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A Dirty Dozen with KANDLE – March 2021

| 10 March 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Today, JUNO-nominated singer, Kandle Osborne, delivers “Honey Trap” — a sweet-but-fierce tune about breaking free from a sticky power struggle. It marks the Vancouver, BC born-and-based artist’s second single from her forthcoming album, Set The Fire, to be released this spring. After leaving her label and releasing her first ever independent EP, Stick Around and Find Out, Kandle closed out 2020 with a stunning James Bond-inspired single, “Lock & Load”. As the world awaits the return of live shows, Kandle delivers a cinematically stunning video showcasing an all-female rock band, The Wiccs, to poignantly illustrate the song’s themes.” We get Kandle to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo credit: Jeffrey Mitchell

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I feel that a unique element of Honey Trap (and the album Set The Fire) are the backing vocals! I enlisted 3 of my closest friends and favourite singers (Louise Burns, Debra-Jean Creelman, Kendel Carson) to work out harmonies with me on the spot in the control room of Hipposonic and then head into the main room to sing the bg’s together around one vintage mic. We wanted to capture the energy of live performance and as a bonus I think it also kept the album from feeling too produced and perfected. We only had drums and bass tracked so far but I had them come in 1 day before the world went into lockdown last march and no more musicians could come to the studio after that! As for a hidden nugget, if you have an in depth knowledge of ancient Japanese bondage you might pick up on an extra subtle layer of symbolism in the “Honey Trap” video!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up with a rocker dad (Neil Osborne of 54-40) and the records he’d play around the house helped me fall in love with rock and roll at a pretty young age. I honestly didn’t think I had the talent or skills to truly pursue it ‘for real’, so I started writing poetry and secretly lifting Zeppelin riffs in my bedroom. Then I had a band with my sister (and Louise) when I was a teenager where I was mainly a songwriter and rhythm guitar player but still didn’t feel I was good enough, so I moved to Montreal where nobody knew me, made an EP on my own terms and posted it to Facebook not knowing what else to do! It wasn’t until I started getting several record deal offers that young 21 year old me felt like maybe I could actually do this. So late bloomer I guess!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I think it’s really hard to pick just one. I grew up listening to classic crooners mixed with classic rock and I feel you can still hear that influence in the music I make. But when I was 17 and aimlessly wandering around Coachella I stumbled across a live show that changed my life forever – Portishead. My jaw was on the ground, I had full body chills and I wept. It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen or heard and it moved me so deeply that I swear it planted the seed of wonderment ‘could I do something like this?’! So I’ll probably be chasing that feeling forever.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Michael Kiwanuka, Sharon Van Etten, Jack White, Angel Olsen, and Led Zeppelin.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I think creating with Anna Calvi would be really cool. To me she’s an absolute force and I’d call her the modern queen of rock and roll. I think it would be so fun to play a really loud fuzz guitar with her and just wail.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Maybe “dramatic crooner with a distorted guitar”?! Or “60’s golden era influenced songs fused with noir alt-rock”? Haha, this is the hardest question honestly. As for the cringy reviews, there are so many! The worst one probably was calling me an “indie Taylor Swift”. I feel like it was a cheap comparison based solely on us looking a bit alike.

Photo credit: Tess Ananda

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well, seeing as I’m a solo artist I guess I’m glad I have a variety of personalities haha. Me, me and me?

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

A couple of years ago in Vancouver I sat next to David Duchovny at the Naam restaurant in Vancouver and I cried, almost threw up and definitely stared at him for the entire meal. It was embarrassing but I’m a big fan. HUGE.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Best part is being able to collaborate with other artists you admire and to feel the magic of making something new.  If i had to do something else I’d probably be a visual artist or have a big dog rescue farm. Or both.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I think I’m tired of “describe your sound” (sorry hahaha…) and I think a good question would be “How can fans help independent artists?” Answer: Stream all night on Spotify while you sleep! ha! Saving songs, making playlists with songs you love, sharing them to your social media and with your friends, subscribing, following, etc. Honestly all those extra small steps make a huge difference for artists in my position. Also, reaching out over social media (or wherever) is amazing. We don’t always know if anyone is liking what we’re doing and a little positive reinforcement goes a long way in this world filled with non-stop content.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Oh boy, I think there are too many to mention (also I’m legally not allowed to mention some situations they’re so bad), so I guess I’ll boil it down to trusting the wrong people and signing bad contracts that did not have my best interests considered. Being naïve, excited and trusting can get you in trouble for sure.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I think Led Zeppelin IV, the album they recorded mostly in a country house (Headley Grange) in England. That album holds my favourite ever drum beat (“When the Levee Breaks”) and apparently it was recorded in the cavernous stairwell of the big old castle / workhouse.  I just think the vibe would have been the absolute coolest and to experience such complete immersion into their creative process. The place looked a bit haunted and they used all the natural echo and captured utter magic.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Everything! I think the big one for me is traveling. I’ve always been a nomadic person for work, of course, but it’s also just how I’ve ended up living my whole adult life. Being in different countries and cities had me always meeting new people and picking up new inspiration.. different art galleries, accents, sounds, all of it. So adjusting to living locked up in my little apartment in rainy Vancouver has been a change and I’m definitely missing that access to constant inspiration.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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