The Kickback

Achieving your childhood dreams of becoming a rock star isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish. It can feel ridiculous at times.  For indie rock band, The Kickback, while hanging on to their youthful, childish soul, they have been able to deal with the added pressures of being in the spotlight. By turning their exertions into poetic compositions, they are leaving their mark in the world. Trying  to define the anguish of self doubt, the band  brings a more serious side to their music as they bloom into mature musicians.

Hailing from Chicago, The Kickback members include, Billy Yost (lead vocals, guitar) Danny Yost (drums), Eamonn Donnelly (bass, vocals) and Jonny Ifergan (guitar, vocals, keys). Known for their explosive performance, they’re like a quirky boy with a brand new puppet. “The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children,” famous puppeteer Jim Henson once said.

The Kickback has turned their firsthand experiences into a documented podcast called Disastour.  At times, the show highlights the band completely vulnerable, ready to give up everything they have worked for – leaving their fans clenching with bated breath. But the band always recovers and redeems themselves with some knowledgeable insight. “There’s going to be some record of our failure or our shinning success of our career. I’m kind of obsessed with leaving something behind. Leaving some kind of legacy,” says Billy.

Music from The Kickback

Rob Our House, video released 2013, is a song that captures the frustrations after Billy and Danny were burglarized in their Chicago apartment. I was able to speak to Billy about the rude awakening of this event. Billy confesses about some important music files that were taken along with other significant objects. “We didn’t have any copies of the stolen files, so we never really got them back. It was sort of a harsh reception to the new move my brother and I made from South Dakota to start our career as musicians. We felt like we had a lot of set backs in the first 6 months. But, at least we got a song out of it in the end,” says Billy. The song tells a powerful story with Billy shouting dialogue, at times, into the mic. Brilliantly, the band joins together in  unison for the chorus added with a grounded riff.

Raising enough money from a fundraiser the band kick-started back in July of 2013, they were able to record their upcoming album, Sorry All Over The Place. Since the band reached over their goal, to show their appreciation, The Kickback has included a behind the scenes video featuring footage through their process of recording the album. “ We’re in a weird place. The record has been done since last August. In fact, I’m looking at it right now. It’s ready to go, just sitting on a music file. It’s really frustrating cause we’ve had this opportunity to do this and we want to turn this out immediately. We just haven’t come across a label company that we feel can give the record what it deserves. But, with my promise, it will be released some time this year,” says Billy.

Teachings From The Kickback

The Kickback can really take their stage performances to the extremes.  If they’re not gasping for air at the end of a set, they feel they need to give more to their audience. Billy ended up in the emergency room after being too far gone ‘in the moment’, he admits. “Last year in a show, I threw my guitar straight up, as high as I could get it to go. It looked like the guitar was about to veer off into the crowd. As I lunged to grab it, simultaneously I kicked the mic stand, which flew forward and busted my lip open. Then the guitar came down and hit me in my face. That was sorta stupid and dumb, but up until that point I felt I was untouchable on stage. A definite learning experience,” says Billy.

Being a substitute teacher by day, a rock star by night, Billy has come to grips with some of the unnecessary worries that linger inside an artistic mind. Being hyper aware of your surroundings, while throwing all you got out into humanity. “Every day that your name isn’t written sky high in the clouds, you feel a little pressure. I’m 27 and I’m supposed to be a grown man now. It’s so silly at times. When I’m worried about  the tightness of my pants before I go up on stage, I have to remind myself not to let all the outside b.s. get to me,” says Billy.