In what lead vocalist and guitarist Kelly Kerr described as, “just add water, insta-band,” four guys quickly and easily formed Kelly Kerr and the Distractions nearly three years ago. Along with Kerr, bassist Matthew Peach, guitarist Daniel Connatser and drummer Josh Williams intersected in Murfreesboro, almost instantly creating a bond and a comfortable band. This has become a lasting connection and catalyst for good times and crafting music that makes them laugh.
KK&D will be releasing its new album Chronological Disorder: How to Pass History in Thirteen Easy Steps later this spring. The history album features songs about historically important figures and situations, including a song about Marie Curie (who discovered radium), a song about John F. Kennedy, Jr. (“Groomed to Lead”), a song about the Whiskey Rebellion (with lyrics like “Taxation measure taken all wrong/Over pricing of whiskey?”) and a song about poor sanitation conditions.
KK&D is known for their outrageous lyrics and interesting topic choices for songs. Kerr said he used to try and shock people with his comedic stage presence and behavior, but now he just shocks them with the lyrics. This album developed out of a joke, which became a song called “Eli Whitney.”
“It became a contest, who could make the other person laugh,” Kerr said. “The songs are serious yet funny. Some of our songs are silly, but they are supposed to be.”
An example of this is KK&D’s song, “I Married a Zombie.”
“Some people think that song is about life,” Kerr said. “You know, how you wake up, get a job, become a drone to society. Well no, it is about marrying a zombie.”
Kerr writes songs about his interests and ideas from what he reads. But he says he cannot take all the credit; the lyrics, like everything in this band, are a collective effort.
Everyone does their part in KK&D, and Kerr said everyone appears to be content and comfortable. Each member is dedicated to their instrument and their craft, and they channel that dedication into the band’s chemistry and style.
In addition to their music, they are also normal people. Kerr said being established and being older has enhanced the stability of the band. Some members are married, have jobs, mortgages and responsibilities. This normalcy lends itself to advantages like weekly band practices, which are rare for many bands. Plus, Kerr added, they always have a place to practice, unlike his previous experiences practicing in storage units in the middle of winter at 2 a.m. Kerr said that being a band is easier now than when he was 22 because the often uncertain circumstances of young members is no longer a problem.
With the history album coming out soon, Kerr said they are just sitting back and waiting to see what happens.
“If you keep expectations low, you never get disappointed,” Kerr said. But, he said he believes the sky’s the limit. They spent a lot of time perfecting the history album, and they are enjoying the process. Kerr said they have now found a comfortable place in their music and as a band; they are not expecting overnight fame or rock and roll status, but they would like to continue making music.
Some possibilities for the future include albums about European history, Greek mythology and a rock opera called “Dishwasher,” an autobiographical album about Kerr’s time as a dishwasher at Five Senses.
More information about Kelly Kerr and the Distractions can be found on their Myspace page and their website, which includes a blog. Their music, including their current album Whimsical in Reverse, can be found at bandcamp.com.