The Untitled Interview #16: Starring Joel Burleson (Ki:Theory)

Change is good. Not only is this true of life in general, but more specifically related to music. Richmond’s Ki:Theory has undergone drastic changes over the past few years, but founding member Joel Burleson has emerged from the ashes and pointed the band’s music in a completely new direction. What once was just rock is now a heady mix of twiddled knobs and meaty beats, dashes of folking it up, and slight, mellower traces of those former days of rock. Not only does Burleson have his own music keeping him busy, he’s also turning into quite the remixer, working on Unkle and Ladytron tunes to name just a couple.

I had the pleasure of seeing Joel and his live compatriot Ash open for the Cult this summer, and I was pleasantly surprised by just how good the band is on stage. Happily, we Richmonders can catch Ki:Theory this Saturday at Gallery 5. I’ll be there, hope you will be, too. But in the meantime, here’s Joel waxing and waning on just about everything.

Les Enfants Terribles: How the hell are you?
Joel Burleson: Quite well. Busy busy getting ready for... Gallery 5 this Sat. 12/6 8pm. All ages. $5 (shameless promo)…

LET: What was the last song you listened to?
JB: Ray LaMontagne’s "Hold You In My Arms" is on my AppleTV right now (it's on shuffle). But, I’ve been listening to Low's new-ish record Drums and Guns lots lately - "Murderer" murders me...

LET: Playing music is:
JB: Stupid. Just kidding, but you do have to carry around lots of heavy shit and set it all up and break it all down all the time... Guess if I didn't love it, I'd stop though.

LET: What album most made you realize that you wanted to make music?
JB: U2's The Joshua Tree. Got into it heavy, listening to my Walkman on the school bus...

LET: Beatles or Stones?
JB: Both are rad - but gotta go w/ Beatles - melodies...

LET: What're your top 5 albums (of this minute, this year, or ever)?
JB: Minute:
1-Low - Drums and Guns
2-Crystal Castles
3-Eagles Of Death Metal - Heart On
4-Fleet Foxes – LP
5-Lykke Li - Youth Novels

LET: Favorite music-related movie?
JB: “The Little Mermaid”. I watched that movie way to many times as a male adolescent.

LET: What city or venue would you like to play, but haven't yet been to?
JB: Anywhere in Europe... (been there, but no touring yet).

LET: What's your favorite song to perform in concert?
JB: Right now, my Ladytron remix - lots of energy and I get to play the electric guitar.

LET: Half-full or half-empty?
JB: Always half-full, gotta be these days...

LET: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
JB: Where's my iPhone?

LET: The greatest record store in the world is:
JB: Plan 9, of course.

LET: What's the longest flight you've ever been on?
JB: 15 hours to Japan (twice).

LET: Favorite Richmond venue for performing?
JB: The National. But Playing Gallery 5 (for first time) this Sat., so maybe ask me again next week.

LET: What's the best piece of advice, related to music, that you've ever been given?
JB: You're not going to make it as a musician unless you love it.

LET: Shaken or stirred?
JB: Shaken (if possible) - but sometimes it's just easier to stir.

mp3: Holiday Heart

[Photo by Laura O'Neill]


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