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Interview: Kai Cult Chats About His Latest Single, ‘Massive Checks’

Melbourne-based DIY post-punk artist KAI CULT has just revealed his warped new single ‘Massive Checks’ – produced by the artist himself and mixed by Ashwin Rao from the Singaporean Garage Rock band Knightingale. We had a chat with him to find out more about the new single and video.

Congrats on your new track ‘Massive Checks’, tell us what the track is about.

‘Massive Checks’ is a dystopian Dance- Punk song about the current state of the world. This song was written as the coronavirus pandemic took hold around the globe, and struck a blow into our idea of perceived societal stability. During the pandemic, many societies witnessed great greed and ignorance from their governments, and the inequalities that existed before were made even more apparent. I wrote this song as I just found the chain of events occurring throughout the year to be almost unbelievable and I found it hard to express what I felt except through writing music.

This song is a satirical, but dark take on the events that transpired throughout the year. I was listening to a lot of Stoner Metal, but also a lot of hip- hop, so I decided to rap about the sheer ridiculousness of what was going on, over a heavy, fuzz-laden bassline.

Who are your biggest inspirations in music?

My biggest inspirations are quite diverse. I grew up listening to a lot of Grunge, such as Nirvana. Still, I would say in terms of challenging me to seek inspiration from other genres, artists such as Nine Inch Nails take the cake for getting me eager to experiment with synthesisers and drum machines! This led me to discover Hip- Hop and bedroom beat-maker culture soon after, especially this current wave! Artists such as Kenny Beats, Vince Staples, Rico Nasty who are continually evolving and updating their sounds serve as a massive inspiration to me, especially as a solo artist who is trying to innovate the way I approach rock music!

Outside of music, what do you are your interests?

I enjoy spending an unhealthy time on the internet watching production tutorials and also fuzzy 70’s psychedelic documentaries. Coronavirus has made me re-evaluate my interests, and I’ve realised that I enjoy making music with my friends a lot, and also going on long day hikes where I appreciate the natural beauty of the countryside and try to reconnect with a more straightforward way of living.

Who or what inspired you to begin your musical journey?

I would honestly say watching videos from the ’90s where Marilyn Manson or Kurt Cobain would just go around pissing off conservative government figures. This connected with me growing up in a conservative environment and set the standard for myself that there needs to be an absolute lack of polish in some forms of art that would allow it to stand out from the norm. That and also absolutely not giving a crap and just doing whatever you want!

What would you like to achieve in your music career in the next five years?

Well, I hope this damn pandemic would bugger off in the next five years because I am very interested in visiting different cities across the world and experiencing other cultures, music scenes, and natural environments! I would love to connect with like-minded, bedroom-dwelling but also nature-loving musicians such as myself who take influence from both the internet and the natural world, we try to co-exist in. I want to provide a space for all the weirdos to come out and feel accepted in creating and showing their art because I know what it is like to struggle with self-doubt! Don’t overthink it, just do it!

Written by John Zebra