Q&A with Kyle Gordon of Young Orchids – Playing Big Trouble In Little Five Points This Thursday!

YoungOrchids The band, performing before Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, outside Atlanta's Center Stage, March 20.

By Julia Reidy

Young Orchids is the latest musical brainchild of Kyle
Gordon, previously of Atlanta rockers The Booze, KillGordon and Ski Club. Though the group is new, these pros
aren’t as delicate as the name suggests. Along with Ski Club bandmate Michael
Kai, Gordon has put together a lineup of veterans to grow this project into a
powerhouse. Having already opened for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah outside the CW
Midtown Music Complex and graced the stage at 529, this Thursday, May 21, the
band plays its third Atlanta show since its inception under a year ago. We grilled Gordon on songwriting for
a new act, reputations and what it takes to make music blossom.

Q: So you guys have done this before. You’ve been the
primary songwriter for lots of projects. Have you approached writing for the
Young Orchids differently than you’ve approached writing for any of your other

A: No. When I write, I write for whatever project I’m with
at the time. My stuff isn’t so varied that it sounds like different artists.
I’m not writing a polka song and then a country song and then a rap song and
then a rock song. They’ve all got the same feel; they’re all pretty monotonous,
I don’t know [laughs]. Actually, Michael and I write the music together. I definitely
write a ton of music — I’m always writing, and I’ve got a lot of ideas I want to
see to fruition. Every song I write, I want to see come to life, and that means
whatever band I’m in at the time is going to be the unfortunate assholes that
have to learn it. [laughs]

Q: Have you only played the one show, the one with Clap Your
Hands Say Yeah?

A: Actually, we also played in Macon at the Hummingbird with Ponderosa.

Q: How’d that go?

A: [laughs] It went. Michael and I formed the band about
year ago after Ski Club broke up. Actually, Michael came up to me and said,
“Let’s form a band outside of Ski Club,” and I was like, “I don’t know, Ski
Club’s taking a lot of my time up.” And then a week later Ski Club broke up. So
we started writing songs at the end of last year. We’ve written like three
albums’ worth of music; we’ve got a lot of songs and each one is really cool,
in my opinion. But it’s taken a long time to find the right people to play
with. And the game plan always changed. We kind of started and stopped a lot.
For someone who’s been doing music as long as I have, it’s kind of shameful.
But now that we have a band, we’ve been playing with these guys for about three
months, and it’s not a lot of time, but it’s definitely some time, and it’s
difficult getting five people in one room. Our first show, at the Hummingbird,
people were shocked it was our first show. We got a lot of compliments on our
songwriting; people really enjoyed our songs. I think what they meant by that
was that they could see that it might be rough around the edges right now, but
underneath it all, the songs are really good. So that’s the most important
thing to me, and that’s a really nice compliment.

Q: So this Big Trouble in Little Five show next week might
be one of your first real introductions to a lot of the true Atlanta music community. What face do you
hope to present to the people who could become your real fans soon?

A: I’ve been in bands and a lot of people don’t like me at
all, and a lot of people like what I do, it just depends on the person. But
I’ll say this: I come to this very honestly, and I love writing music and I
don’t do it to be seen. I do it to make me feel good about my life. To play live
is an extension of that. I’ve been playing my songs in Atlanta for about four years. People still
talk about KillGordon. And KillGordon was received better than Ski Club, but I
feel like Ski Club was a better band. I’ve already got a reputation. We all do.
I’ve caught wind that people are saying our name. I just want it to be genuine.
This is the first band I’ve only held a microphone, I’m not really playing the
guitar, and so I feel really naked, really vulnerable. But at the same time,
you use that energy. I’m really excited. I don’t know if it’s going to happen
in the next few shows, but I think people are going to notice that we have this
spark. I think it’s the culmination of everything I’ve ever done at its best,
and once we have a band that is all on the same page and we’re able to rehearse
as much as we’d like, it’s going to be incredible. We’re already making plans
to make a record in June. After these next two shows we’re going to record a
record and come back in July and August, then start touring in September. I
look at this band as like a really long-term thing. This isn’t a band I want to
last for a year or two. I want to be making music with Michael for the next 20
years, and there’s no reason we can’t do that.

Young Orchids play
with The Bridges and All These Kings Thurs., May 21 at the Star Bar for Big
Trouble in Little Five Points for FREE – more info here.



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