Opus Kink first hit our eardrums with their latest single ‘Wild Bill’, a frantic, western-inspired track that rides through a variety of sounds and genres. It’s one of the few bands that have pricked my ear in such a way, they are truly a unique mixing pot of musical magnificence. Upon gorging on the latest track I found myself trying to digest anything made by the Brighton-based six-piece. Currently, the bands back catalogue is a little light but previous releases ‘Mosquito’ and ‘Faster Than Radio’ provide for some eclectic listening.
At this point, I headed to YouTube to see if there was a snippet of what these guys look and sound like live, what I found did not disappoint. Their recorded live set from Bestival by Distiller TV gave a digital view into the fun, madness, and talent you can expect to see from them live, it’s safe to say with the return of live music on the way, Opus Kink is on the top of our ‘ones to see live’ this year.
With all this in mind, I wanted to out more about the band, their influences, and what we can expect from them in 2021.
Kieran: Hey guys, thank you for taking the time to chat with us! How are you and how have you been?
Angus: Thanks for having us. We are and have been nothing short of not too bad.
Kieran: So, where does the name Opus Kink come from and what’re the origins of the name?
Angus: I was cheating at gin rummy in a horrible little Spanish bordello when one of my opponents leant in to call me a ‘hopeless c**t’ in a thick Galician accent. I completely and selectively misheard him and so the name Opus Kink was indelibly splashed across all of our lives. I never thanked him.
Kieran: How did you all meet and at what point did you decide to start making music together?
Angus: Funnily enough we met as delinquent teens in a summer camp that I guess was a precursor to the ‘silent retreat’ phenomenon. Total silence at that age is obviously unbearable and we high-tailed it out of there with a sympathetic camp counsellor in tow, vowing to make as much noise together as possible until the din of our own thoughts was suppressed once again.
Kieran: If you could think of three words to describe Opus Kink, what would they be?
Angus: High, wide & handsome.
Kieran: What have you lot been doing to stay sane and preoccupied during this weird time?
Angus: We’re all minor government officials so we’ve mainly had our plate full concealing each of our disparate lifestyles from the other, but variety is the spice of life so it’s not all bad. And we done some music.
Kieran: How have you found life in a band during this uncertain time?
Angus: Frustrating and rewarding in almost equal measure. We’ve had a lot of opportunities come up that might not have happened otherwise, time to finesse, time to manifest fever-dreams, but not being able to high-kick you in the face, drenched in Pravha and losing our voices every night has been a bit shit.
“Not being able to high-kick you in the face, drenched in Pravha and losing our voices every night has been a bit shit“Angus Rogers – Opus Kink
Kieran: On that note, are you ready for the return of live music?
Angus: Yeah, chomping at the bit. Absolutely frothing to see all this incredible stuff that people have been making over lockdown and to offer our own balm.
Kieran: What can we expect from one of your live shows?
Angus: Inner peace and pseudo-jazz interludes that aren’t fooling anyone.
Kieran: I have to say, your sound is such a brilliant mix of genres and sounds, so I am curious to know what and who has influenced you all and how does it play into what you create collectively as Opus Kink?
Angus: Thank you. We’re influenced by anyone who blurs the lines and has fun doing it – The Blockheads, Lounge Lizards, Tom Waits, Sons of Kemet, Ezra Collective, Mulatu Astatke, Fela, The Birthday Party etc – and amazing groups we’ve played with like Black Bordello, Legss, This Is The Deep, Heartworms, Keg and loads more. Outside of music, a good story or pair of trousers, the refraction of light through a schooner of Stella.
Kieran: What was the influence behind your latest single ‘Wild Bill’ and how has the reception been?
Angus: Musically it’s inspired by your good old country & western and the desert blues of North African groups like Tinariwen and Songhoy Blues. Thematically it bastardises frontier legend Wild Bill Hickock into a poster boy for Western denial. The reception has been very encouraging and is still steaming along for which we’re very grateful. Thanks to everyone involved including yourselves!
Kieran: When writing your music where do you find influence?
Angus: Whatever’s bubbling up from the Earth’s mantle when we go into the practise room. For the lyrics, a bit of fear and joy.
Kieran: Can you talk us through your recording/writing process?
Angus: See above for the writing! We record demos painstakingly at home or in our lockup and then flog them to whoever will have us in a real studio.
Kieran: Can we expect more music from you in 2021? What’s the plan?
Angus: Yes you can. Some already recorded and some waiting in the foyer. We’ve also got a film project coming up which we can tell everyone about soon enough. And, God willing, lots of shows to play.
Kieran: Lastly, we like to end on a story, can you tell us something weird/gnarly or funny that has happened to you whilst touring or in general?
Angus: Once our trumpet player had to drop out of a show at the last minute because of an unavoidable spiritual emergency. Not one to wait around, we managed to build a fully-functioning automaton version of him with help from a nearby garage in an hour or two before soundcheck. It all went swimmingly, nobody suspected a thing and the gig was a triumph. The problem started when the automaton wouldn’t leave or let the real trumpet player back in, so we had to take it down to our mate Risky Dave at the tip, who managed to lure it into the car crusher on the pretext of a high-profile label meeting. Even though it’s gone now I think we created some sort of omnipresent consciousness that still makes us wary of anything that needs batteries. I’d like to say we’ve learned our lesson when it comes to playing God but it might come in handy again one day, so I’ll call it a first warning.