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The Reign of Kindo in 8-bits

Buffalo’s the Reign of Kindo are not afraid to try something new. Tour Japan? Why not. Release a Nintendo style remix of their latest album? Obviously. The five piece jazz-pop band, which formed in Buffalo in 2006, have spent the last five years touring the country and abroad, and have released two complex, jazz fueled full length albums, their latest being 2010’s This Is What Happens. In a strange twist, the Reign of Kindo have remixed their latest Candy Cat Records release as an 8-bit, Nintendo influenced, Castlevania style soundtrack called This Is Also What Happens. In mid February the Reign of Kindo will hop a flight around the world to Tokyo, Japan, for their second pass through the country as a band. I talked to drummer Steve Padin about their inspiration for This Is Also What Happens, how if feels to return to Japan, and what lies ahead for the Reign of Kindo.

AV: Can you tell me a little bit about what inspired This Is Also What Happens?

Padin: Well, Nintendo has always had a profound influence on each of our lives. One of the aspects of it that inspired us the most was of course the music. Mike (Carroll, guitarist) recently got his hands on some 8-bit recording software and started making Nintendo-sounding music. I remember talking with Mike and Danny (Pizarro, piano) one night at Danny’s house, and I just pictured our entire new album re-mixed in an 8-bit sound… it just seemed to make sense. Once Mike and I started actually doing it, the more songs we completed, the more the excitement grew. It was very gratifying to hear our songs taking a completely different shape, especially with that shape being the kind of music that started changing our lives when we were four years old. The result was This Is Also What Happens, our entire newest full length, This Is What Happens, re-mixed in original ‘Nintendo-music’ style. The cover was designed by our great friend Jayk Mesler.

AV: What were your favorite NES games?

Padin: Well, among many: The Legend of Zelda, Mario 1-3, Wizards & Warriors, Double Dragon, Contra, Dragon Warrior, Metroid, Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden. I could go on but I guess I’ll just stop there.

AV: I see that you have a tour date in Japan coming up in February. I know you guys have been there before, how does it feel to go back?

Padin: It is a reminder, no matter how difficult things might be, that we are incredibly blessed to be able to do this. Having the opportunity to go to Japan and play our music for people who want to hear it is an incredible honor and experience. We are beyond thrilled to be going back!

AV: What else are you excited about for the Reign of Kindo?

Padin: Future albums. We already have a lot of material written for our next CD, which we are extremely excited about. Playing in front of people is something that we are all in love with doing, but touring can be very financially and mentally straining for a band at our level. When you write and record music, however, it’s just you and the music. During that process, it doesn’t matter that nobody buys CD’s anymore, that everyone is trying to tour, that much of mainstream music is…questionable. It’s about whatever music you want to be making, and how hard you work at making it. And that’s what really, really excites me about The Reign of Kindo’s future. We will never stop making music.

—cory perla