INTERVIEW WITH BARRY MACKICHAN (VOCALS/BASS) BY NICK SENIOR
First things first, could you introduce yourself for our readers?
Hi! My name is Barry MacKichan. I’m the singer/bassist for Kiros.
Can you describe your sound for those who haven’t heard of Kiros before?
I think we are a mixture of alternative, rock, punk, and pop. We’re driving and heavy, with soft spots and acoustic guitars thrown in their too.
Your latest album, Lay Your Weapons Down, was just released. It has been quite a long time from your first album to this, your sophomore release. Do you feel like the monkey is off your back now?
Yes, in a huge way. The monkey had turned into a fully grown silverback gorilla. We’ve been working on this record for a long time, making sure we did everything right. It took forever, but we think it’ll be worth the wait.
How do you feel about how the album has been received? Are you happy about the finished product?
So far the response has been excellent! We’ve received a lot of great reviews from the press, but more importantly from the fans. We are very happy about the record. We refused to release something we weren’t 100% satisfied with.
Who are some bands/artists that you’ve been listening to lately?
My recent playlist includes Safety Suit, Mariana’s Trench, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World, Maroon 5, Augustana, Blessed by a Broken Heart and Four Year Strong.
What is your favorite part about being Canadian?
Maple Syrup comes out of our taps instead of water, Canadian bacon is available for pennies (yes we have pennies in Canada), and natural hockey is bestowed upon us. Oh, and free health care!
Favorite hockey team?
Calgary Flames!! I’ve been a lifelong fan, and gone to plenty of games growing up. Tyler is an Edmonton Oilers fan, Ryan is a San Jose Sharks fan, and Jonny is Dallas stars fan. We’ve got some good rivalries going on.
What are your thoughts on the Canadian music market? Do you have any favourite bands from your homeland?
Canada has put out a lot of great bands (besides Justin Bieber ) I love Our Lady Peace, Alexisonfire, Mariana’s Trench, TFK and many more. Canada is a much smaller music market, but it’s so cold for so much of the year that all there is to do (besides play hockey of course) is play music. I think that little fact alone creates a fertile breeding ground for talented musicians and good bands.
What do you guys do to keep yourselves entertained on the road?
We have an Xbox in the bus, and the only game that matters is permanently inside it (NHL 12.) All of us are really into Disc Golf, and there are free courses everywhere in the States. We’ve also got tennis rackets, longboards and random sports equipment in the trailer ready for free time.
What are your favourite cities and/or venues to play?
That’s a hard question. We really notice the increase in support in radio markets where our singles have been picked up. Every show has different aspects that make it memorable, and we look forward to every night on tour.
What have been the best and worst moments on tour?
Bus breakdowns are always discouraging, and stepping on stage every night is always worth everything else.
Who would be in your ideal tour line-up?
Justin Bieber and Kiros. Why not? If Justin turns us down, it’d be amazing to tour with Thrice or Jimmy Eat world. Those are bands I’ve looked up to and enjoyed for years. Also, I need to throw Blink-182 and New Found Glory in there, because they were huge influences in my early days, and a big part of why I play music now.
What inspired the lyrics to Lay Down Your Weapons?
The whole record is a concept album, following a personal journey of internally struggling to find hope, purpose and redemption. It’s split into 3 chapters (The Revolt, The Trenches, The Surrender.) The lyrics are very real, and from my heart. The past few years have seen some of my highest highs and lowest lows, and this record doesn’t shy away from honesty about those times.
Do you have a favourite song off that album?
“Something Beautiful”. It’s the final song on the record, and the finale of the story where hope is truly found. It’s about beautifully surrendering a broken life to the God who can put it back together into something so much better.
Do you have any touring plans lined up to support your new album?
Right now we’re out with Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Manafest and Nine Lashes doing a full US tour. We’ve also confirmed a bunch of the major festivals for the summer, and we’re in talks for a few other big tours in the near future. Once we’ve got those confirmed, we’ll post the dates and details.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Kiros?
We work with World Vision to help end child slavery, child prostitution, and child soldiers. We think there is a lot of injustice in the world, and we want to change that as much as we can. Check out this link for more information: http://www.humanwrong.org/