and snippets rather than songs. Thus robbing art of it’s worth.

HAPPY: In a zombie apocalypse, what other skills do you guys have to survive? Let’s face it, for all us in the creative arts industry, we’re pretty much dead.

TPK: Nope, I’ve spent many years inside the head of George A Romero. So I would like to think I have skills in creative weaponry use. I also imagine the walking dead to be more 1978 ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ when they unknowingly walk into rotating helicopter blades and such.

HAPPY: If you were a kite animal, which would you be?

TPK: Tough, I think I’d be some sort of hairy tree mammal…. That flies.

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

TPK: My wife, Free stuff, and music.

The Paper Kites will be touring nationally this May. Catch ’em all at:

THU 29 MAY | THE CAMBRIDGE, NEWCASTLE NSW

FRI 30 MAY | ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW (ALL AGES)

SAT 31 MAY | TRANSIT BAR, CANBERRA ACT

SUN 01 JUN | HERITAGE HOTEL, WOLLONGONG NSW

SAT 07 JUN | THE DARWIN RAILWAY CLUB, DARWIN NT

FRI 13 JUN | THE NORTHERN, BYRON BAY NSW

SAT 14 JUN | THE HI-FI, BRISBANE QLD

THU 19 JUN | ARTBAR @ ART GALLERY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, PERTH WA

FRI 20 JUN | THE PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY WA

SAT 21 JUN | THE GOV, ADELAIDE SA (ALL AGES)

FRI 27 JUN | THE ATHENAEUM THEATRE, MELBOURNE VIC (ALL AGES)

Michael Sandford, who whipped up out Paper Kites pic, is a cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer based in Victoria, Australia. He’s currently studying for an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design and enjoys cartooning, illustrating, and designing things (graphically). Check out his website for more deets.

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April 9, 2014

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