Kallidad is Sydney’s answer to flamenco-fuelled fiesta with a generous dose of Mexicarnivale culture thrown in for good measure. The three-piece have been touring the country with festivals and headlining gigs from east to west (some of them sold out) as well as a bunch of dates with Gold Coast’s Tijuana Cartel.
If you haven’t seen or heard their music before, it’s worth the google effort. The name of their soon to be released album Death Fiesta hints at the style of music they’ve added their own flourish to.
So before you read this Q+A I strongly recommend you youtube the hell out of Kallidad, because it’s hard to describe their schtick in words – let’s just say they take the whole Dia de Los Muertos thing to a whole new level, even though they tell me they’ve never been to Mexico. Anyway, I got the chance to exchange a few words with Jason Contos (guitar) from Kallidad before they hit the east coast.
The whole Dia de Los Muertos thing – is there any special significance for you all?
No actually! Just as a one off we asked a facepainter to decorate our faces for a single gig. She chose the Day of the Dead cause she thought it matched our music. It was only meant to be a single show- but it stuck! Like many things about this band, it was random and unplanned!
Where did you learn to play that flamenco style guitar?
The first time I saw a flamenco guitarist, he showed me four chords, a strumming pattern, and told me to listen to Rodrigo y Gabriela. Gabriela has an instructional DVD where she explains the crazy strumming technique. Since then we have just been musical magpies- borrowing from everywhere.
How do people react to your live show when they see it for the first time?
They always say “I wasn’t expecting that!”
Your last Queensland tour was a complete wash-out. Tell me what happened?
A cyclone threat led to multiple gigs being cancelled…. we ended up holing down in a rental flat for three days, unable to leave due to weather, writing a new song! It sucked but we laughed a lot!
Why aren’t you coming to the Gold Coast on this tour?
Plenty of the gigs are an easy drive from the Gold Coast! It’s always a bit of a zig zag when you tour and you can’t be everywhere at once! We’ll play Gold Coast proper next time!
You started out busking in Sydney – how important is that street performance grounding?
I believe it is the single best thing you can do.
What advice would you give to young musicians starting out?
Dont be solo, be in a band. And busk!
What’s the one question you were hoping I’d ask you?
Would you like a ride in my spaceship?
Watch Kallidad here:
_ _ _ _
Kallidad bring their very impressive live music to SEQ and Northern NSW over the next few weeks including 28 May at Sabotage Social, Brisbane, 30 May at Pacific Hotel Yamba, 31 May at The Rails in Byron Bay and 5 June at Eat Street Brisbane,