Kingswood’s new album, A Kingswood Christmas is out now! We chat to frontman Fergus Linacre about the record and all things Christmas.
Everyones favourite rockers have pulled the unexpected and are ending a massive year with a new album full of Christmas classics, dubbed A Kingswood Christmas!
Covering holiday favourites from Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole, the band are paying tribute to the music that has soundtracked the festive season for decades. Across 12 tracks, the band will bring the Christmas spirit, putting their own twist on classic songs such as O Holy Night, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Silent Night.
Kingswood have been toying with the idea of a Christmas album for some time, finally deciding to take over the holiday season and release a record that is sure to become a Christmas staple that embodies fun, warming and hopeful of the festive season. Recorded at Newmarket Studios with Guus Hoevenaars, the band enlisted the help of Irena Laska (Flute), Richard Butler (Tenor Saxophone), Steve Hornby (Double Bass) Jack Davies (Double Bass) to sprinkle more Christmas cheer across the tracks.
Profits from the sales of the record will go directly to Beyond Blue, an organisation that holds special significance for the band. The band are using the release as an opportunity to provide help and support to others who are less fortunate, something needed more than ever throughout the Christmas season, especially after a tumultuous year. The band have paired up with Beyond Blue to raise funds for their Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.
After delivering their career-defining, critically acclaimed album earlier this year, KINGSWOOD have treated fans with a new side of their record Juvenile, releasing a re-imaged version of the 12 track album last month. Taking the music of the record and creating a more intimate and nuanced soundscape, the band have recreated the tracks with inflections of Americana-flecked, blues charm. The companion piece, titled Reveries, came together across four days spent hunkered down at North Melbourne’s Newmarket Studios.
A Kingswood Christmas is out now! Read our interview with Fergus Linacre below, and check out our Christmas video with the musician above.
Your love of classics shines through on the album. What is it about these renditions that inspired you to take it on and obviously leave your mark on beloved tunes?
We’ve always loved listening to the old Christmas records, Sinatra, Fitzgerald, and all the beautiful warm fireplace fuzzy vibes they bring. We play them on tour quite often, it’s unique to have so many great artists singing the same songs so we always joked about doing our own record. When all our tours were canceled we had some time so we thought why not.
You’ve selected 12 Christmas classics for the album. Could you tell us why these songs in particular are special to you and why they were selected?
Firstly we never considered doing a rock’n’roll xmas record, it was always going to be an homage to the great ones of the past, also modern xmas classics were out, not that they aren't great but we wanted to take everyone back in time a little. We tried to stay clear of anything we felt was ‘cheezy’, we wanted smooth classy carols and actually discovered a few new ones that we now love, ‘Mistletoe and Holly’ was a less familiar tune that is now a fav.
If you were to release a second volume of Christmas tunes, what songs would you like to include that didn’t make the cut this time around?
Tough question, doesn't Bublé just release the same record every year? Can’t we do that!!? I suppose I’d love to include ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ but we may need to make some lyrical adjustments, a girl should know what's in her drink!!
All profits will be donated to Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service, an incredible cause. What prompted you to select this charity?
We always knew we were going to put this album out for charity and mental health has always been an important cause for us. We consulted with many in the sector and thought there are many incredible charities out there we felt Beyond Blue had a strong focus on the effects this difficult year has had on people, they also are well aware that for many, Christmas is a stressful and painful time and they are well prepared to help those in need, we encourage anyone who is struggling even just a little to reach out to Beyond Blue.
If you were asked to perform one song off the record at a carols event, which would you choose and why?
Yes, get Kingswood on to the Carols haha. I think a slower ballad would be great, The Christmas Song is a fav of mine, I just tried to sing like Ella Fitzgerald, TRIED.
Which is your favourite Christmas song featured on the album?
I love how we tackled Silent Night and O’ Holy Night, they were tough but Al did an amazing job arranging and recording a choir. But I think my fav is still the ‘Christmas Song’.
Do you have any Christmas traditions and if so what’s your favourite tradition?
Pork Crackling, a job of intense responsibility not to be taken lightly. Backyard or beach cricket is also a must. And many sing alongs, my family all gather around a fire outside and sing songs till the sun comes up, or the cops shut us down.
What is your favourite Christmas memory?
I have a very large family and one year we had 36 people at Mums, it went for three days and felt like I was at a music festival but with all my cousins and kids. The whole thing was glorious and I’m planning another mass gathering for next year's xmas, maybe we will rent out a caravan park or something.
All Christmas songs are popular, but what song do you think is the most underrated?
I mentioned ‘Mistletoe & Holly’ being one that surprised us, it’s less popular, but I think one of the most beautiful songs is ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. It was adapted from a letter sent back from WW2, it's incredibly sad because he knows that he won’t be home. Sometimes songs get lumped into the Christmas category and you don't give them credit for just being incredibly well written and beautiful songs.
A message you have for people this holiday season?
I think this year has been really tough for many of us, so make sure you call or visit your loved ones and remind them how much they mean to you. Take extra effort to check in on your family and friends, make it a Christmas full of warmth and care and fill all the hearts you can with love.