Fresh Artist Profile: A Conversation with Kullers
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Members: Aidan Kranz (drums), Jordan Benker (vocals, guitar), Alex Yant (bass)
Newest release: Kullers (May 22, 2016)
Kullers and their recent self-titled debut are self-introductory. Their sound is described as undefined as alternative pop can be. “When you say something like rock or jazz, you have a basic understanding of what you’re getting,” Benker says. “But we take our influences and you kind of get this great mix of rock, pop, and dance. It’s fun and it’s upbeat. It’s good shake-your-butt music.”
Those broad influences stem from a variety of rock that Kullers grew up with. From Yant’s hard rock bands like LINKIN PARK, to Kranz’s beloved first album being Green Day’s American Idiot, to Benker’s classic rock adolescence, there is a vast horizon of traditionally embedded musical guidance. But as far as modern influences go, the band name-drops familiar groups such as “super groovy, super atmospheric” The 1975, Vampire Weekend, and Two Door Cinema Club.
Yant: “I’m really open to new stuff. I listen to new stuff everyday.”
Kranz: “In terms of drumming style, I take a lot from the punk rock scene and the funk drummers.”
Benker: “We clearly have a lot going on as far as influences go, which is very crucial to our sound, because it really touches a lot of bases.”
Kullers’ release plays an interesting symbolism for Benker in terms of transitional value. “May 22, 2004 was my bar mitzvah, which is a Jewish transition into manhood. Not only our album, but our whole band, our whole name and everything was released on May 22, 2016, so it was almost like a new transition for all of us,” he says.
The 11-track album took a long time to put together, but came into form so smoothly as part of the “organic” chemistry that exists between the create forces of the band’s members, and concept of Kullers. “We did what we did, and it came to life,” Benker claims. “The idea of Kullers is the contrast between black and white and full color, and that idea pops up all over the 11 tracks. It’s really cool and what I think made this album special and interesting.”
Kranz: “In terms of musical colors—like the different textures, tambours, sounds, and even styles—this album covers a lot of bases in that sense.”
Yant: “The best part is seeing everything come together—the graphic design, the track-listing, the entire product as a whole. And then when you get the real physical copies of it, it hits you.”
The band’s favorite tracks fall throughout the work as a whole. Yant likes “We Lost Touch” for the personality of the lyrics, while also acknowledging its fun, sing-and-dance vibe. Kranz favors a track titled “Tongue Kissing”, for its groovy qualities from a drummer standpoint. Meanwhile, Benker has a more conceptual fond for “Tape”, connecting with a song that evolved in his mind over a long period of time.
There is an undoubtable likeability to Kullers and their passion for the music they create and share. “When people accept what you do and it impacts them, it’s a way cool feeling,” Benker says, encouraging their audience to share the love of music. “If it makes you happy and it makes you feel that good, there’s no point in keeping it to yourself.”
Yant has a more blunt way of making his case. “If you have an internet connection—which everybody does, no excuse—you can hear the album, and you should.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Find Kullers on social media
Debut album “Kullers” available now on Spotify and iTunes