Both hailing from Canada, KVNE and Badlook met as teenagers, in a small local town where they were both performing with their respective metal bands, before crossing paths again years later under the exact same circumstances.
We sat down with KVNE and Badlook to talk about their latest single Heroin, their background and more.
On a path to sobriety for many years now, KVNE found it incredibly hard to fight against his old demons during the pandemic and it’s another encounter with his peer that saved him. “By the end of these two years of isolation, I had gone through broken hearts, cancelled tours, attempting to homeschool my son on my own and what felt like an endless disappointment. I had kind of taken a break from working on any music for myself.
I just had a massive disconnect with all of it, and to be honest I was really struggling with my mental health. I couldn’t seem to find joy in anything and felt like I was getting closer and closer to relapsing. Working with Badlook helped me stay sober and get through one more tough day at a time. I started to find the hidden joys of life again”, KVNE reveals.
Over the years, the two chameleons of genres have made versatility their signature, fearlessly blending their influences and leaning onto strong melodies and outspoken songwriting to ensure their audiences are tagging along for the wild ride. This open-minded approach gained KVNE over 2,6 million streams on Spotify and is also what brought him together with Badlook for a complete collaborative EP. Entitled Distort, the project introduced by the new single Heroin is scheduled for later this year.
Where do you come from? What brought you together?
KVNE – I’m from Hamilton, Ontario originally. Dave (aka Badlook) & I actually met when we were both in respective metal bands maybe ten years ago now. Then three years ago or so I went to a show in Waterloo held by my agent & noticed who Badlook was haha.
Tell us about your track Heroin, the process behind it, how did it come together?
KVNE – Badlook sent me an idea for the production of our new single Heroin one night I had nothing planned, it was actually the first night in a while that I didn’t have my son (I’m a single father) and had kind of been going through a rough patch mentally. I played with the idea for the production in my car as soon as I dropped my son off, and immediately started writing it. The song almost wrote itself. As soon as I got home I recorded the idea for my parts & sent it back over to Dave.
BADLOOK – I flipped him an instrumental I had been working on for like half an hour and it was like the first half of the music for Heroin. He hits me back the next day with like a full half a song and just nailed the vibe instantly. I wrote my verse and the bridge a few weeks later and it just came together so naturally. I just tried to channel the feeling of his lyrics when I went to write mine and it was honestly really effortless. We resonate with the same things going on in our head and the ideas we come up with just work so naturally together.
What is it you would like people to do while listening to Heroin?
KVNE – Honestly just feel. The song is very honest & transparent. I’d say as long as the listener actually allows themselves to feel it, there will be a memorable connection with the song.
BADLOOK – I think it’s a song for however you’re feeling. You can turn it into whatever you want to help you out. Party to it. Cry in your f*cking car to it (like me), you know, just play the song.
What colour(s) would your music be like for people who suffer from synaesthesia?
(the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body like seeing colours for sound or words)
KVNE – I would say vibrant. Bright highlighter pinks & greens with dark, rough & scratchy undertones.
BADLOOK – I think for this song, the colours that are in the music video are perfect. A very organic, earthy tone situation. For stuff on my own I’d have to say dark greens and blues and purples on black. Just think Blade Runner.
What made you want to become an artist?
KVNE – I started playing guitar when I was about 12. As soon as I picked it up, it just became a massive part of my life. Within a year I’d managed to form a band & start performing. We started just playing covers, then started writing originals. It wasn’t until my first tour when I was 15 that I knew for sure it was something I had to do forever.
BADLOOK – I started running around the house naked with a guitar in my hand at about 4 years old and I think from then on, I’ve never really been programmed to do anything else. Any job I ever had, I would just be counting the hours until I could leave so I could go to my studio and make music. I don’t know if it was any one thing really that made me want to be an artist. It was more like, the more I did it, the more being anything else wasn’t an option.
It’s okay to struggle or feel, just to remember not to let it consume you.KVNE
How would you describe each other and your respective work ethic?
KVNE – Dave (Badlook) is a machine. From the production he makes, to his vocals & even down to his on stage presence. He’s just an absolute force. The first time I had the pleasure of seeing Badlook, it was in this super tiny venue & the energy just spiked. I walked directly up to my booking agent and told him “we NEED to put them on the album release tour” hahah. It wasn’t even a question when we spoke about finally collaborating on some music late last year. It was almost more of a how didn’t we do this already? hahah. But I’m truly a massive fan of all of his work & work flow.
BADLOOK – Getting to work on this music with Kevin (KVNE) has been such a sick experience. His mind works very similar to mine musically and he’s quick as f*ck when it comes to writing and tracking. It’s been a blessing getting to work with someone that I love as an artist. Dude shreds.
What’s the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
KVNE – I think the best piece of advice any other artist gave me was to just remember why I started making music, for the simple reason that it’s something that brings me so much joy. I think it’s really easy to get lost in a lot of other aspects of being creative in this industry & it’s easy for things to start to stray.
BADLOOK – That nobody knows f*ck all about anything.
What is the most interesting thing we don’t know about you yet?
KVNE – This is a really good question actually, I gotta admit that hahah. I’d probably have to say that I have a small obsession with gardening. When the lockdown started I figured it was something good to learn & teach my son, so we’ve been doing it every year since.
BADLOOK – I’ve almost died like 8 times and I can cook my ass off.
What is one message that you would like to give to your fans?
KVNE – The only message I want to give my fans is that they’re not alone & that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes. It’s okay to struggle or feel, just to remember not to let it consume you.
BADLOOK – If you have an itch to do something, or you feel attached to something in your life that you can’t let go of.. pursue it until you die. F*ck what people think, do you to the fullest and don’t bend or break for anyone. And just be chill 🙂
Connect with KVNE and Badlook via
Find Heroin on our NEW ROCK 2022 playlist on Spotify
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this interview was so personal and honest, I loved it. The synesthesia question was so original and awesome, definitely putting it in my back pocket!!
Ooh I really like the ethereal vocal over hard rock sound, I hope they go far
beautiful production on that track, crystal clear
Proof that when you unite, magical things can happen! Love the double interpretation of the lyrics on that one & how personal it is <3 Keep strong!