KillingFloor are possibly a more ‘traditional’ band than those I usually write about (writes Andy Wood).
By traditional I don’t mean they come decked in tartan and play Scottish country dance music but that they have a sleazy, garage-blues rock ‘n roll style, built on a groove and topped off by some fiery, raw slide guitar playing. At the heart of their own songs such as ‘Jaguar Lady’ and ‘Shake It Down’ is a bluesy, sleazy heart, mixing the likes of The Rolling Stones (back when they were good) with the psychedelic blues of bands such as Spacemen 3 and the dark rocking of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to produce a sound that, while you wouldn’t dare suggest is original has an energetic, melodic heart that is good for both the head and the feet.
Live shows are a communal affair as KillingFloor seek to connect with an audience looking for something a less sanitized and downright dirtier than the by the numbers rock ‘n’ roll of some of their peers who, while digging from a similar rich mine of influences, often end up sounding as though they are just that little bit too uptight and polished. In contrast, KillingFloor like to get things going up to fever pitch.
Despite being around for a while things have been a little quiet on the live front as the band crash through drummers like Spinal Tap on speed. After a period of enforced silence, though they’ve been writing a batch of new songs, they are looking to shake it on down by gigging as far afield and regularly as possible and recording a single or E.P.
Ross Blair (guitar) bravely answered the questions set before him.
Please introduce yourselves. Who are you and how did you come to become KillingFloor?
Happin’?! We’re KillingFloor, members are from all over Scotland, met in Dundee when we moved up here for uni. Started jammin’ in our mate Bo’s flat, our initial drummer. Used to jam till like four in the morning some nights, was quality man, really good. We were like ‘fuck this, we gotta do this in a pub’, so we did… Three drummers and shit loads of gigs later, we’re back looking to Shake ‘Em On Down!
What inspired your choice of name?
It’s an old blue’s tune. Howlin’ Wolf does a version of it. Like the floor in an abattoir…. Seemed fitting, maybe to our audience as we punch them in the pus with our tunes!
What are your influences, musical or otherwise?
Zepplin, early Verve. We’re into so much different shit, some of it must rub off in our music, definitely anything with a good fucking groove!
Why be in a band? Isn’t it just a heck of a lot of work only to reap a hell of a little reward?
Depends what you want out of it. We love playing live. That’s the main point for us, you can jam with folk or sit on your arse trying to write the next big tune. Fuck that, get out there and do it. We’ll jam and come up with new tunes, usually they just write themselves, but playing live is the main focus. The more you play the more everything else will happen along the way. There’s no point sitting on the end of your bed, writing tunes, then trying to get your mates to wank over them. Get out there and play them! Nothing else matters.
What has been the best moment of being in KillingFloor so far?
For me (Ross) it must be for everytime someone stops you after a gig and thanks you or takes an interest in what you’re doing. Makes it worthwhile ken. One gig we did was supporting The Doors Alive (tribute), the crowd were quality and we got a lot of healthy feedback from all sorts of folk.
And the worst / most awkward?
Pfffft, any gig that we’ve had tech difficulties. Like the guitar pedals/amps dying half way through a tune. See, we’re the kinda band that if you break a string, or someone makes a mistake, we just keep playing the tune, you gotta keep going. No point stopping and having a tantrum about it. But other faults, like pedals etc there’s nothing you can do! HaHa! Always a dull yin like…
How would you describe your music to someone who has yet to have the privilege of hearing KillingFloor?
Dirty Blues, bit of psychedelia in there. Filthy slide guitar, raw and trippy, right in your face, grooves. Somewhere between Led Zeppelin, The Stooges, Early Verve, Spacemen3.
If you could put together your ideal gig (with time, money and mortality no objectives) who would you invite to be on the bill and where would you hold it?
We could go on about this all night!
Maybe Knebworth? I dunno, somewhere fucking huge….
Hendrix would be the main choice, after Zeppelin obviously. Cream, Verve, Radiohead, The Music, Oasis, BRMC supporting tae.
…. Think I’ve turned it into a festival… That cool?!
What do the coming months hold for KillingFloor?
Continue where we left off, taking over the world! HaHa. Just getting a good flow of gigs going again and get a record down rapid! Looking to play as much as possible and just get ourselves out there!
Got some healthy gigs coming up. Some electric and some with an acoustic set we’ve been working on, which is looking to be fucking quality.
Anything further that you’d like to add?
Shake ‘Em On Down!!