A Local Artist Making Noise Outside of D.C.
Interviewed By: Stephanie Williams
While DMD covers bands that are from the DMV area, there’s also another slice of the pie that some local musicians from the area fall into. Naseem Khuri fits that bill. Although a D.C. resident, Khuri is apart of the six-piece Boston based band Kingsley Flood, who has much success in the realm of music with features on NPR, Paste Magazine among other national trades. While the option of joining a band based in D.C. appears to be much more feasible in terms of time and traveling, what it comes down to for Khuri is band loyalty-no matter what the zip code is.
DMD spoke with Khuri about some of his thoughts about the D.C. music scene and why the band calls this city their “Home Away From Home”.
For more information about Kingsley Flood (and a free download!), check out their official website
See them next: Saturday, May 19th at U St. Music Hall. Doors open at 7p, Kingsley Flood goes on at 8:30p.
D.C. Music Download: How did you get involved with Kingsley Flood? How long have you been with the band for?
Naseem: I was disillusioned with a job and had been working out a bunch of songs in my Boston bedroom. I asked my then-roommate Nick Balkin to pick up the bass for the first time, he seemed to like them and voila, we had a band. Three years later, I’m in D.C., the rest of the band is in Boston and we meet on the road. It’s kind of a ridiculous system.
DMD: The band is in D.C. quite a bit, even mentioning on your official website that it’s your “Home Away From Home”. What is it about the city that keeps the band coming back?
Naseem: I live in Mt. Pleasant, and whenever the band comes down, we go to the western store there, the zoo and the Raven-just to name a few. And oh yeah, the fact that our shows here are always an absolute blast. Something about this city, but these crowds are awesome.
DMD: How would you describe fans of yours in D.C. compared to fans you have living in other cities?
Naseem: The next D.C. show is always more intense than the last, and we’re always seeing new faces in addition to old. Because of that, we feel like we have to set the bar higher for each show. These Washingtonians are smart as hell and demanding, and my awkward dance moves ain’t gonna cut it. So tomorrow night, we’ll be raising the bar and introducing a bunch of new songs. We’ll see how we do.
DMD: What is your favorite music venue in D.C. and why?
Naseem: The 9:30 is obviously amazing, but everyone knows that. Maybe one of my favorite shows ever was when we played the Velvet Lounge a few years back and I swear the floor was sinking because of how many people were jammed in that sweaty room. That was awesome. Good thing the fire marshal wasn’t there.
DMD: Of all bands that you’ve performed with in D.C., which ones are your favorites to share a show with and why?
Naseem: Ugly Purple Sweater is one of our favorite bands, period. Sam McCormally has such an amazing voice. Their songs are also so well-written and arranged, and live shows really do them well. People need to follow those guys.
DMD: The track “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” off the band’s latest EP Colder Still (released Jan ’12) was named “Song of the Day” by the NPR. Do you agree that this song is the best track off the release? Or is their another track that you feel stands out more to you?
Naseem: I think “Mannequin Man” gives a good sense of what we do live, and not just because there’s a trash can on there. We try to leave it all onstage in our live show, and that tune probably best represents what people are getting into when they come to a show. I don’t know if it’s the best or not, but it keeps our blood pumping.
DMD: On top of the show happening at U St. Music Hall-what can your D.C. fans expect from the group for the rest of the year in terms of anymore upcoming shows/new releases/other interesting projects?
Naseem: Next month we pack up our new clothes from the Mt. Pleasant western store and retreat to a Maine studio to work with a great producer and record a full-length with all new songs.
They can also expect for each show to have the bar raised higher than the last, more juvenile humor on our website and Facebook page and an entrance by hovercraft at our next show. Fingers crossed.