Made up of members Sam Skolrood (vocals), Evan Khodeir (lead guitar), Cory Scholtz (rhythm guitar), Kelby Gutz (bass), and Jacob Tessier (drums), Kiss the Fish united in Kingston from cities across Canada. Their diverse sound features progressive alternative rock sounds in tack with smoother tones that play in together to form an enveloped sound throughout their latest single. “Seeing Red” showcases their smooth grooves, heavy basslines, and virtuosic guitar solos, accentuated by mellow rhythm guitar and flares of brass.
We were able to interview the group in the lead-up to this track online throughout the current circumstances. Read below.
Hey Kiss The Fish! Thanks for stopping by, big fan of the project. Could you guys start off by introducing yourselves and give us some insight into the project?
[CORY] Thanks for having us! So we’re a five piece band from Kingston, Ontario. Really each of us are from all around Canada, but we all met in Kingston at school. We’ve been gigging around Kingston and Southern Ontario for about two and a half, maybe three years now, using almost entirely original material. That’s always been our focus, original material. We’re all lovers of rock from pretty much any era, and we just want to take on that classic sound while doing our part to keep it moving forward as the genre evolves, doing our best to creatively add our own interpretations I suppose.
[EVAN] I guess the project is our way of capturing those sounds and feelings, but also having a hint of us and our personalities.
We’re big fans of “Seeing Red”, how was the writing process for this one? Any particular inspirations?
[CORY] I guess not really any particular inspiration per say. I mean, Evan had this idea and we sort of played around with it and some words and a vocal melody and yeah, it sort of came together. I guess I wanted to touch on themes of circumstance, and how time can strand you somewhere that you never saw yourself ending up. We used a romantic element to get that across, but the inspiration wasn’t necessarily romantic from the get go.
With COVID playing a big role in disrupting the music industry, we’re curious to see how you guys have been affected? How have you navigated this situation?
[SAM] Like anyone in or outside of the music industry, COVID definitely threw off some of our plans. Actually, before it hit and everything got shut down, we had plans to move from Kingston to Ottawa, Ontario. We were looking for a bit of a change of scenery and maybe a chance to explore some new opportunities but unfortunately that got put on hold for a bit. However, we’re trying to look at the bright side of this situation. Going forward it looks like we’ll get more chances to play shows with some of our favorite Kingston acts, once everything opens back up again of course, which we may not have gotten to do as much if we had left town.
[EVAN] Speaking of gigging, we did have a string of shows booked at the time of the shutdown which got canceled. This was upsetting at the time understandably but it gave us a chance to focus more heavily on writing new music which has been great for the boys!
How have you guys been finding balance throughout everything going on in the world?
[SAM] Well it’s been tough, no doubt. It certainly has been nice to be able to take a step back and focus more on a lot of the behind the scenes stuff related to the band. Updating our website kissthefish.ca, planning new merch, making plans for what we’re going to do after the COVID situation slows down — stuff like that has really helped take our mind off the craziness happening in the world right now.
If you could tour with anyone who would it be? What about if you could tour anywhere?
[EVAN] Oh jeez, anyone? Hmm, I guess I’d say like a classic rock group would be pretty unreal. I know The Glorious Sons toured with The Rolling Stones, and from what I heard it was as much of a dream come true as it sounds, for a classic rock lover. So yeah, I guess that would be something that would be pretty unreal, although I don’t know if I’d be able to stop myself from fanboy-ing out. If I could tour anywhere I guess it’d be Europe. Once again that’s like the dream, isn’t it. For them to come to America and for us to go there. Across the pond, as they say. I guess the allure is seeing all the sights and whatnot. That would also be a dream come true. Someday!
[CORY] We have gotten the chance to share the stage with a couple bigger acts such as Sam Roberts Band and Busty and the Bass which was fun. Linking up with groups like that again would be great too. We love getting on the road as much as we can and anywhere outside of Canada would be awesome, but like Evan said Europe really is a dream of ours.
Lastly, what can we anticipate from you next?
[EVAN] I’m pretty happy to say that you can expect big things from us in the upcoming months. We have a lot of new music that we’re looking forward to sharing, and of course just can’t wait to get back into the studio, safety permitting.
[SAM] Yeah and honestly we’re just itching to get back to gigging. There are a lot of people and bands we haven’t seen in a while and it would be great to catch up with them and see what they have been working on during this shutdown.