By Tony Osuchowski
Recently, I connected via phone with the lead singer of the L.A. based band Aeges. A great exchange was had, one it is hoped you will find informative and candid, and of course bring you into the expanding fan base of a band very worthy of praises, for their contribution to the music world. You too will get a glimpse of the nature of an artist’s soul, and what it means to be a troubadour, meandering through this thing called life.
Hey Everyone, this is Tony O from Uncivil Revolt here, and I have the honor of being able to speak with Kemble Walters, lead singer of Aeges. T.O: How are you doing Kemble? K.W: Good man, thank you for having me, how are you? T.O: I’m great, thanks. Ok, so let’s get right into the thick of it shall we? Doing a little bit of research, I saw it stated on your band camp page, I believe the guys last name is Brown, he states that “this new millennium has ushered in a new revitalized era of artisitc integrity in Los Angeles” and he further says that, “The music of Aeges is creative optimism in a time of hopelessness.” My question to you is this: What are your thoughts on the ultimate intent of music? Entertainment, or more so what I just refered to, that of music having that power to be creative optimism? K.W: Well I definitely think that music, at the core of it, is a lifeline for alot of people. Mainly kids, but any age really. As a child growing up, I guess I’m speaking more from personal experience, music has always been a lifeline to me. Whether it’s a lyric that somebody sang, and that is why I don’t like people telling me exactly what they hear in the lyrics, because most of the time what you get out of a song is totally different from what the artist intended. So that’s the great thing about it, it’s that there is no right or wrong. As long as it hits you, make you feel emotion; makes you connect or reflect on whatever it is thst is going on in your life, and it helps you through something….yeah.
T.O. I agree, I’ve actually been fortunate to say I’ve had a hand in the entertainment field for a long time. Whether it was setting up stages for concerts or behind the scenes at theatres. So you can understand my..glee I guess you could say, for lack of another expression, for being able to do what I do through Uncivil Revolt. K.W. yeah, totally. T.O. O.k. Kemble, your band, when first formed, was comprised of members from all over the map, which brought with that a coming together of the different musical reflections of those respected areas. Of course there is yourself, who i guess you could say is pretty much a globetrotter; K.W. yeah T.O. Larry Herweg, from Chicago, Mark Holcomb from Seattle, and looks like only Californian, Tony Baumeister. Guys, I truly apologize if I mispronounced any of your names at all. K.W. (chuckles)
T.O : my qusstion is, considering the various music genres and music influences represented by where the band member are from, how do you feel that you as band, utilize this to its fullest? K.W: I will answer that question, but first, Larry Herweg and Mark Holcomb, we’re only the first record. Cory Clark and Mike Land are the new guys. T.O. Ok, well then consideration given in regards to the infancy of the band and with current members how would you say then you’ve all made best use of the talent? K.W.: Well the great thing about the band now, is that we actually habe two Californian natives. We’ve got Cory Clark, who is from Orange county, and then we have Tony Baumeister, who is kind of from out by the water, like Malibu, he’s kind of like a surf kid, a little bit. (we both chuckle) Mike is from Dallas, Texas. I, well I was born in Texas, but I grew up in Indonesia. And so what I bring is kind of strange as far as music and what I personify. I think that it all has methodically been melded into what we are as a band. Cory is like singer/songwriter guy, like he’s got, especially on guitar and harmony, a way to make an avid and crazy harmony, because he has a different ear to that, unlike my approach..
Until the blend, which you can hear alot on this record, which is night and day. I’m more of a super heavy guitar tone kind of guy…and what he brings, totally creates a different atmosphere than anything..being a crazy wall of sound. Then Tony and I, like I said he is kind of like more of a hardcore kid, we grew up with metal and hardcore kind of stuff. Tony, his last band was called 16. That band was pretty big and brutal…real fast, and real rare. Mike, he is the youngest one out of all of us. He is more of modern kind of rock drummer. Then drawing hin into this project, (our latest album) he had to get his own take on what we would originally play…if that makes sense. T.O :Nice, nice K.W: I guess this band has methodically changed the way we would all normally write a song. I mean we’ve changed guitars, we given ourselves obstacles to go over in order to write songs that are specific to our style.
T.O: Well, It works obviously. Rather nicely. T.O. Alright, In your song “Echoes”, there is a line in there that says, “all we do is live to die”. What came to me, is that it is said, we can determine the worth of something, by how much of our life we give to it. K.W.: Right. T.O.: I mean, that is true…the things that you hold dear, what you hold most dear, you give the most of yourself to. Family, of course that goes without saying really. K.W. Yeah T.O: My question then, where do you personally feel the line is, or the grey area is between just existing and feeling fully alive; and do you feel it’s more fulfilling not just to reawaken your own life, but to also help others do the same, which can be done through music and our actions?
K.W.: Yeah, I feel a big problem with today’s society, which isn’t a new thing by any means, is that the emphasis is put on work and money. How the work week is 5 days. I mean some are more, some are less, but the standard work week, 9-5 ,5 days in a row, and you’ve got two days off. When you look at some other places, you know like in, take Paris, they take breaks for lunch where everything closes, you can’t even go to a restaurant in some areas TO: Wow. K.W.: Yeah. I’d go to get something to eat around 2 o’clock, and everything is closed, because they all take a break, and then come back to work later. The work ethic, the friendships and everything are stronger, I feel like it’s when you put too much emphasis on the things other than family, emotions, you know you just work each week for the weekend I guess. That to me, that doesn’t seem like a good thing…at all. You loose a sense of self, you loose focus on what’s important. Just because, you know, we’re taught to believe hard work pays off, it doesn’t always pay off you know TO: Right. K.W: What I think pays off is connecting with other people, which in our case, in our professions we get to perform, we get to connect. We can have different experiences with tens, hundreds, thousands of people every night….and see how each town reacts to your music, reacts to what you say on stage, reacts to how you interact with them after the show. The things that they tell you how you affected them, and then in turn they’ve affected me.
TO: Exactly K.W.: you know, I feel that that’s the root of human existence and human nature; that connection and the interactions between two or more people. Everyday. TO: Exactly, I couldn’t agree more. You know that would pretty much best answer the other question that I always ask, that being, Explain the entertainer/fan relationship. I mean, I think you did answer that quite well, because you never know, by your interaction, even non verbal, what ledges we can pull people off away from. K.W: Yeah! TO: I think that there is much strong power in that. K.W. : I think that there is a misinterpretation too that a lot of fans see artists like, ” Oh they’re my superheroes!” ” They saved me from this or they saved me from that”, but you don’t know what the person on stage is going through, you don’t know what they went through that day, to get up and perform for you. Untill the interactions that you give.
That you feed off of from them. It is in the positive way helping them grow and get out of whatever struggle they’re going through. Also after, before the show, ya know during, it could be other things, coming up and saying Hi. Letting the band know, how much you appreciate them. I remember when I was a kid, I was nervous to talk to artists, but now being older and being an artist myself, having done tours, and now behind a merchandise table, instead of in front of a merch table; I want people to come up and talk to me. I want them to tell me what they love or don’t love, what’s connected to them, and helped them out, because if I’m having a rough day, that all of sudden took me out of whatever could have possibly been happening. TO: Absolutely! K.W: It’s a full circle, they help us, and we help them. There’s no other option…it’s important. TO: It is, the human condition, you really can’t put a value on it.
T.O: Ok Kemble, looking at your discography: Roaches, The Bridge, Southern Comfort, Bad Blood, Above and Down Below, Another Wasteland, and of course most recently, Weightless. I noticed that it does reach out in a way that suggests internal reflection, a connection to the law of attraction, and I’ve noticed, that as you said people pick up different things, the titles alone can cover a mixed bag of interpretation. K.W: MmmHmm. TO: I feel there’s a strong value in inward reflection and knowing what you exude out into the world, is ultimately what the universe is going to give back to you. So the progression, it seems almost like a personal journey to the possible end game of weightlessness, of ultimately trying to travel lighter in life. What is your take on, just based on the titles of your albums, the progress of your journey as an artist?
K.W: Well lyrically like, I don’t want to tell anyone what I’m feeling 100 %, because I don’t want to take whatever they’ve interpreted my music as, and habe it be different. You know what I’m saying? TO: Right. K.W: But there’s a, like I guess the short of it would be, lyrically I’ve always choose my metaphors in a darker way. You know, through vicious animals, blood, being born, dieing, because those all things that happen, every day to every single person. It’s things that surround us, and there’s no way or there’s no reason for me to write a song about a guy and girl, a guy and a guy a girl and a girl, or whatever. A love relationship, there no reason for me to write about that because that stuff creates a “so what” you know? everybody’s already written about that stuff. Of course if I do write about that, it’s in a different light, because I don’t want to write love songs. I guess alot of the songs have to do with life and death in general. In The Bridge, there’s a good title right there, you know. It’s kind of like you’re crossing over to a new plane kind of thing. Above and Down Below, that record leans heavily on religion. Is there this? Is there that? Why is it? Where is it? Who believes in what, and why.? And you know, then the Heaven and Hell kind of thing. Weightless, kind of has, all of the above in it. Another Wasteland, is very much like the end of days, desperate kind of track, then you have All of me, which is a cry for help type jam, about a relationship of any kind, it doesn’t have to be a love relationship. Then Weightless is just a, well kind of self explanatory by the title alone. So, umm Yeah.
TO: Nice. I feel ya. Alright, I’ve been speaking with Kemble Walters, of Aeges K.W: Yes sir. TO: Just so that you know they are on tour with Chevelle. Looks like their tours dates are 9/11 In Wichita, Kansas 9/13 Louisville, Kentucky 9/14 you can check them out in Asheville, NC. 9/16 at the Norva, in Norfolk, VA. you may see our very own Amanda there. 9/21 Birmingham, AL & then on the 22nd in Nashville, TN TO: So, it’s been an honor speaking with you Kemble, thank you very much for your time. K.W: Yeah, thanks for having me. TO: Absolutely, and on behalf of all of us at Uncivil Revolt, keep bringing the noise man! It’s been a great experience, I appreciate your time very much. K.W: Absolutely, thank you.! TO: Have a great tour and be safe. KW: Alright, thanks man.