Mark, Christopher, & Morgan

Kill the Reflection at the HiLo Club, OKC

The Interview

The Interview

Kill the Reflection front¬≠man Morgan Routt took time out after the band‚Äôs recent shows at the HiLo Club, Blue Note Lounge and the city of Guthrie‚Äôs Zombie Bolt 5K to answer some ques¬≠tions.ÔĽŅ [Sidenote: Thanks to the Morgan Routt for putting me on the guest list and clear¬≠ing photo per¬≠mis¬≠sions with the other per¬≠form¬≠ers at the HiLo show.] Here are his answers, plus pic¬≠tures from KTR‚Äôs mid-October show at the HiLo, where they head¬≠lined fol¬≠low¬≠ing Psychic Milk and Kali Ra.

KTR’s lat­est release Together … Apart … is avail­able at Amazon and iTunes.

Mercury Photo BureauWhat was your 1st instru¬≠ment, and why did you start play¬≠ing it?

Morgan RouttThe first instru¬≠ment I ever played was the keyboard/‚Äčpiano, mainly just fool¬≠ing around with the record¬≠ing fea¬≠ture. I got my first gui¬≠tar when I was 15, and it has been a labor of love ever since [‚Ķ]. She never talks back and she is always there for me.

MPBWhat‚Äôs your ear¬≠li¬≠est mem¬≠ory of music?

MorganMy ear¬≠li¬≠est mem¬≠ory of music [was] when I used to roll around with my mom in her Nova as a kid [and] she would sing to me. Anything from Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox and espe¬≠cially the Beatles. My first con¬≠cert ever was The Monkees and Weird Al Yankovic. First tapes I ever got for Christmas were The Monkees, Elvis and Michael Jackson‚Äôs Off the Wall (I loved that damn tape).

Morgan (I)
Morgan (I)‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČKill the Reflection, HiLo Club, Oklahoma City

MPBHow did you meet [drum­mer] Christopher Stevens and [bassist] Mark Martinez? What are their musi­cal back­grounds, pre-KTR?

MorganI met Chris when I was young, around 17, through some mutual friends [who] I was couch-sit¬≠ting for. He seemed out¬≠ra¬≠geous enough for me to hold on to, and I am glad I did; he is an amaz¬≠ing soul and 1 of the best drum¬≠mers I have ever known. We could tell you some crazy stories!

I met Mark though Chris and his friends, early 2011, and we seemed to have [‚Ķ] the same sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tions [affect] us at the same times, and had that link imme¬≠di¬≠ately, so he under¬≠stood the music at that point very well, and wanted to be a part of it. He picked up the bass and all 3 of us were prac¬≠tic¬≠ing upwards of 4 ‚Äď 5 times a week for the bet¬≠ter part of the year, and decided to take it to the stage.

Chris had been in sev­eral bands before; he was the lead singer for Hookworm back in the day (and they were sick!). He was also the drum­mer for Stellar Chromatic before claim­ing his throne in KTR.

Mark was a band man¬≠ager and road dog for the band Otis and was more part of the book¬≠ing and busi¬≠ness aspect of that band; we are glad to have him on this side of the fence now because we are writ¬≠ing some new fan¬≠tas¬≠tic things as a 3-piece.

MPBIs this your 1st band?

MorganI was in a garage band as a kid called Anavrin (I‚Äôll let you fig¬≠ure that one out). ÔĽŅ [Sidenote: Try spelling it back¬≠ward.] I was a [‚Ķ] one-man [Trent] Reznor [in] the early days, learn¬≠ing to mix and use sam¬≠ples, real DIY. I came up with the con¬≠cept of KTR in 1999, and it was more electronic/‚Äčindustrial that later adapted trip-hop, and has become the 3-man machine that it is now. Dirty-yet-lov¬≠ing ‚ÄúPost-Punk‚ÄĚ?

MPBTell me about the doc¬≠u¬≠men¬≠tary being shot by Patrick George. Any bits you hope wind up on the cut¬≠ting room floor?

MorganThe doc¬≠u¬≠men¬≠tary [‚Ķ] is very much in its sperm stage; we are still wait¬≠ing on the Barry White to chime in before we say much more. Although our main focus will be behind-the-scenes with KTR, our encoun¬≠ters with nice and evil people.

I want it to be like a vir¬≠tual tour, try¬≠ing to make it in the OKC scene, with all its beau¬≠ti¬≠ful ameni¬≠ties and prob¬≠lems. It will tell our story as a video biog¬≠ra¬≠phy but it will also tell the story of how the 3 of us are matur¬≠ing together as artists. What to watch out for and how oth¬≠ers have reached out their hands to help, etc. ‚Ķ We will have lots of live per¬≠for¬≠mances at our favorite spots on the DVD.

MPBWhen can we expect to see the music video [that you shot with Jonathan Shahan]‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČor are you still work¬≠ing on that?

MorganThe music video [‚Ķ] is still a go, but as of now we have no date on that. We will be work¬≠ing with many new glo¬≠ri¬≠ous video peo¬≠ple and should have a few videos for you in 2013.

Christopher (I)
Christopher (I)‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČKill the Reflection, HiLo Club, Oklahoma City

MPBWhat‚Äôs the ori¬≠gin of the band name?

MorganWhen I was 19, I came up with the name Kill the Reflection; I was young and very upset with the world at this time [‚Ķ]. I guess I kinda blamed myself for every¬≠thing, and it seemed to me I was becom¬≠ing just as much of a f*ck-up as my father had been for me. I did not want to be a reflec¬≠tion of his mis¬≠takes; I wanted to come full cir¬≠cle and cor¬≠rect the past [‚Ķ] by cre¬≠at¬≠ing a bet¬≠ter future. [‚Ķ] Every time I [looked] in a mir¬≠ror I [saw] him look¬≠ing back, and it made me very angry. Despite all that I was inside, I am not that man, and I just wanted to kill the reflection.

It is also a term used in pho¬≠tog¬≠ra¬≠phy, to paint some¬≠thing dark to cut out the reflec¬≠tion (to dull it down). I also read some¬≠where that Countess Elizabeth B√°thory [de Ecsed] had all of her mir¬≠rors removed from her cas¬≠tle because she was tired of see¬≠ing her own aging reflection.

I liked all these ideas, and wanted to keep the name a bit cryp¬≠tic [like] the metaphors I use in song writ¬≠ing, so that any¬≠one can apply their own sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tions and make them fit. That is where the term music for bro¬≠ken peo¬≠ple comes from. It is all med¬≠i¬≠cine and anger man¬≠age¬≠ment. It is what¬≠ever you want it to be.

MPBYour press mate¬≠r¬≠ial describes you as alter¬≠na¬≠tive/¬≠post-punk/rock, all pretty broad cat¬≠e¬≠gories. Who are your influences?

[Answer includes a lengthy list; click below to see‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČed.]

MPBHow has your music changed since the band‚Äôs formation?

MorganThe music has changed a lot since ‚Äô99 and has changed a bit more since the 3-piece con¬≠ver¬≠sion. This is [‚Ķ] expected; we all have dif¬≠fer¬≠ent styles and projects in mind. I can write and record an elec¬≠tronic song just as well as I can a rock song. We mul¬≠ti¬≠task. The more we [grow] together, the more influ¬≠ence each of us [has] on the sound. The new EP is gonna reflect this, and we could not be happier.

MPBDoes each band mem¬≠ber offer songs for con¬≠sid¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tion, or is that pri¬≠mar¬≠ily 1 member‚Äôs job? Who writes the lyrics? Are the songs mostly fin¬≠ished before pre¬≠sen¬≠ta¬≠tion to the band, or are they sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cantly refined in rehearsals?

MorganWe share every¬≠thing, down to our last beer. The first album con¬≠tained some older revamped songs that I had writ¬≠ten when I was 19 ‚Äď 20, so they were upwards of 12‚ÄĮyears old. We just made them new again; they were too good to let go of.

When we write new songs together, most of it is [‚Ķ] on the fly. One of us will just get into a mood, in between songs at prac¬≠tice, and start [a] chord, and we all just come in blindly [‚Ķ]; we get either turds or dia¬≠monds [‚Ķ]. Other times, Mark may have a bass-line idea that he has been work¬≠ing on, or Chris a drum pat¬≠tern, or I a gui¬≠tar riff, and we build on it from there.

I write most of the lyrics, but Chris is a won¬≠der-poet in his own right, and has con¬≠tributed greatly to the lyrics, as well. [In] the newer music you may hear me sing an entire song of Chris‚Äôs lyrics, and Mark might be singing on there as well. You never know.

The pur¬≠pose of the 3-piece is to not be one sided with KTR, as it had been in the past. We all have a voice and work together in KTR; we are a fam¬≠ily.

Mark (I)
Mark (I)‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČKill the Reflection, HiLo Club, Oklahoma City

MPBIf you couldn‚Äôt make music, what would you do instead?

MorganIf Chris didn‚Äôt do music, he would [‚Ķ] be a pro¬≠fes¬≠sional skate¬≠boarder-wine taster-poet. Mark might be a busi¬≠ness mogul [or] in pub¬≠lic rela¬≠tions (he is good with peo¬≠ple). I would be the owner of [‚Ķ] var¬≠i¬≠ous restau¬≠rants and spe¬≠cialty shops that cater to the bizarre; that is, if I couldn‚Äôt be a movie direc¬≠tor-wine connoisseur.

MPBTime for ‚ÄúRedeem a Song.‚ÄĚ Name a song, pos¬≠si¬≠bly a suc¬≠cess¬≠ful 1, that doesn‚Äôt com¬≠mand respect‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČthat you might hes¬≠i¬≠tate to admit lik¬≠ing‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČand tell me why you think it‚Äôs a good song.

MorganHello, It‚Äôs Me by Todd Rundgren. I chose this song because I always play it at the juke¬≠box when I‚Äôm ‚Äúin the zone,‚ÄĚ and it takes me to a place that feels very com¬≠fort¬≠able. It is a beau¬≠ti¬≠ful song and I feel I [must have] played it on repeat in a past life; maybe it‚Äôs an 8-track sui¬≠cide song from my past.

I am never afraid to admit I like songs; hell, I had the maxi-sin¬≠gle to Jordy [Lemoine]‚Äôs It‚Äôs Tough to Be a Baby when I was a kid.

MPBThanks for tak¬≠ing time to answer my questions!

MorganThank you, Chris, for every¬≠thing you do! We appre¬≠ci¬≠ate every inch of your being and fiber!

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About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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