Interviewer: Will Kings Kaleidoscope always be an independent band?
Chad: I think we will always be regrettably, painfully, successfully DIY. And that’s just because of my freaking parents man, they're so hardcore. My mom's side is these, like, Scandinavian bulldogs. They do everything themselves, build their own houses, fix their own cars, fix their neighbors’ houses, cook their whole communities food. They just do everything, so it’s just in me. My dad’s side is pretty much the same thing.
I just grew up probably grinding a little more than a lot of my friends. And so that's just part of who I am. It comes into the Kings thing, and it attracts a certain type of people who want to do that, and it keeps back the other people who don't want to do it.
So there's no red-carpet, rock-star anything with us. We do it all ourselves. We move all our own stuff. It's probably one of the most all-hands-on-deck bands you'll ever see. And nobody really realizes it, but it is.
Interviewer: You've said so far it's out of instinct. But is it out of necessity?
Chad: No, it's definitely out of instinct. I think a long time ago we could have said to a label or whatever, like: “Take a big chunk of the pie, do more stuff for us.”
I think we've always chosen the DIY path because it actually feels more right to me, and a little bit more creatively inspiring. There's a freedom in it. There's a spontaneity in it. The more hands you have in the pot, you just can't do things fast. And I like to move fast.
With more label and industry people around, it can get really bogged down. And I always wanted to maintain that control creatively. So yeah, because of that, we've always just chosen that if we can do it ourselves, we’ll just do it. We're not going to wait on anyone else.
I'm a natural contrarian, so sticking it to something is going to feel normal. But you have to be really careful with that. Like, what am I sticking it to? Is the thing I'm sticking it to, worth sticking it to? But where I'm at now is like, we have been independent, carved our own path, and blazed our own trail this whole time, pretty much.
And that has helped us stay true to ourselves in a lot of really positive ways. But there's also a cost to that. There's a major exposure cost that I'm constantly trying to figure out. Can I still make art that's actually accomplishing the deepest core mission that I have, and get exposed to more people by having more partners? Even if those partners aren't necessarily, you know, people that I'm going to want to hang out with all day, every day.
And that's just something I have to get over potentially. I don't know. I think about it every day.
Interviewer: Why do you think you struggle to partner with people?
Chad: For better or worse, there's just something in me that feels like if you're making loads and loads and loads of money off of the church, it feels like you're exploiting people's deepest sense of faith and identity. And that feels dirty.
And I get worried about it, even myself as a Christian, singing about faith and then selling t-shirts. Is it doing the same thing? And the only thing I can come up with is, like, as long as I really mean it, I'm okay to support my family with it. But it gets more scary the more people get involved. More hands are on the pie, and the bigger it gets, the more risk you end up feeling, like you're exploiting faith, basically.
Click to read Chad’s interview about the quest for authenticity in Christian art.
I love what you are doing with this. I’ve always wanted to know more about you Chad and more about the band! Love ya brother.
Are there any parts of the DIY musician "business" that you find a bit exhausting or hard to juggle all at once on your own? Like do you ever get the itch of "all I want to do is focus on the music" vs promoting on social, designing merch? Or is wearing many hats the best part?