Melbourne alt-rockers Kingswood have wasted not one bit of time despite the challenges that have arisen this year. After releasing their third album Juveniles at the start of the year, the band have promptly followed up with a fourth album called Reveries. The twelve-track record marks a dramatic shift in tune for the band who have swapped their heavier rock sound for a mixture of folk, Blues and strings thanks to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. And like their original sound, it’s just as expertly executed. Even more impressive about this new release is the fact that each song is a reimagining of a track from their Juveniles album.
With plans underway to tour the new material, Kingswood will more than satisfy fans eager to return to the live music experience. The four-piece have just announced that they will be putting out a third(!) album for 2020, entitled A Kingswood Christmas, available on the 27th of November. Covering twelve Christmas favourites, Kingswood is determined to end an all-round tumultuous year on a superbly festive note.
Fergus Lincare, lead vocalist for Kingswood, was kind enough to set aside some time to answer our Savvy Seven questions. He shares his best advice when it comes to navigating the music industry in this modern era, and how the band has adapted over time – read on below!
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
I grew up surrounded by music, my mum was the singer in a band before she had us kids, and she got it from her father who I still remember singing songs and smoking his pipe in his old armchair. If we were in the kitchen helping with dinner we would be singing and acting our Les Misérables, if we were playing cricket in the backyard, we would point the speakers out the window and play the Beatles or the Eagles. I learned many instruments as a kid, I regret not sticking with the piano, in the end I settled on the guitar. As I grew up, my two older brothers would always show me bands they were into, Queen, Aerosmith and so on, I think it was around then that I started to foresee being in a band myself. I played in bands through school but when I was eighteen, I went to see Midnight Oil at the Forum, it was an incredible show and it changed me. I learned just this morning of the passing of ‘Bones’, the Oils’ bass player, he in fact got me the tickets to that show and he and my dad had a mutual friend. I was taken backstage and met the band, I spoke with Rob Hirst about how I wanted to pursue music but was feeling pressure to choose a more stable career. He told me that if I was lucky enough to have such a passion for something, then I must follow it.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
As well as music, I have a great love for film. I studied film and scriptwriting at uni, briefly I might add but certainly grew an appreciation for the industry. Being a musician offers many different avenues for creativity and Al and I take great pride in being hands-on in the creation of film clips and documentaries. Twice we have made clips that you could say spill into short film territory. Other than that, I have learned to be kind and understanding, to be able to forgive and see the best in people and to help people see the best in themselves. I think this perhaps more than anything else has helped me to get where I am today.
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
I don’t think I’ve ever focused too far down the track, perhaps to my detriment. We will release three albums this year and are planning for another early next year, it’s usually pretty heads down let’s get to work. Covid has certainly thrown the usual rhythm of the band, record, release, tour, repeat. So, we will have to adapt as it becomes clearer what the landscape is in the future. We found that some fell into a habit of using Covid almost as an excuse to not be productive, we began like that, but quickly made a decision to not be complacent and to work harder than ever moving forward.
Looking for advice when it comes to time management and motivation? Check out our article here.
What’s your advice on staying professionally active during COVID times?
I’ve just tried to be as productive as possible and use the extra time in a beneficial way. Writing as much as my brain will allow, all different kinds of music, with no real purpose in mind, just to create. But also, I’ve been able to get into a healthy rhythm that relentless touring makes very difficult. Eating well and exercising every day. This all helps your mental health, and your professional world will reap the benefits. My brother, who is an industrial designer, told me that the pandemic allowed him to focus on work and home life and cut out the pressure to socialise and party, and he found a new balance to carry into the new world. You have to find the silver linings in everything and there are plenty to come from Covid.
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
Earlier in my career I found that whatever success we found, was never enough. I didn’t realise it but when I look back, I remember being frustrated if a show wasn’t sold out, being annoyed if I thought our song would go higher in the Hottest 100. There was a show we played at Splendour in the Grass, our second time there, main stage, mid-afternoon, we had some technical issues, went on 15 minutes late and had to cut 3 songs. I was furious through the set and for hours after, I walked off stage, didn’t help pack up, and sat in the bushes for a while. I look back now and think how poorly I handled the emotions of that day, regardless of the issues, we played a show at a massive festival to a sea of people and I didn’t enjoy it!!?? What a dickhead. I now love what I do more than ever and realise how lucky I am that I get to travel the world and play music. If you play a sport, and you win, then you and your team and supporters all celebrate, in music it’s not so clear when you ‘win’, when it’s time to look around and say, “we did it”. So, I think it’s important to pull the band and crew together from time to time and celebrate just the fact that you are all on this ride together. The next time we played Splendour that’s what I did, I made sure everyone in the band and crew knew how lucky we were to be there and how hard we had all worked to get to that point.
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
I think to some extent it is important to stay connected within the music industry, to find a network or publication that you trust and enjoy. But remember that in this industry there are no rules, and you don’t have to stick to a predetermined pathway to navigate success. Although this theory is becoming more diluted every day, I still believe that if you practice, work hard, have true talent, and produce something good, that success will find you, so focus on that which you can control.
For more networking tips, check out our article – 6 Genuine Tips to Network Like a Professional… Friend!
How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
Kingswood is not good at social media, and I think we are settled in the fact that we will never be. It is not in our nature to want to share our
lives with people and although we know in this modern world it is a requirement to be excellent and diligent, we would rather spend time making music. That being said we admire those who can use this stuff to their advantage. We do film a lot, make documentaries and put out pieces from time to time, using premier pro mostly, I think the quality that is accessible with a reasonable camera and a gimble allows content to be produced at a fairly high level. We do utilise live streaming to have a chat with fans or play a few bedroom songs, so that has been handy during this time.
Stream Kingswood’s new album Reveries here: