Metal band Kylesa, pronounced Ky-less-ah, will be one of over 100 artists performing at the two-day Summer Fest 3 at Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston. Watch the band on the Budweiser Stage on June 5 at 2:20 p.m.
The five-piece band from Savannah, Ga., formed in 2001 and have released five studio albums including their latest, Spiral Shadow. The record has received high praises from Metacritic.com giving it the highest rated metal album of 2010.
Band members are Phillip Cope (vocals, guitar), Laura Pleasants (vocals, guitars), Corey Barhorst (bass, vocals, keyboards) along with dual drummers Carl McGinley and Tyler Newberry.
Pleasants spoke with The Examiner about musical influence, the group’s roots and the importance of live shows. To check out the music of Kylesa or find out more about the band, view kylesa.com.
How did the band form?
I moved from North Carolina to Savannah to attend college. I met Phillip Cope and we started jamming and decided to form a band.
Has music always been in your life?
Yes, I have always loved music. I think the gateway band for me would have been Guns N’ Roses. I saw one of their videos on MTV when I was in elementary school and I was hooked. I had never heard anything like it before. I was completely drawn to it and that started my love for music.
When did you first pick up the guitar?
When I was 15, I wanted a guitar and at that time, my favorite band was Black Sabbath. That instrument was the most interesting to me. I also picked up the bass around the same time and I played both in high school, but I was really into riffs. It was the thing for me to play.
Can you describe the band for those who have never heard of Kylesa?
All of our records are pretty different, but we are a heavy band that likes some melody with a good riff. We blend several genres together so essentially, heavy and loud.‘Spiral Shadow’ has been getting great reviews. Was there anything differently done on this project?
What we did for the previous, ‘Static Tension,’ it worked really well so we took a similar approach how we wrote and recorded it. The dynamics were different, like different sounds and different guitar parts. The biggest difference probably was time. We didn’t have as much time to record this record. Phillip, Carl and I wrote everything and brought in the bass, the keyboards and the additional drummer once the songs were written.
There aren’t many bands that have dual drummers either.
I don’t think we are a one-trick pony because of both drummers. Certainly when you see a band live, you see different things. We look at it like two different guitars.
How important are live shows?
Super important. Live always sounds a little different than the record. It’s a little grittier and we really utilize the two drummers. We have five albums so it’s important to mix the older stuff with the new stuff. As a music fan to other bands, I’m always excited to hear a set list that expands a career rather than just the new record, so you want to create a good flowing live set. You may be playing to people who have heard the record and never seen you play live or playing to people who have never heard of you at all. It’s a first impression to a lot of people.
Is it tough being a female musician in the metal world?
I wouldn’t say every show is a moment where I have to prove myself, but there certainly are people out there who want to see me fail because I am a female in the metal industry. At the same time, there are people who are very encouraging. To be honest, I haven’t thought too deeply about it.