Rockcult: When did you first get into electronic music? What bands or artists did inspire you then?
Khodor Ellaik: I still don’t consider myself as part of “electronic” music per se, but I think it was more about necessity and practicality rather than a direct influence. If you’re going solo, choosing to make your own beats seems like a good way to start at first. Of course, as time passes you start molding and shaping your own sound and expanding on it. At some point I was just sick of the «rock drum» beats and how most drummers can’t keep it simple even if you ask, but eventually I might get back to that.
Rockcult: After listening to Blood-thick Silence I was thinking that it’s more emotional and personal than Dream Kids Never Sleep [Kid Fourteen’s debut album]. What do you think about their differences?
Khodor: Dream Kids Never Sleep took a couple of years to make, because I was learning how to do while doing. A lot of times I was just happy that I can compose or make a certain sound and that was enough, you know. Dream Kids feels like a set of trials that shaped an album over a period of time, though I still like it.
Blood-thick Silence was composed and recorded in a matter of 40 days right after I quit my full time job. I really think it couldn’t but be personal, because I was in new and strange chapter of my life as a grown ass man, and it carried with it all the anxieties and excitement of where I am now.
Rockcult: You played live with Xiu Xiu, and Jamie Stewart made a remix of your track Whirlwind Blues. What can you tell us about him as a musician and as a person? Did you think to make something together?
Khodor: I only met Jamie a couple of years ago for 5 days when I invited him and Shayna [member of Xiu Xiu] to play here in Beirut. We haven’t stopped talking since. One thing I can tell you about Jamie is that he’s a really genuine no-bullshit kind of guy, but also very supportive, respectful, and appreciative. He even helped me release my new record on Pinyon label.
As a musician, I’ve never met a performer more into his craft then him — truly immersive. I can say that Jamie is completely dedicated to his art, that’s for sure. For now we’re just discussing touring together next year, and if that leads somewhere else creatively, I’m sure we’ll both be into it.
Rockcult: You were the frontman of some bands before Kid Fourteen: Beirut Scum Society and Friendly Faces. Did you like being in a band, or did the group creation limit you too much?
Khodor: Yeah, every now and then I miss being in a band. This sense of comradery and partnership. It’s also nice to share tasks and the creative baggage. But on the other hand, I’m too impatient and like to get shit done in a certain pace that doesn’t necessarily fit with everyone. Commitment and schedules are difficult too. These days I’m into duo, much easier to handle.
Rockcult: Your project has a memorable name. Where did it come from?
Khodor: It came from a big scar on my face I got when I was fourteen.
Фото - Facebook →
Rockcult: You played live in Moscow last year. How did it go? Did you like playing in front of Russian people?
Khodor: Oh, I loved it, so far one of the best gigs I’ve had around Europe, the crowd was so responsive and the organization+tech were spot on. And I loved Moscow as well, beautiful city. Looking forward to going back there soon, I hope.
Rockcult: Can you tell us about modern music scene in Lebanon? How many people visit your gigs and gigs of bands with similar music?
Khodor: It’s a small scene here in Beirut, but that’s because it is a small city. The last few years have been good, you see musicians trying to make all sorts of music from hip hop to pop, indie, folk, experimental, traditional, electro ect… and there is a genuine effort to get their work out there.
Most of the times we share crowds and efforts but you can have from 75 people to 2000 depending on the gig and event. What’s important is that it’s always fun to play here, almost. It feels good to feel the support from people around you considering the circumstances.
Rockcult: What does live performances mean to you? Don’t you get tired playing some roles, not only singing?
Khodor: I always feel my work is never complete until it is performed. There is this missing layer that you can’t record that comes alive on stage and just finishes the track or transforms it into something less or more playful, depending on how you feel. So far I love how it is.
Rockcult: From the first listening you realize that your albums sound integral, complete, despite the different mood of the songs. Do you easily get it done – choose order of the songs, work on this integrity and things like that, or does it require a lot of effort?
Khodor: More or else it just happens, but usually I have a certain idea about what I want my new record to sound like. Getting there is hardest process though because you go through a lot of experiments till you reach something that makes sense to you at this moment of time. Once that happens it all sort of fall into place.
Rockcult: What are your plans for this year except live shows?
Khodor: I’m really interested in doing collaborations outside Kid Fourteen, whether it is on the experimental side or the good old pop stuff. I have a couple of hints I’m working and hopefully it’ll see the light before next year.