Founded by two brothers who played hard and fast music with political songs like “I Hate the Rich,” and “Class War,” The Dills were at the forefront of the West Coast punk movement of the late 1970s.
Brothers Tony and Chip Kinman and their Hearts bandmates played prolific shows such as The Germs, The Zeros and The Clash, as well as siblings Rank & File and Blackbird, before moving on to other genres.
Now, the 64-year-old punk pioneer, a restless artistic soul who has always aimed to do what he finds musically unexpected, turns to synthesizers for his new album, “The Great Confrontation”. .
It’s probably the most unexpected musical direction for Kinman, and probably a move that meets punk form.
“I do it. And what’s the point of being Chip Kinman if I can’t make a record like that,” the Burbank resident said during a phone interview. “It’s definitely a great confrontation musically. It will confront you.”
Released this month, the 11-track electronic music album is the latest turning point in a career that has spanned genres from punk to country and industrial to blues.
“I’m following the ethic that I brought to my music in the ’70s. It was something different, something that moved the music forward and moved the art forward and fueled my interest in it. Never saw any reason to make music if you weren’t doing it,” he said.
Kinman doesn’t want to dethrone EDM stars like Cascade or Diplo; Their new album is filled with experimental electronic music and moody and dark ambient sounds. There is no singing, just spoken words scattered here and there.
“I think it’s very challenging. I think it’s a deep listening and it pays to listen to it from start to finish because it will get you somewhere. After listening a couple of times, it’s just so weird Will not take it,” Kinman said.
The album was released on In the Red Records, a 30-year-old Los Angeles-based label founded by punk and garage rock music fan Larry Hardy, who used acts such as Linda Lindas, The Oh Sis and Ty Segal. is home.
Hardy signed Kinman to his label just before the pandemic. A fan of Kinman’s music and aware of his unpredictable musical flair, Hardy turned to veteran composer carte blanche on the project. Still, Hardy says he didn’t expect the sound he got.
“Oh yeah, the record shocked me,” said Hardy. “But I love records and I think it’s really cool. It’s not what I thought he was going to do, but it’s awesome. If you look at his career, he’s always trying to put things together.” We’re changing from project to project and I think it’s really a radical change.”
“That was too punk for him,” Hardy said. “and I agree.”
not a creature of habit
Growing up in Carlsbad, Kinman and his older brother Tony, who died of cancer in 2018, formed The Dills in 1976, soon after graduating from Carlsbad High School.
While they began singing as cover bands by the New York Dolls and The Who, the brothers quickly began writing their own music with an unflattering left-wing slant.
“At the time, I was a teenage communist. We brought a political awareness to the scene,” Kinman said.
The brothers moved to San Francisco in 1977 before relocating to Los Angeles, where they became one of the leading bands in the city’s growing punk movement, before disbanding The Dills five years later.
“We realized we had already done our ‘loud, fast, short’ work, so we thought about how we could expand it. We were always looking for something artistically challenging and moving forward,” They said.
The brothers decided to move to country and moved to Austin to form their next band, Rank and File, which combined their punk spirit with country music to help spark the style known as cowpunk music.
“That was the pattern of our music career. We would take very radical zig and zag,” Kinman said.
This lasted until about 1987 when they decided to try out industrial music in the form of Blackbird, a loud musical attack featuring brothers and drum machines. In the ’90s, they returned to a country sound with Cowboy Nation, which took them into the new millennium.
“We were doing with Blackbird, we said whatever we set out to say with that band. And I forgot what really inspired us to play cowboy music. But we figured we could do it. We felt we had something to say,” he said.
The last project the brothers worked on before Tony Kinman’s death was a blues-oriented band called Ford Maddox Ford, which was formed in 2017. Tony Kinman served as a producer on the band’s “This American Blues” album.
“It’s been tough because we’ve always been cheeky with everything we used to do, and we’ve always bounced ideas off each other and it’s been a little tough,” Kinman said, referring to the loss of her brother. Said while doing
Yet Kinman says his older brother was an inspiration for the new album, which came together after Hardy performed Kinman with an improvised version of The Dills as a tribute to Tony Kinman just before the pandemic.
“He asked me if I wanted to make a record and said I could do whatever I wanted,” Kinman recalled.
“I told him, ‘I think I want to make an electronic record,’ and he said, ‘Great, keep it funny,'” Kinman said with a laugh.
“So I did.”