Experimental drum maestro Kid Millions comes to Sled Island in three incarnations

Friday 17th, June 2016 / 12:59
By Michael Grondin
Kid Millions isn’t worried about what others think music can be.

Kid Millions isn’t worried about what others think music can be.

CALGARY — The music of drumming machine Kid Millions, and his many side projects, bursts like a bubble; the bubble is an initial idea and what explodes from it is an improvised journey fueled by curiosity.

Kid Millions (John Colpitts) is a member of the notoriously experimental Brooklyn acts Oneida and People of the North, and has a solo drumming project called Man Forever. All three acts delve deep into the possibilities of sound, blending Millions’ unrelenting drumming with ambience and chaos driven drone sounds, made by guitars, synths and many other forms of sound and instrumentation.

Oneida, a five-piece outfit, has been on the experimental music scene for almost 20 years, and with over 20 releases and a repertoire of unhinged, mind-boggling live performances, they have found solitude in their raw creation, rather than in the labels or categories being placed upon their music.

“I don’t care at this point. It’s been 20 years. People are going to say whatever. I’m not at war with the people who want to put us into a particular box,” says Millions in a phone interview from New York. “It’s a business, right, so people want to know what they’re getting. I don’t know if it inhibits us and the sound we’re making, but perhaps it makes it easier for people to dismiss something that doesn’t fall into their assumed genres.”

Without any preconceived notions of their trajectories or outcomes, the music of Millions’ projects stem from possibility and feeling rather than expectation.

“We’ve always used the studio as an instrument. We piece things together from a lot of different sources,” he says. “We’re very open to what a recording can be and we’ve become a lot less critical of what constitutes a song or a piece of music.”

People of the North takes a step further into uncharted territory, using repetition as a compass, where Man Forever gives Millions the opportunity to explore what is capable with a set of drums and two hands.

“We give everything onstage. We don’t want to leave anything left over. We really try to listen and be attuned to the various shifts and improvisational directions that may come up,” says Millions of his acts’ live performances. “I try to attend to what feels necessary in the moment.”

Oneida, People of the North and Man forever will be playing at this year’s Sled Island Music Festival.

“I hope people listen, and that’s about as much as I can expect,” Millions honestly concludes.

See Kid Millions as a part of Oneida (June 22, Commonwealth) and People of the North (June 23, Broken City), as well as solo as Man Forever (June 23, Wine-Ohs) at Sled Island Music and Arts Festival.

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