Kid On A Leash are a Punk Rock band straight out of Newcastle Australia. Blending heavy riffs with catchy choruses, KOAL have proven time and time again that the Australian punk rock scene is far from dead.
New South Wales, Australia
If you haven’t heard of Kid on a Leash but you appreciate that 90’s Blink 182, Sum41, skater, punk, rock sound than you, like us, will love these guys! We caught up with them to see where it all began and how their Hometown influenced their sound.
Where is the Kid on a Leash Hometown?
Newcastle, New South Wales, though we’re all originally from all round the place.
Where is everyone originally from?
Chad was born in Bankstown, Trent is from Melbourne, Jesse is from Kempsey and I’m [Jacob] from Newcastle. But all of us consider Newcastle to be our Hometown, it’s essentially where Kid On A Leash was born.
Safe to say all Kid on a Leash band members now happily reside in Newcastle?
Due to the unbelievable success of the band, all members have decided it’s best to live in the same locality. This has made it easier for press conferences/guest appearances and all that sort of logistical stuff a band of our size must deal with – note the hint of sarcasm.
Even with tremendous success looming, Newcastle would still be a great hometown?
Newcastle is an amazing coastal city. Hugging the shores of the Pacific Ocean and Lake Macquarie it’s the place to be if you’re a beach lover. It also has one of Australia’s most vibrant live music scenes, supporting multiple genres of music at all levels across great venues throughout the city.
Newcastle was also the birthplace for ‘Arnott’s’ Biscuits. With William Arnott opening a small bakery back in 1865. The combination of surfing, live music and a never-ending packet of Tim Tams makes the journey through puberty to adulthood a much more tolerable experience if you come from Newcastle.
One may say you guys were a google of Newcastle trivia! What is the current population?
And what are those 440,000 people like?
Novocastrians can be very laid back, in part due to the location of the town and the beaches. Most people surf or know somebody that surfs, with an infectious ‘sup dude…’ vibe. There are obviously areas in which you must be as hip/current and cool as possible to stand any chance of fitting in. But these are a small cluster of suburbs closer to the city. We also boast a lot of typical ‘Aussie blokes’ and plenty of local watering holes to spend the weekends. The people of Newcastle are very broad, our town caters to anyone with offerings of smashed avo, huge swells and plenty of local’s only type pubs.
We’re a very proud bunch of people, and have no issues telling you where we’re from with our chests pumped out. Anyone that compares Newcastle to another Australian town will most likely be banished. We’re all very much set in our ways with the history of the town demonstrating the driving force of ambition throughout the population.
Who wouldn’t be proud to boast. What is Newcastle’s most memorable asset?
There are a lot of icons that make Newcastle recognisable. Nobbys lighthouse, Fort Scratchley, Stockton Bridge and the remains of BHP to name a few. Fort Scratchley would have one of the strongest historical backgrounds. Built in 1866 it was erected to defend Newcastle during World War 2. The two 6-in BL Mark VII guns fired at a Japanese submarine I-21, which shelled the city on 8 June 1942.
Okay enough Google. What’s Newcastle’s live music scene like?
Huge! Most venues will cater to all genres of music. On a Friday or Saturday night its always a hard decision to decide where to head out for a night of live music. There will be metal, jazz, techno or house, rock, hip-hop, piano artists spread throughout the city. Newcastle also has a lot of large international artists dropping in on a regular basis.
Who are some of Newcastle’s well known musical exports?
The Screaming Jets, Silverchair, Trophy Eyes, Frenzal Rhomb all hail from this great city!
Have any of them influenced you musically?
Not directly. A lot of our music is. based around the stories of our youth growing up in Newcastle. Our song ‘Man Down’ is written about a friend of ours that we would surf Newcastle with and have fires on the beach. He then got a girlfriend and left us. This was not an easy divorce for us to go through and this is laid out very clearly in the song. We still hope he will hear it one day and come back to us begging for forgiveness.
Newcastle must play a large part in shaping your music also?
If you lived on the coast or around Lake Macquarie, entertainment was mainly found outdoors and hanging with your mates. From day to day life Rock music was used to psyche ourselves up just before going into battle with Pokémon cards/handball and marbles or to make us run faster after a knock ‘n’ run. Marbles and rock music made for an intense combination.
Growing up punk rock/rock music was always the soundtrack of summer, it always sounded like a good time. Which is what romanticised all those childhood memories. Trying to write music that would make people feel that same way has always been our goal.
Have you played homage to you Hometown in you music?
We don’t mention the word ‘Newcastle’ exactly in our lyrics, as our lead singer is not very smart and struggles with basic poetry. As mentioned before though a lot of our music is about the experiences we have all enjoyed in Newcastle.
We’ll get Jacob a thesaurus so he can start working that in. Outside of places who are the people that influence your music?
Our families and a few close friends. Although a lot of our motivation and storytelling comes from experiences with friends and girls that didn’t know we even existed. We’re all incredibly lucky to come from families that support not only us but enjoy our music, whether they’re just telling us that to keep us happy or not we’re still not sure. Even so, we’re lucky to have families that will inflate our egos rather then trying to bring us down while pursuing our dreams.
What drew you to being a part of Hometown Fest?
There were a lot of factors that made us excited to get involved. One of them being the location. Novocastrians have a certain kinship with Brisbane and Queensland. Probably due to the similar geography and chilled out vibe from living so close to beautiful bodies of water.
The second and main reason is the diversity hometown has to offer musically. We are all huge fans of diversifying musical tastes and the fact that we can slide into that group is amazing. The fact that Hometown is so focused on supporting homegrown Australian music is also a massive draw card. A lot of festival these days invest huge amounts of focus on international artists. Having a group that are getting behind Australian music in this way is something all of us musicians really appreciate and respect.
Credit where credit is due for artists as far as we’re concerned regardless of origin. For those who haven’t yet experienced a Kid on a Leash set, what can they expect?
Most people that come to our shows, whether they know us or not will approach us at the end and tell us how much fun they had. This is our main goal when we perform live. We don’t try to focus so much on showcasing each members musical skills, but rather work as hard as we can to keep the audience entertained and involved. Our new album ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ has been written with that in mind. Most of the songs have been written with the vision of how they would sound live and how much audience involvement can be achieved. When you come to our set, expect to clap your hands and sing/chant to most of our songs. We plan to turn it up for Hometown and get out there and be in the pit with you guys while we play.
Is there anyone we can expect to see you guys in the audience for at Hometown Fest?
We’re really excited to see Hurricane Fall play. These guys are also from Newcastle and it would be great to support another band of the same Hometown.
A few of us saw Casey Barnes perform at Ekka and were very impressed by the energy from those guys. So, there’s a very high chance well be there watching that performance as well.
What do you think will be the difference between Hometown Fest and other Aussie festivals?
The immense support of homegrown Australian music. Also, the fact that they are catering to families and the public as a whole.
Finally what would Kid on a Leash like to see more of at Hometown Fest in years to come?
Kid on a Leash. Obviously.