Kingdom of Birds: The WL Interview

Purveyor of: Teenage enthusiasm leads to remarkable songs

File next to: Feist, Broken Social Scene, Sloan

Playing: Wavelength Winter Festival, Sunday Feb 17, 2019 @ Monarch Tavern (All Ages Matinee!) Get your tickets here!

Kingdom of Birds have been grabbing the attention of unsuspecting audiences, international music blogs, and well-known musicians alike. The youthful Toronto indie-rock trio released their first album,
Pretty, in 2017. Marco Riquero spoke with Ása Berezny ahead of Kingdom of Birds’ ALL AGES afternoon show at the Wavelength Winter Festival 19 to find out more about the band.

So the name Kingdom of Birds comes from the book Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Does this book have a special meaning to you? If so, why?

When the band was formed I think I was reading the Wildwood books. They remain one of my favourite series I’ve ever read. I think they just really captured my imagination and they had these beautiful colour illustrations that I remember were really inspiring to me. I also really loved the books because they are written by the singer of The Decemberists, who were the first big band I had ever seen live.

Your favorite show that you played to date? What made it so special?

My favourite show was when we played in Maynooth, Ontario, at this hostel that had a bar downstairs. It was probably the first time we ever played outside of Toronto, which was really exciting. There was pretty much no one there when we played but there were about three people who got really into it. After our set it turned into a dance party with us and the three audience members. It was just really fun!

It’s awesome that you are relatively young musicians who have already written so much material. What’s the process you carry out when creating songs?

I write the guitar and lyrics and then when we get together for band practice I show Ewan and Sam what I wrote and they write parts for their instruments. After that we talk about what worked and what didn’t and we fiddle with it until we’re happy.

What are your rehearsals generally like? And how do you manage the time between studies and music?

We rehearse once a week for an hour and a half. They’re pretty compact, we don’t chat too much, most of it is spent practicing. I think because our rehearsals are relatively short it’s pretty easy to balance with school work. The thing that can be difficult is when we have a lot of shows close together. Sometimes we have one every week, but I don’t mind because it’s a lot more fun than school work!

I must say that “I Cared” is my favourite song off your album. What’s the story behind this song?

When I was writing “I Cared,” I was really getting into Radiohead. I had read about how “Paranoid Android” was actually a few different songs put together so that’s kind of what I did with “I Cared.” The verse and chorus sound like two different songs because they are! “I Cared” was also written over a few days and the verses are all pretty stream of consciousness so they aren’t really about anything in particular. The chorus however is about how life can be unfair and so much of success is based on being lucky, you can try really hard but that doesn’t mean it’s going to work out. I feel like that’s a pretty bummer way to end the question, sorry haha!

What’s next for Kingdom of Birds?

We have a new EP which you can expect to be released in the near future!