Q&A with Kaija Kinney: Front woman for Anarcheon

Vancouver based metal band Anarcheon are about to hit the road for a tour that will take them all across western Canada. The tour kicks off in Vancouver Aug. 24 and finishes up in Prince George Sept. 2 with dates in Kamloops (Aug. 26), were they will be supporting Montreal’s internationally renowned metal band The Agonist, as well as a date in Calgary, AB (Aug. 27). Anarcheon features Clayton Bach on guitar, bassist Sylvain Maltais, Steve “Machine” Richardo on the drums and vocalist Kaija Kinney. Formed in 2015, the quartet has been enthralling Vancouver crowds with catchy riffs and energetic heavy bass leads. The shemonic screams of charismatic front woman Kaija Kinney has stolen the hearts of many a metal fan and the combination of it all has enticed the metal scene and left them wanting more. The tour is in support of the band’s debut EP which will be released in October 2017.

This is Anarcheons latest single Super Nova

I got the chance to speak with Kaija Kinney the frontwoman of Anarcheon and founder of Metalocalypstick Fest, a BC metal festival that celebrates women in the metal scene. We get a chance to talk about the upcoming tour, what fans can expect from the upcoming EP and what the song writing process is like for the band. We also touch on what inspires Kaija creatively and why Metalocalypstick Fest is important to her.

Left to Right = Bass - Sylvain Maltais, Vocals - Kaija Kinney, Guitar - Clayton Bach, Drums - Steve Richardo (photo credit Whitelf Films)

Left to Right = Bass - Sylvain Maltais, Vocals - Kaija Kinney, Guitar - Clayton Bach, Drums - Steve Richardo (photo credit Whitelf Films)

Q: What are some of the challenges you face when planning a tour like this?

Kaija: I would say just trying to secure venues and bands to play with you. It really depends; I put most of this tour together myself, with the help of some promoters in each of the cities. Yea that’s the biggest thing. Then just trying to get everyone’s schedules to mesh, getting another band on board, then heading out and hoping your vehicle won’t break down. 

Q: What is the one thing you are most looking forward too on this upcoming tour?

Kaija: Honestly, I’m just super excited to see all of my friends in the area and to play with all the bands and some of the bands we haven’t played with. I am looking forward to the Kamloops show, just for the fact that we are opening for The Agonist, which I’m super excited about. I have a bunch of new found friends in Edmonton and Calgary so that’ll be cool. And we’re also playing in Fort St. John and Prince George which are kinda my home towns so it’ll be nice for some of my high school and elementary friends and some of my family to be able to come out to one of our shows.

Q: What can people expect from an Anarcheon live performance?

Kaija: We’re pretty heavy but we’re also a little bit goofy, we just try to have fun and to give everyone a moshing good time

Q: I know you have an EP coming out this October. What can fans expect from the bands upcoming EP?

Kaija: I think it’s a little bit different from the demos and the single we have put out in the past. We have a new guitar player so he kind of brings a darker side. But it’s also just very weird and there are lots of different parts. Yea I’m super excited. And obviously we’re gonna throw a little bit of our goofiness in there. So it’s still super heavy but just a bit different.

Q: Can you walk us through the process of how Anarcheon songs are written?

Kaija: It’s mostly my bassist and my guitar player. Sometimes my guitar player, Clayton, he’ll come to the table with maybe a riff or sometimes a full song and then my bassist will write off that. Or they’ll each have a riff and they’ll put it together and just keep writing off that and then drums and vocals are added on top of that. Right now, when we get together, we’re just putting together whatever chemistry and feeling comes out. So whatever feelings I get from the guitar work or whatever makes the vocals and the lyrics just come right out.

Q: It sounds like your upcoming release deals with more personal and delicate subject matter. Do you find it difficult being vulnerable on stage playing in a metal band?

Kaija: Actually it’s funny; it’s a lot easier because a lot of the times people don’t even know what you’re saying. I find it easier than say some of my acoustic stuff or when I was in an Alt rock band in the past it was harder because people could here exactly what you’re saying. I would definitely go red singing my lyrics. Yea people can’t hear it as much and you know it’s usually the vocalists that are like, “Oh I like that line.” Or it’s people who would actually go out of their way to look at the lyrics. So I find its fine live.

Q: Have you found it challenging at all being a female in a scene that seems to be dominated mostly by men?

Kaija: I think it almost gives you a one up on everyone just because it’s rarer to see a female in metal. So it’s kind of cool but it’s also sort of annoying cause I’ve worked construction and people are like, “Oh wow your listening to something really heavy.” And it’s kind of the same in the metal scene where people are like, “wow you’re like screaming up there.” It’s kind of like that, but it also works in my favor too, unfortunately. I actually created a female based metal fest centered in western Canada, Metalocalypstik Fest, so that was kind of a big premise for that as well. Just show casing women in metal and being like “See boys.”

Q: That’s funny my next question actually revolves around that subject, it’s a two part question. Do you consider yourself a role model to younger women? And what does this project mean to you personally?

Kaija: I’m not sure if I’m quite a role model yet, but that’s the goal. I want to better myself and show young women and other women my age, that this can be done and to kind of give them encouragement. I didn’t really have that growing up so I was never encouraged to go into music and definitely not metal. I really want to showcase women in metal. Especially for my daughter, she’s super bad ass, she’s 8 and she sings Parkway Drive and stuff but she won’t sing it out of her bedroom. I think that was a huge motivator for me, just seeing how shy she is; and I didn’t want her to end up like me starting so late. Yea just giving encouragement too other little girls and stuff like that is the big goal. I’m working on it.

  Q: At least in my experiences, metal heads are some of the nicest people that you will meet. Why do you think that is?

Kaija: It’s totally true and such a misconception. I don’t even know the real reason, but what I think it is that a lot of us are kind of weird and were different when we were growing up. There’s kind of a nerd aspect to it, to metal heads. We seem to mostly be introverted, I don’t know what brings it on but it could be the nerd aspect of it because metal is one of the more intricate musical genres out there and it seems to attract a certain type of person and the niceness follows it. And actually there was a study done that said that based on musical genre of choice, the people who are most likely to be faithful in a relationship are metal heads. It’s science!

Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in music and wants to form a band?

Kaija: I would say don’t stop, consistency is key. Just keep learning and be modest, make tons of friends and surround yourself with people that are good for you. If you have a bad feeling about a band member, you don’t want to be in a band like that, these people have to be your brothers. They are basically people who you are married to so you want to choose them very wisely.

Below is the audio recording of the full conversation that I had with Kaija if you would like to know more about Anarcheon and her personally. 

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