Introducing: Kira Mac

Named after their eponymous frontwoman, Kira Mac is a musical collective made up — they proudly proclaim — of misfits from different corners of the country, from Stoke to Hull, who met by chance in Manchester back in 2018. Studio album ‘Chaos is Calling’ is due for release in Autumn 2022, but fans will be able to wrap their ears around the new single ‘Dead Man Walking’ from May 6th and the band were on hand to talk about both the album and the single, amongst other subjects. Connect with Kira Mac, below…

What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?

Kira: We’ve been playing as this collective since November 2021, I originally met Joe in 2015 and we’ve been working on piecing the band together since then.

Joe: Myself and Kira met at uni back in 2015. We soon realised we both had the same taste in music and the rest is history so to speak. Kira was a solo artist; her debut EP had just reached third on the iTunes Country Chart. I pestered her to let me be the drummer in her band and after about 2-3 months of begging, she finally asked me to learn the song and come for a jam with the rest of the band. After a year or two of gigging and various line-up changes, leaving us as the last two in the band, I sent Kira the demo of ‘One Way Ticket’. Me and Kira had been talking about moving away from the country stuff for a while, but nothing really came of it, but ‘One Way Ticket’ was a perfect catalyst for us to make that change. We assembled a new band in Bret (Bass), Alex (Guitar) & Calvin (Drums) and started writing songs for this first album.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Kira Mac?

Kira: It’s like bluesy-rock vibes, but we’ve got influences all over, so we hope there’s something for everyone.

Bret: We always say it’s blues-rock on steroids, but the backing vocals and other parts lend themselves to influences that we have from the 60s right up to the present day.

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?!

Kira: It was nerve-wracking, you can practice in the room until the cows come home, but only when things go wrong on stage do you know how you are as a band ha-ha! and how each other performs, that comes with time, it was amazing!

Alex: We’re like a family up there so we’ve all got each other’s backs, we knew the first show would be as amazing as it was!

Joe: It was class! We played in Stoke (Kira’s hometown) so there were a lot of friendly faces there. It was a great way to open our account as a live band. Playing the new stuff was so much fun and we threw in a couple of covers that would get people singing along. All in all, a top night.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

Kira: Definitely! The music industry is teaming with an insane amount of talent, we’ve never really made a conscious effort to stand out, but the way we write is different, and I think our influences are so vast as a collective that once you slap a female vocal on it, in a world predominantly made of male voices it will naturally stand out, I think.

Cal: In terms of as a band trying to stand out from the crowd, I’d stay stick to your guns as an individual and try and combine your influences and inspirations without replicating something that’s been done before.

Joe: First of all, you’ve gotta have mint songs. The rock scene: like you say, is bursting at the seams with bands at the minute all competing for their place so we’ve got a real job on our hands trying to stand out, so far, I reckon we’re doing a good job. Secondly, you’ve gotta put on a killer live show. At the end of the day, we’re asking people to pay money to come see us, so in my opinion, we have an obligation to those people to put on a great live show.

New single ‘Dead Man Walking’ lands May 6th, what can people expect as soon as they press play? And what was it about this one that made you choose it as a single?

Kira: It’s fierce, honestly, it wrote itself, and we knew that as an empowering kind of anthem it had to be a single! No doubt about it, as soon as people press play, it definitely slams, haha!

Alex: It’s big. It’s really big, and it’s got a swagger and attitude that I think a lot of people will vibe with.

Joe: ‘Dead Man Walking’ is one of those songs that has evolved over time from the original demo I sent to Kira and the guys to getting it into the studio, it’s almost a completely different song. It’s got a monster riff and a huge chorus coupled with an unreal vocal showcase, and you’ve got an epic rock song.

Previous single ‘One Way Ticket’ was Planet Rock’s Track of the Week and then moved to the A playlist, that must have been an incredible feeling?!

Kira: Honestly, we’re still buzzin’ from it now! It’s been THEEEE most insane month, it’s what we’d always wanted, the guys at Planet Rock showed our first ever song so much love.

Joe: To put it into one word “Unbelievable”. To get Track of the Week was one thing but to then be added to the playlist alongside some of the best bands of the past 30 years was just unbelievable. Don’t think that we have still quite wrapped our heads around it yet haha. I wrote that demo to ‘One Way Ticket’ in my mum and dad’s house, to think it’s getting played on Planet Rock to hundreds of thousands of people is yeah, mind-blowing.

Kira: Amazing, but definitely wild.

Are both singles indicative of what the forthcoming full album ‘Chaos Is Calling’ will sound like?

Kira: The first two singles definitely set the tone for the album, we were going for an “all killer no filler” vibe, so we definitely picked the most party ones, but there are a few on there to level out the dynamic.

Alex: ‘Chaos Is Calling’ has a wide range of influences, but yeah if you like our first two singles you’re going to love the album.

Joe: In short, the album is a good mix of all our various musical tastes and playing styles.

What other tracks on the album should people look out for?

Kira: We can honestly say as a group, we all love every single song, each one has its own little story, and we put so much blood sweat and literal tears into it, haha. We all have our personal favourites, they change too, like right now mine would be ‘Downfall’, but I think that’s because it was one of the last ones I wrote when we were recording and it’s written about an emotion I’ve always felt towards being in this industry and how I currently feel now.

Joe: ‘Never Going to Stay’ is my personal favourite and I think a lot of people will also really like it. I also think ‘Downfall’ will catch the attention of fans of more modern rock.

The band is opening for Ricky Warwick on a few of his dates next month, in terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel you would be best suited to open for?

Kira: We’ve loved to open for so many of our idols! I think someone like Dirty Honey, Dorothy, Alter Bridge, anything that’s the mainstream of the rock scene at the moment, huge, huge Black Stone Cherry fans, definitely be an incredible experience to get out with them too!

Cal: Get Black Stone Cherry on the blower!

How excited are you for Steelhouse Festival in the Summer?!

Kira: We’re honestly so so so so excited, it’s gonna be an absolute riot! And we’re recording a music video from that set too! So, it’s gonna be extra fun, I want to knee slide down the run out into the crowd haha!

Bret: I can’t wait to have all the space on that stage! It’s massive.

Joe: Can’t wait! Again, it’s another Plant Rock moment. The thought that we’re gonna be playing the main stage at Steelhouse in front of eight thousand people is both quite daunting but exciting at the same time.

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

Kira: There are so many of our friends on the circuit! There’s room enough for everyone! So we hope we can all catch a break in one way or another at some point

What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

Kira: For me, it was Stevie Nicks, my dad had the compilation album, and it had a DVD and a booklet, and I just remember watching ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and flicking through the pictures thinking that’s what I want to do.

Cal: I had no musical background prior to saving up my paper round money for a year to buy my first drum kit (it was terrible) but slowly but surely, I learned my trade and started cutting my teeth and chops in the local metal and punk scene as a teen.

Joe: I remember watching a Foo Fighters show on the TV when I was young, and it was like “yeah I wanna do that”. In more recent years I was lucky enough to see Joe Bonamassa at The Royal Albert Hall which was really special. He’s a huge influence of mine and on my playing so yeah that was pretty special and inspirational.

Bret: I’ve always been big into the glam rock side of things, but I think the first time I ever found Lemmy I was sold, that’s where it all started

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Kira: The last gig me and Bret went to, was The Treatment, we went to see our friends in Piston who were supporting and they were unreal, such a good show!

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

Kira: I think the world, in general, is falling apart at the seams, but there’s also so much to look forward to and enjoy. I think the fact that we’re all from working-class backgrounds, would be naturally what we lean towards, life is a bit shit sometimes and it’s hard, we’ve all struggled, emotionally, definitely financially, and we’ve never had a silver spoon or any handouts, we pride ourselves on the fact we’re the only band in the top ten on Planet Rock right now without a label, or label backing.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Kira: Haha that’s a really good question, I think what would surprise people the most is probably Cardi B, regularly catch the boys dancing in the back of the car to some questionable song choices.

Alex: We all have eclectic tastes – I think that’s one of the things that really beats at the heart of Kira Mac.

Although 2021 was another year to forget, there were some amazing new albums released, what would be your album of last year?

Kira: I’d like to say because it was released so late in 2020, that it would be Chris Stapleton’s ‘Starting Over’, I know it’s Bret’s too because our lives were falling apart, and I think that album was the glue, haha! But another I had on repeat was ‘The Marfa Tapes’ by Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram & Jon Randall, I love the way it’s recorded.

What does the remainder of 2022 hold for Kira Mac?

Kira: We’ve got soooo much coming up, we’re so excited to be getting out there and doing a great run of shows from May until December, and also releasing all the good things we’ve been cooking up!

Joe: We’ve got the album coming out, and plenty of singles and music videos to go with, so keep your eyes peeled!

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

Kira: We’re very active, love talking to people and engaging, seeing everyone listening to the stuff and posting they’re coming to a show!

Cal: So definitely 100% tag us, follow us, etc, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter you name it! We’ll See ya there! Also, kiramac.com is the most up to date place for information 🙂

 

‘Dead Man Walking’ is available May 6th, pre-save information, here.

LIVE DATES 2022:
19th May Booking Hall, Dover (Ricky Warwick)
21st May Queens Hall, Nuneaton (Ricky Warwick)
22nd May Picturedrome, Holmfirth (Ricky Warwick)
29th July Steelhouse Festival
20th Nov Bannermans, Edinburgh
22nd Nov Trillians, Newcastle
23rd Nov Yardbirds, Grimsby
24th Nov Waterloo, Blackpool
25 Nov Rigger, Stoke
26th Nov Asylum, Birmingham
27th Nov Patriot, Crumlin
29th Nov Nightrain, Bradford
30th Nov Bullingdon, Oxford

2023:
1st Feb Grace, London
2nd Feb Planet Rockstock Festival

Photo Credits: Emilia Drag

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