Connor Johnson from Kennedy

Connor from Kennedy was awesome enough to answer some Q&A with me. Luckily, he did it in english, because I don’t know any french, except for the curse words and desserts. We met these guys a while ago, and they are super wild, and super sweet dudes. Check ‘em out!

http://www.facebook.com/kennedyhxc

 

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1- Let’s begin with basics, who are you, and what is your role in Kennedy?

-My name is Connor Johnson, I play bass guitar.

2- Who are the rest of the folks in your band? 

-Matthew Savage – Vocals 

Felix Legault – Guitar 

Luca Santilli – Guitar 

Kyle Mcallister – Drums

3- How did Kennedy come together as a band?

-Kennedy was something that starting coming together towards the end of our previous band Breaking The Fourth Wall. We knew BTFW’s time was coming to an end. Music is something we all feel really passionate about and we already had a strong musical connection because of BTFW, so it just made sense to restart and keep going.

4- Can you explain the origin of your band name?

-It kinda just happened really, we knew we wanted something political and short. We played around with a few other names like “Reagan” but Kennedy just fit too perfectly. 

5-Up to this point in your career, what has been the most satisfying show you have played?

-That’s the most difficult question to answer because every show is just so satisfying to me. If I had to choose one, I would probably say our first Montreal show as Kennedy. I was really excited to have all my friends check out my new band because i hadn’t played a show in over a year.

6-How does the band work? Member wise?

-I’ve been playing music since i was 15 years old. Out of all the bands I’ve been in, Kennedy is definitely the most productive. As a group we all get along pretty damn good and we’re pretty good at making sure things are done on time. However, there is always room for improvement.

7- What is the scene like in Quebec, compared to here in Ontario?

-I may kick myself in the ass for answering this question but, in my experience, the scene in Quebec is rather segregated. Language is a pretty big deal. It just feels like a constant competition and nobody wants to help each other out. There are always exceptions, don’t get me wrong but for the amount of bands that come out of Montreal alone, i think we could do a better job. Whereas in Ontario everyone is so friendly and bands are always helping each other out.

8- Every band has had that ”night” where things just aren’t right, vibes are wrong, instrument/gear failure etc. Have you guys had one of those nights?

-From what i can remember we haven’t had one of those nights yet as Kennedy. (Fingers Crossed) But, BTFW played a show in Calgary a year or two ago and mid set we blew a fuse and everything turned off. Eventually the power did come back on and we finished our set. Let me tell you it was an awkward couple of minutes hahaha! 

9- You guys are wild live. Who has sustained the worst injury on stage?

-Matthew and Felix are definitely the two top contenders. Matt has had countless concussions and I’m pretty sure Felix bleeds every single show. If he isn’t bleeding come the end of the set, his face is probably bruised from punching himself in the face. 

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10- Your light boxes are really cool, it almost brings a theatrical element to your live show. Who’s idea was that?

-We’ve been playing around with the idea of a visual show since BTFW. BTFW had a stage show where we set up 5 TVs around the stage. The TVs were linked to a dvd player and were synched so the videos played on all the screens at the same time. We had some clips that played at certain parts of our songs, otherwise they all displayed static. We would play with all the lights off so the static created an eerie feel and left us looking like dark silhouettes. 

As for Monolith 1 & Monolith 2 (Our light boxes), That was an evolved form of the TVs. It’s a lot more simple to set up, the light it gives off is just right, and it creates that same eerie feel. It’s a good visual association as well, we hope to have Monolith 1 & 2 seem almost like they are members of Kennedy.

11- Have you played a show where people weren’t into it, and it just ended up being awkward? We’ve played those shows and the suck.

-Again, I can’t recall of any Kennedy shows where that has happened, given we’ve only played 8 or 9 shows. However it used to happen to Breaking The Fourth Wall all the time. Definitely not fun, but something you can laugh about after. 

12- Who is the coolest band in Quebec right now, in your opinion?

-We played with a band called Nous Etions in Montreal a couple of weeks ago. They’re about as cool as it gets.

13- You guys use some cool gear. Are you a gearhead yourself, or anyone else in the band? Or do you just kind of use what feels right?

-Felix is the biggest gearhead I know. Both him and Luca are all about their pedals. I wouldn’t consider myself a gearhead, but being around two of them all the time I do learn a fair share. My gear set up is something I’ve been working on for 3 years now. After buying and selling quite a few different amps and cabs, i can finally say I LOVE my set up. 

14- What do you guys plan to do with the second half of 2012? Touring? Writing? Recording?

-The plan right now is to do as much touring as we can until the winter months. During the winter months we would like to be recording our 2nd CD. 

15- How do you guys write songs? Does someone bring complete songs to a jam, or do you guys sit in a room and jam until something clicks?

-Usually Felix and Luca get together and work on an idea first. Once they come up with something they both feel really good about, they bring it to jam and we just go with it. It does take us quite sometime to write songs, but like everything, you get better with practice. 

16- Every band has their favourite place for pre/post show eats. What restaraunt do you guys stop at the most eats?

-MCDICKS! ALL DAY, EVERYDAY! 

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17- Being in a band, I know this feeling. If there was one person in your band who you could take in a wrestling ring for 5 minutes to blow off some steam, who would it be?

-Matthew Savage. I would have to take steroids for a couple of months before hand if I even wanted a chance to win… 

18- Bands often have a lot of free time pre show. You load in, then have nothing to do for 3 or 4 hours until you play. How do you guys occupy your time?

-Everybody’s different. As a band i think we could all agree that exploring our surroundings is definitely the most productive though.

19- Most bands have a family dynamic. In Kennedy, who’s the dad, mom, etc.

-You know that uncle everyone has? The one who will sneak you a beer when you’re underage? The one you’re always the most stoked to hang out with at family gatherings? Kennedy is 5 of those uncles.

20- If you described your band dynamic as a sitcom group (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld etc) who would it be?

A: The Walking Dead. Although it doesn’t classify as a sitcom.

 

Don’t hate ‘em ‘cause they’re from Quebec! Hahahaha!

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