Episode 004 : kill will
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Friday, September 18th, 2020
CLINIK: Many musicians have called Georgia home, including contemporary rappers, singers, and bass artists as well as legends such as Ray Charles. How has Georgia influenced your music?
kill will: Growing up in Atlanta, I really owe the strong subculture and LGTBQ+ community for opening my eyes to bass music. While I never frequented any clubs here when I was younger, I was able to see dubstep artists perform alongside metal and emo bands in venues like Hell at the Masquerade. I think getting exposed to it in this context at a young age has really shaped my view on the electronic music scene since I never saw a traditional “main stage” style show until I was much older.
C: What is the significance of the name kill will?
kw: Haha so I had been performing at house parties and bars in Athens, GA for a couple months with no name, and eventually, I started to land some gigs that needed to know what I went by. I had no clue what to use, so I texted my friends and asked for ideas. In the end, my best friend's mom ended up coming up with the name. I really dug it because I had been producing rap music for a long time before bass music where I frequently used the Kill Bill siren like 808 Mafia.
C: You are the guitarist for the band AFTM. How does playing in AFTM compare to the kill will project?
kw: I’ve recently left the band due to my own struggles with creating music in the past several months, but being in AFTM has given me some of the most valuable experiences and amazing memories in my life. It’s incredible how different it is to perform on stage with five other people who are all united in creating something greater than yourself as an individual musician and person. Whenever I write and perform as kill will, I’m constantly trying to live up to the energy that we were able to share and the impact that we were able to make in emotional music.
C: In addition to making music, you are also a talented visual artist. How did you get into VJing and where do you draw your inspirations from?
kw: I got into VJ’ing because I was offered to headline a show at one of my favorite venues in Athens, the 40 Watt. With that opportunity, I decided to rent an LED wall and put together a show where I was controlling the visuals live as I DJ’d. I really wanted to create worlds for each song with visuals and dialogue like Porter Robinson.
C: What are your favorite tools to use in terms of sound design?
kw: I’m obsessed with Serum. Even when I’m distorting an audio sample or using reverb and delays on a vocal, it’s almost always done through Serum Fx. I can’t remember who said it exactly, but I was super inspired by someone on “Back to Back with Willy Joy” to continue to focus on learning one tool in its entirety instead of spreading yourself too thin across different plugins.
C: You have said that Skrillex is one of your biggest influences. What about Skrillex do you admire and how do you honor his legacy in music and in life?
kw: In 2011, I was gifted a CD by an amazing drummer and friend that was called “Twinstep” since my identical twin and I were super interested in the early Dubstep and Electro House tunes that they would play in their car before marching band practice. A lot of the songs on it were from the “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP” and got me hooked on Skirllex ever since. While Skrillex is incredible at sound design and mixing, he inspires me by always having fun and putting his arrangement and songwriting skills first in his music. I also love his passion for supporting the underground and keeping up with modern music. It’s so cool how he’s been able to evolve and continue to make influential tunes today.
C: Which artists would you like to collaborate with one day?
kw: I would love to collaborate with the incredibly talented people in six impala and FROMTHEHEART. They’ve been able to seamlessly combine my favorite elements of electronic and alternative music to create something so unique and powerful.
C: What has been your biggest struggle in the music industry so far? How do you work to overcome this?
kw: As I mentioned before with leaving the band, the state of the world recently has put me in a difficult place to find the energy to create music. Because of that, I’ve really focused my creative efforts in learning about visual arts. I’m so inspired by people like JOYRYDE who can tell such a complete and intricate story around their music due to their skills in other mediums. I think it’s super important to find ways to grow creatively and as a person outside of music when you find yourself struggling to write.
C: Your sets are always energetic, eclectic, and well-mixed. What is your process for putting together a mix or a live set?
kw: I really appreciate that!! When I make a set, I definitely try to make something that gets me moving in my room haha. My tastes are all over the place, so I love it when I’m able to do something weird like flip a 1975 song into a Zomboy tune. All in all, I really try to focus on having my sets be over 50% original music, so that makes putting together a set a lot like assembling a puzzle.
C: What can fans expect from kill will in the coming months?
kw: I really don’t know what’s to come, but maybe I’ll drop some of the unreleased stuff from this mix soon if people want it! I’m super thankful for this opportunity to make an all original set, and it really means so much to share it with you all!!