DS Ska Weekender Interview: The Kujo Kings, stream “Wolfman John”

The Kujo Kings are a staple in the Melbourne music scene making hugs, laughter and an all round good time a guarantee at their live shows.  The seven piece are playing the Melbourne and Adelaide stops of the 2011 Ska Weekender Festival and since they are always a barrel of laughs we thought we’d jump into bed with them for just a little bit.

We spoke to The Kujo Kings as part of the Ska Weekender interview series to find out what they’ve been up to since they release “Kujo Kuddles,” what it’s like being in an “amazing, ridiculously awesome band” and what they do (or more likely don’t do) for birthdays.  Check out the full interview here.

The band has also been kind enough to let us stream “Wolfman John” which you can listen to here.

For all your 2011 Ska Weekender Festival information (including tickets and previous interviews) head here and leave The Kujo Kings a request for a cuddle on the Facebook event here.

[Audio: Kujo-kings-wolfman-john.mp3|titles=Wolfman John|artists=The Kujo Kings]

Can you give DS a little of the history behind The Kujo Kings?

In year 12 we were too poor to buy presents for our friends’ 18th Birthdays… So instead we’d show up with our instruments and play a few songs in their backyards, usually in the dark, until we’re forced to stop due to a noise complaint, bad weather or personal injury. At that point in time the band was made up of 4 of the current members: Wes, Hughie, Byrnezy & Szabo. Around the same time we were all getting into the live music scene in Melbourne, and that inspired us to start writing our own songs. Shortly after that we started playing a few small gigs here and there (usually to a crowd of friends we’ve guilt tripped into coming), got ripped off a bunch of times by venues and event managers, learnt our lessons and moved on.

We’ve had a few people come and go since then, but we seem to have found a sexy & stable line up consisting of Ellie, Nathan and Iva. We’ve reached a milestone in our short life-span as a band playing originals with the release of our second EP “Kujo Kuddles”, and we’ve played a whole bunch of gigs with some awesome and inspiring acts, travelled around, and just generally ran amuck.

Where did the name The Kujo Kings come from?

The name came to us in the bathroom at Ding Dong Lounge in the city (our bowl motions are in sync), and it stuck better than other potential names like “The Pierced Brosnans”, “Climbing Aboard the Mules” or “Jizzlobber”.

What are The Kujo Kings currently working on?

Recovering! We’ve had a pretty hectic (too hectic!) past few months with some interstate shows and trying to get the new EP out. Although it’s been awesome, these few weeks break are welcome. We’re planning to start turning some ideas into songs, and some songs into ideas, before playing a bunch more shows around town.

The Kujo Kings have this great tongue-in-cheek humour littered throughout all your songs. Is it hard to constantly be funny when writing songs or are you just hilarious


If we spent as much time concentrating on our professionalism as we did our humour, we’d be bigger than The Resignators.

But yes, “littered” is a good way to describe the “humour” in our songs.

If you could pick a band, from any point in time to cover a Kujo Kings song who would that be and why?

The Bennies. It would be funny seeing them being really upfront with all the drug references in our songs; we usually do our best to hide them.

“The Kujo Kings are actually a set of septuplets born from when an over sized velociraptor hunted down Oprah Winfrey and gave her a bit of the ole In ‘n’ Out.” Does this make buying birthday presents just impossible?

Don’t be ridiculous! We don’t have birthdays.

As far as the parents? Pretty much impossible. What do you get Oprah for her Birthday? Does anyone know when it is? Does anyone even know who SHE is? She’s just as fictional to us as she is to the average person watching her ‘show’ on ‘television’. We’re terrible children! Lucky for us Raptor Daddy doesn’t care so much about presents, although he does have a bit of a temper…

What is the biggest challenge being part of a band that has seven members?

Having 7 people in the band, each with their own so called “‘real lives” to attend to, does make it hard to find the time to get together to do activities. Occasionally a creative difference will come about between members, but we usually just keep quiet and sabotage the songs when we play them live. Other, less trivial, challenges are the day-to-day occurrences of who stole who’s beer, and deciding which member to play a joke on next. A typical example is convincing a particular member that we’re ‘dressing up’ (or down) for a show, or tricking them into coming into rehearsal early. By far the biggest challenge would definitely be ordering pizza… (who ordered the anchovies!).

What do the Kujo Kings do when they aren’t being part of one “amazingly ridiculously awesome band?”

That really depends on which King/Kween you talk to!

Most of us are at uni. Nathan works full time. Hughie has his little fingers in everything; we can never keep up. Other than that, we like to fill our time with other gigs, beer, shooting each other with Nerf guns (even more-so when people are running late), finding onesies to wear, Nintendo, Kuddles….literally anything, when we can find the time!

It’s no secret that The Kujo Kings enjoy a good kuddle. Just how much hugging should we expect from The Kujo Kings at the 2011 Ska Weekender Festival?

Hugging during the show is encouraged, but it’s the “hugging” after the show that we most look forward to.

The photo shoot for the new CD was interesting; it’s not easy fitting 7 people, with various costumes, in the one bed (even though we’re well experienced when it comes to spooning). We had to get pretty close, and it ended up with Wes and Josh falling off anyway!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Ska Weekender Festival and why?

Well no matter which way you look at it it’s going to be a good weekend, with heaps of great bands playing, but we’re looking forward to The Bennies, who always put on a good show, and seeing if the Looney Tunes are actually better dressed than we are!

Any final words to the readers of Dying Scene?

James: How are you feline? Meow.

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