Ben Beetham of the British group Kid Kapichi chatted about their new music and being a band in the digital age.
How did “Rob the Supermarket” come about?
We’d had the name for the song floating about for a while after a few boxes of Krispy Kremes accidentally made their way into the tour van from a service station, but when it actually came to the song being written the meaning developed into what the song is now.
The cost of living crisis is growing ever more sinister with each day that passes, if a person’s situation means they have to ease the sting by taking a few things from a huge corporate entity like a supermarket so that they have food to eat, then so be it.
What inspires your music and songwriting?
The things that are happening around us, whether that’s our world, our country, our town, or our own lives. Social commentary naturally entered our songwriting when we wrote the song 2019 and it felt like the first time that we were putting the conversations that we were having down on paper.
Since then it’s played a big part in our writing, and unfortunately, as time has gone on there’s been more and more to write about. There’s an anger and frustration that’s becoming more and more prominent in all music across the board as time goes on; directed at the people who represent power at a global and national level.
We’re in a situation in the U.K. where the government repeatedly and systematically neglect the most vulnerable people in favor of the top one percent and corporate interests, whilst also intentionally creating a social landscape where prejudice and division flourish. It’s disgusting, and it’s important for art & music to exist that works to hold powerful people to account.
What do your plans for the future include?
The next year for us is going to be very much centered around live performance, we’ve just dropped our second album ‘Here’s What You Could have Won’ – and now we’ve gotta go and get out on the road and give people the live experience of it. We love to play live, it’s where you really feel like you’re in a band. We bring a lot of energy to the stage so it feels like a proper buzz every night.
How does it feel to be a band in the digital age? (With streaming and technology being so prevalent)
There are obviously things about the modern age, which mean the musical landscape is more saturated and more difficult to break through; and more difficult to generate an income from a decimal point of a penny per stream – but it’s definitely a double-edged sword, we worked independently for many years, and it’s modern developments in the tools we have access to as musicians that allowed us to do that.
For all the difficulties the modern age of being in a band creates, music production software and streaming/social media have created a more democratized playing field for an artist, but of course that makes it harder to break through the volume of music being created every day.
It’s impossible to say whether it’s good or bad entirely, it’s both, but at the end of the day, it’s the situation that you’re in so you’ve got to make the best of it that you can.
Which artists would you like to someday work with as your dream duet choices in music?
Too many to name, with us it’s usually more the case that we write a song and then the idea for a collaborator presents itself, rather than the other way around.
That’s what happened with New England, we’d written half the song and then thought that the band Bob Vylan would be a great collab on the track, we sent it over and Bob came back with an incredible double verse that just amplified the song’s meaning fully, he smashed it.
What does the word success mean to you?
Tickets to shows are really the only real true measure of your success, all the other metrics have their place ie followers and streams, but if you can get people to leave their home and buy a ticket to your show – it’s those people who are with you for life as long as you don’t ball up the music.
In general, though It’s hard to say, if you can make a living and make a difference then that’s good. If you can do well enough that you can help other people I think that’s a pretty good sign of success.
What would you like to tell our readers about “Rob the Supermarket” and your new music? (What’s the one thing you want them to get out of it?)
This new album is the proudest of anything we’ve ever been – we really put the work into learning more about production, thinking hard about the type of record we wanted to make, and taking risks in our sound that we weren’t sure how they’d be received.
Music has the power to comfort people in times of trouble, we just hope that the messages in our songs resonate with people and make them realize that even in these strange and ever darker days, they’re never alone.
Their new album is available on digital service providers by clicking here.