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The secret is out; the Gold Coast’s latest alt rock powerhouse has arrived, with longtime Aussie music staples Nik Carpenter and Leighton Kearns teaming up to deliver a sharp debut EP 1022 under the moniker The Killing Secret to close out 2022.
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Bringing together Carpenter, aka the revered frontman for metal faves Devolved, and Kearns, prolific bassist for Memento who also joined Devolved amongst other adventures, The Killing Secret may technically be a new name on the scene; but, for both Carpenter and Kearns, this project has not only been on the cards for a while now, it’s also ultimately allowed them to conjure music extremely close to their respective hearts, as the duo recently explained to Hysteriamag.com.
“It has been a long time in the making,” shares the pair of both launching The Killing Secret and releasing their debut EP. “We’re extremely happy to finally have this done and out there to the world. Most people know us from all of the other bands and projects we’ve done over the years so this is a bit of a shock to people, but this music is closer to us than anything we’ve ever done so we’re very happy.”
Releasing two singles in the lead up to the EP’s release, aka The Path and Wallowing, The Killing Secret firmly announced their sonic wares to the world with accompanying music videos for both tracks also dropping for good measure. And while two additional songs are lying in wait on 1022, including opening track Be the One and EP closer Wake, The Killing Secret’s increasingly signature sound can actually be perfectly summed up by their introductory singles, offering a very firm and appealing indication of what’s to come.
“Our style is definitely our style,” the band share of The Killing Secret’s creative modus operandi. “It’s not experimental, or progressive, or technical, it’s straight down the line. Not that we’re saying all the songs are the same tempo or key signature like Bad Religion or AC/DC, or that we sound like a thousand other bands, like a thousand other bands do. But if you like one song, you’ll no doubt like them all.”
With early responses online to The Path and Wallowing clutching at multiple “soundalikes”, including Newcastle pioneers and industry friends Silverchair, inevitably talk turns to stylistic influences for The Killing Secret. But while the duo acknowledge the Chair chatter, there’s a whole lot more going on beneath the surface at The Killing Secret headquarters.
“I think Silverchair were big fans of ours so maybe our influence comes through in their music,” muses the band. “We’ve had many different references from people, Placebo, Midnight Oil, and INXS. But I’d say we’re a cross between Beastie Boys, Beneath the Massacre and BLACKPINK, they would be the closest. But everyone hears things differently, and I don’t think we sound like anything, we sound like The Killing Secret.”
And the whole thing behind The Killing Secret is just keeping it real and honest. So I thought: let’s just call it 1022, which is the address of our apartment in Hollywood where it all started. Then it turned out that the first song was coming out 22/10/22 and the EP is out 22/12/22 – so I guess it was meant to be!
[ Nik Carpenter ]
With both Carpenter and Kearns hailing from extensive musical careers, expanding deep into the Aussie musical zeitgeist, it’s little wonder that the pair have settled into a finely tuned formula when it comes to songwriting. And for 1022 and beyond, it’s a blueprint that organically flows and flourishes from the pair’s respective strengths.
“Writing for The Killing Secret is a very well-oiled machine,” shares Carpenter. “Lats is a songwriting machine. He writes all the music, gives it to me, then I write vocals, done. It’s very simple, it just flows. I don’t believe writing music should be difficult, or even a conscious process, it should just flow from within. If you have to force it, it will always feel unnatural, and the listeners can feel that.”
Closing out 2022 with their debut EP, 1022 is a short but sweet offering complete with four tunes for present and future The Killing Secret fans to devour. But it won’t be a long wait before more material finds its way out into the world, with the band confirming a debut full-length incoming in 2023.
“We have a huge collection of tracks we’ve written over the years,” shares the pair of their decision to whittle down four tracks for their debut EP. “We thought we’d put these few out first, just like our good friend Daniel Johns did pre-Talk, then we’re following it up next year with our full length.”
Comprising two renowned Aussies, The Killing Secret ultimately began life with 1022’s songs written and demoed in Los Angeles, with Carpenter and Kearns also filming music videos and tracking in America, before also bringing in a key team of creatives to solidify their shared creative vision.
“We did it all ourselves,” Carpenter reveals of 1022’s creative processes. “I own a recording studio, so we recorded, produced, and mixed it all here. We did a lot of writing and demoing in LA, and Lats flew over here for the main tracking, and to shoot the film clips.”
“Our good friends Colin Jeffs (10 of Swords Media) and Brendon Bok (One Way Boulevard) shot the clips, and Ayden Perry (Shatter Recording Studios) mastered the EP.”
With a collective history of touring at home and around the world with their other projects, Carpenter and Kearns are as enthused as their longtime fans are to have new music and a new project out in the world. But while releasing music is certainly an icing on the cake for any musician, for the Carpenter and Kearns under The Killing Secret, the most rewarding outcome has been the journey that has ultimately led to this new creative chapter, as well as continuing to pursue their collective passions.
“It’s about the whole project itself, what it’s made from, what’s behind it, the people involved, the history, the friendships,” Carpenter shares of what he loves most about this new creative endeavour. “We have collectively, and individually, toured the world with our music over many years and to simply be doing what we love, surrounded by great humans – what more could one ask for.”
“The Killing Secret began in a small apartment in Hollywood CA,” Carpenter continues, unveiling The Killing Secret’s origin story. “It all started after Leighton joined my then-band Devolved. We had just released our debut album Technologies, and were touring pretty heavily when Lats got a call from friends of ours who just landed a big deal with Columbia Records in LA, and wanted him to join the band.”
“Lats went straight into an even busier schedule, putting their record together with Toby Right and Brendan O’Brien, then hitting the road to tour it, doing the Oz fest tour, tours with Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson, Korn, and more through the US, while we were touring Europe and back home playing with bands like Opeth, Fear Factory, and Machine Head.”
“I left Devolved and opened Core Studios, while Lats came off his tours and started writing their second record, and started sending me demos of his own stuff. I flew to LA and slept on the floor of our apartment in Hollywood for 3 months, drinking Old English, and working on our new demos for The Killing Secret.”
“I had so many bands booking in back home, I flew back to Aus and continued producing more and more records for bands. Before we knew it, a long time had passed and we both still loved what we had done – and we knew we had to release it.”
While 1022 is only freshly out in the world as of Thursday 22 December, inevitably with the year drawing to a rapid close, the question of what The Killing Secret will tackle next in 2023 pops up. And it’s nothing but good news for those hungry for more The Killing Secret goodness, with more visual feasts and even more music on the menu – and some multilingual versions for international fans to boot.
“In 2023 we’ll be dropping a new clip every two weeks until the entire album is out,” the band reveals of what’s to come next for The Killing Secret. “Then possibly some US tours. We’re also releasing the songs in Chinese and Indian for those countries due to popular request and demand.”
But before the debut The Killing Secret album releases next year, there’s one last revelation from the band surrounding the fortuitous meaning behind their debut EP’s title.
“We were thinking about a title,” Carpenter concludes, speaking of the new EP’s ultimate moniker. “And the whole thing behind The Killing Secret is just keeping it real and honest. So I thought: let’s just call it 1022, which is the address of our apartment in Hollywood where it all started. Then it turned out that the first song was coming out 22/10/22 and the EP is out 22/12/22 – so I guess it was meant to be!”