Death By Piano is a Brooklyn based duo comprised of singer/keyboardist Kalen Lister and producer/instrumentalist Greywolf, DBP mixes the sounds of their native borough — electronic beats, distinctive analog instrumentation, and a thick brew of strings and synths — sifted through their reconstructive filter, centered by Kalen’s lush and expansive voice.
We got a chance to ask Kalen of Death By Piano some questions.
How did you all meet?
“Honda Civic in periwinkle blue — pre Pu$$y wHiP — serpentining from the rock rooms of Williamsburg and Kalen & The Sky Thieve rehearsals, listening to new musings from a Greywolf being born. Skating down the BQE weaving songs from hauntings and longings, darkwave sounds bruised and lush, lulling us. The other collaborators, who have become an integral part of the project, were met on various stages, in various phases, at myriad clubs and bars across Brooklyn and across beers, in the last handful of years”.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“Mama’s dusty, trusty vinyl wide legged folk and shirtless rock riffing and skipping across the decades to me, woven with Sundays at the Village Vanguard and other cats and hounds, to tripping on hop down Philly sidewalks in school listening to Portishead’s melodies sooth. Greywolf, No Surrender, & Abe Seiferth, Johnny Butler, Alex Ritz, Jeff Hatcher, and Dan Capadi each have their own backstories and beats that have shaped their musical sensibility and the music of DBP”.
What made you want to be in a band?
“Having my priorities straight and making it so. 🙂 In it’s best moments, being in a band is blissful. GW and I have stretched each other and complimented each other, made the other laugh and cry. When the ego is put aside and the goal is shared, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. The best moments are deep friendship invoking harmonies and telling a tale. DBP is also shared with our other auditory collaborators mentioned above and our many visual collaborators who take the journey to new heights – Dan Mandel, Robert Lester, Lena Rudnick, Cameron Whitehouse”.
What has been your best gig?
“Myriad moments from many gigs, but right now the following is coming to me: playing House of Music in Portland, Maine with Dan Capaldi sitting in on drums”.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“We call it darkwave. Trip-hop for the 2020s. Take a listen. This year Newer Light came out and then Emergency. Nightwalk is next”.
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“purplepedalpointvespercry + lofibuthigh + midnightclubblazingbeneathablanketedsky”
What makes your band stand out from others?
“That’s for you to say”.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
“Not get Coronavirus. Vote. Keep my baby alive. Keep putting out dope music”.
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“Lyrics. And a strong visual game”.
I know it’s a little difficult to say at the moment, but do you have any gig’s coming up?
“There are some things in the pipeline: old tobacco, acoustic versions of electric beats, and dreams of future stages beneath my feet”.
By Siân Parker