By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn and Candi Roberts
We caught up with Austin’s psychedelic rock group, the Cuckoos, prior to taking the stage in Nashville. Their show was incredible, we still can't get over their psych-rock transcendent performance. I felt like I took a time machine and was watching a performance straight out of the 60's. The Cuckoos are definitely a band you will want to see live. Find out more about the guy's take on fashion, influences, and 60's rock.
Kenneth Frost - Vocals and Keyboards
Cole Koenning - Drums
Eric Ross - Bass
Dave North - Guitar
NH: You recently released a music video for “Hearbreak Paradise.” We love the overlays and imagery, what inspired the video and how did it come about?
KF: I was watching a bunch of Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Prince’s “Uptown” video, the Doors’ Break on Through [to the Other Side] promotional thing that they did; I think it was their first music video ever. I was going through and looking at videos, and I had an idea that I wanted to have silver shit on the wall and pink lights. I also wanted to have a smoke machine, but our smoke machine broke (laughs). Also, I wanted to do an intro for it, but we didn’t have time, so we strictly did a music video. We went to Mexico and played a festival, and there were all these palm trees and nice water. I filmed while we were there, and I put that in the background, so it was translucent. I figured tropical palm trees, heartbreak paradise… I didn’t want it to look too clean. Rock ‘n roll has to be a little rugged. I wanted it to look like we made this fucking music video. I think we spent about $200 on it, our buddy from Austin, Rodrick Hollowell and his friends worked on it. They just wanted to be a part of it.
CR: That leads into our next question. Austin is such a musical city, who are some of your Austin-based musical influences?
DN: A lot of our hometown heroes, guys who taught us growing up - like Dave.
CK: Eric Johnson.
DN: People in the psych scene there.
CR: How important is it to have fashion and self-expression through that venue when you are in the band?
KF: Oh, it is very important! I like to be the best dressed when I walk into a room.
CR: Me too. (laughs)
KF: It started when I was in high school, I used to walk around with the cool pants and yellow glasses like I was in the Doors or the Beatles. I played soccer when I was in middle school and once I broke my leg, I started to get into music and dressing weird. I wasn't really into playing music, I just liked looking the part. I just kept dressing weirder and weirder. I did a photoshoot where these girls put a bunch of makeup on me and I think that helped me to get out of my comfort zone, Now I wear crop-tops (laughs). I likr shiny stuff, I have a pair of glittery boots that I wear a lot.
CK: For me. as long as I don't look like dumb. I like to wear baggy clothes and look like a homeless person.
DN: Yeah, if you get too flashy you start to look like you're from the Doodle Bops (laughs).
NH: If you could have any band from the '60's or '70's cover one of your songs, who would you pick and what would the song be?
KF: Ohh that's a good question.
DN: Deep Purple covering anything!
KF: Iggy Pop would do a cool cover, Iggy Pop doing "Get it On!"
CK: STEELY DAN! I don't know what song, but that would rock.
[they all agree in excitement that Steely Dan is the winner]
NH: If they were to make a movie following the Cuckoos tour, who would play each of you?
KF: Who do we think would be best? Or who do we want to play us?
NH: Either one, both!
KF: I think the best choice for me would be the guy who played Spiderman, but who I would want is Ryan Gosling or Brad PItt (laughs).
DN: David 2001, that's me in the car ride (laughs)... (to Cole) You've got to be Brendan Fraser or Russell Brand. (laughs)
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for the Cuckoos?
KF: We have a new record!
DN: We are going to finish this show, head home, and play some one off shows. We really want to focus on this new record and the songs on there
KF: We are down a bass player tonight, he had a final, so I'm playing key-bass. It's been about two years since we've done that. So we are playing a lot of new songs on this tour, and hopefully by the time this tour is done, we can get most of the kinks worked out and do some weird shit. We would like to get the record out real soon, and play a ton of shows!