Monday, December 26, 2016

Band Interview: KINGS COUNTY CASKET COMPANY

Interview with Jaqueline Blownaparte of KINGS COUNTY CASKET COMPANY

Kings County Casket Company is a new project founded with Anthony Begnal, whom you work with in Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘Em Ups. What are the differences between this project and CM&TSEU?
Me and my partner in crime Anthony Begnal have always been fans of country music and I always mentioned how I wanted to dabble into playing that kind of music for fun. So we whipped out his acoustic guitar and bam, Kings County Casket Company was born. It is very different from Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups. For one thing, it's acoustic. Just me and Anthony and when we start playing shows perhaps we'll get an occasional second guitarist to sit in.

Was it your idea to start Kings County Casket Company as a country/punk band? How long had you harbored the idea before you went ahead and founded it? What is the band name intended to mean?
We wanted to make sure the project made it clear that "yeah, that's still the Chesty Malone spirit!" so we wanted to make sure whatever name we chose still evoked our spooky side. Kings County Casket Company just kinda flowed naturally as we’re Brooklyn residents. For years I've wanted to display my abilities to be a more versatile singer than what people generally know me for in Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups, and Anthony prior to Chesty had a country inspired band so it just worked well and the songs came out naturally.

In what ways will KCCC evoke the spirit you and Anthony channel through the Slice ‘Em Ups? Is this country punk project the first of its kind to come from New York to your knowledge?
I'm not too hip on the scene so your guess is as good as mine haha. It’s us, for one thing and we are who we are whatever we're doing and people know what to expect of us and our twisted brand of music.

Are there country singers you and Anthony listen to often, who you would cite as influences? Do you gravitate more toward mainstream country or underground country (Hank Williams III etc)?
As Hank III states, "I'm here to put the "dick" in Dixie and the "cunt" back in country 'cause the kind of country I hear now days is a bunch of fuckin' shit to me... if you know what I'm thinkin' You'll know that pop country really sucks".

How soon do you expect to do live appearances? Have you considered making a full working band of KCCC?
We're still getting the word out that we have this new project. I think when we first announced online that we were starting a country band people thought we were joking around and then they were like “oh, wow you're really doing that!” That's why we decided to shoot a music video on January 2nd at Lucky 13 Saloon, so we can give people an idea of what we're really doing here. The band is just me and Anthony. It would be fun to have guest musicians here and there but if you come see us it's likely just going to be the duo.

Is the video for a single track or a complete show? Why was Lucky 13 chosen as your filming site? I noticed on Facebook you are looking for extras to appear in the video. Have people contacted you interested in filling any of those spots?
We will be filming a music video for our version of the Venom classic "In League With Satan." It will be a super fun cheesy nod to classic country videos complete with line dancing, beer flowing shenanigans... and maybe some devil costumes. We are filming at Lucky 13 Saloon in Brooklyn because aside from it being our favorite bar/place for Chesty Malone to play, I also tend bar there. So it seemed like an ideal situation. When it's done it will be uploaded to YouTube for everyone's viewing pleasure. Indeed, it's gonna be a good time!

Venom’s original version of In League With Satan is heavy on drums as well as guitar. How are you and Anthony translating the song into country?
You'll have to wait and hear it!

The band recently completed the recording process on a debut EP for which Anthony designed the cover art. How does his artwork fit the songs recorded for the EP? Did he also design the logo for the band?
The artwork came out awesome! Anthony took a bunch of great shots in Greenwood Cemetery. The EP's title is "Tombstones and Monuments". The songs cover all true country values: drinking, heartbreak and a little bit of Satan. Anthony does all the artwork for both projects.

Which two songs did you cover for inclusion on Tombstones and Monuments? What songs might you cover on future releases?
We did our own versions of Venom "In League with Satan" and Gordon Lightfoot "Sundown" and Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups "Ghouls and Gangs". I don't know if there will be covers on the next release. Our material for live performances now is a set of half covers and half originals.

Where is Greenwood Cemetery and why was this location chosen for the photo shoot?
It's a huge famous cemetery conveniently located a few blocks from Chesty HQ. We didn't originally plan on taking photos there, we just ended up there on our walk around shoot.

Describe the songs that were recorded for Tombstones and Monuments and who penned the lyrics to each. Did you go to a recording studio to cut the EP or record it independently?
We recorded it independently from the comfort of Chesty HQ. Two songs on the EP are covers. A few are songs Anthony wrote and performed in a previous band years ago. The others we wrote together.

What equipment do you and Anthony use to record with? How much creative freedom does recording at home give you?
Chesty HQ is equipped with the finest giant skulls, jugs, guitars around so it satisfied our every need.

Are you and Anthony collaborating on the lyrics to KCCC’s material? Your Facebook community page has a sneak peek of the band in which you preview one of your songs. What’s the title of that song and who wrote it?
He writes some ideas, I wrote some lyrics. We work well as a team. The song on our page is "No One's Cryin'" and it's a song his old band used to do that we revamped.

What has Chesty Malone and the Slice Em Ups been up to while KCCC has been in development?
Awaiting the vinyl release of "We're Still Dead"! You can currently download it on bandcamp.com.

How much work went into the recording of "We're Still Dead" and how soon do you expect it to be released? I understand there is a video or two in the making for songs off that album?
A lot of hard work that came out swell. There's a lyric video for "I Look Like Hell" currently on YouTube. There will be other videos eventually.

When the new releases by Chesty Malone and KCCC are out, will they be available on social media sites such as Bandcamp and Soundcloud as well as physical CD? How do you intend to promote it?
"We're Still Dead" as I previously mentioned is currently available for download on Bandcamp and the vinyl release will be out in a few months. "Tombstones and Monuments" will be on CD and probably online eventually.


-Dave Wolff

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