Interview: The Kickdrums


Alex Fitts (Fitts) and Matt Penttila (Tilla) met while working as sound engineers at a studio in Cleveland, Ohio. They decided to unite their powers and The Kickdrums was the result. They have worked with artists like as Kid Cudi, Linkin Park, Slaughterhouse, The RZA, Kanye, Scarface and there is a hype already around them. Curious already? Check out an interview with them to find out more!

LSD: Where did you get your name from? 

We had a production group called the Chemical KickDrums a long time ago with a few more people involved. When Tilla and I split off to form our own thing we kept the KickDrums part because we liked it. I never really dug the “Chemical” thing.

LSD: How would you describe your sound?

I would say weve have a hip hop based indie rock vibe, but it’s hard to define. You just have to listen to it and judge for yourself! Some people think there’s a big hip hop influence and others think it mostly rock.

LSD: What is your process when writing a song? Do you have specific areas, like who does what? 

We do have our own specialty areas like Tilla is the DJ of the group and I’m the songwriter. We both produce tracks. So there’s a few different things we do. The original music side is just one of them. As far as the album it was a very collaborative effort. I wrote the songs so it was up to me to mold the vision for the tracks. I ended up doing most of each song alone getting it ready to pass off to someone else’s ears. Between all the co-producers on the album like Tilla, Alan Wilkis, Anna Yvette, Kolt13, and Dean Baltulonis, the only song i actually did by myself was “Travel Should Take You Places”. I like to finish the music first then come back and write the lyrics. It’s like making a beat for a rapper or making a remix. I work on getting the beat tight and then start working on the vocal melodies.

 LSD: I read that Fitts is an alt-rock guy and Penttila into electronic music. Was it hard to unite and make music together? 

Eh sorta, but not really. It just took time to play around with stuff and find our unique sound.

LSD: What is your favorite track from your album? 

It changes all the time lol but right now i gotta say “Had Too Much To Dream Last Night”.

 LSD: What are your main influences? 

Pink Floyd, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Cars, Wu-Tang, Trent Reznor, 3-6 Mafia, Dead Kennedys, Sublime, UGK, Phil Spector, Dr. Dre, Dj Premier, Flaming Lips, OutKast.

LSD: How did your collaboration with RZA come about? 

He got a hold of our track “Perfect World” and reached out. We went to his studio for a weekend and just kicked it and made music. Super chill guy! It was surreal to work with someone like him who’s had so much success and has influenced so many people including us.

 LSD: Your mixtapes have had quite the success- how did the idea come up? 

I think the first one we put out was in 2008. Maybe 2007. Tilla came up with the concept and mixed it all together. It was a way to showcase all the tracks we had done in the past year or so. It got a great response so we just kept doing um every year or so!

LSD: You have done remixes for many established artists. Do you enjoy doing remixes or making your own original music more?

Different side of the same coin i think. It’s nice to be able to work with other people and collaborate. Some days i don’t wanna write a song and would rather just bang out a remix because it’s a change of pace.

LSD: If you could open for any artist on tour right now who would it be? 

The Gorilla’s or N.E.R.D. would be siiickkk!

LSD: What are your future plans? 

We’re gonna keep promoting the new album “Meet Your Ghost”. Right now we’re setting up our tour for the fall. Definitely will continue to produce for other people and do remixes. Can’t be sure what the future holds, but we grateful to be where we are at right now making a ton of music and having a blast!

Enjoy the stream of their deput album “Meet Your Ghost“: