Jeff Kinney is a talented singer/songwriter, band musician and composer for TV and radio too! Whilst he keeps himself a very busy man, we were able to grab a few minutes with him to have a good chat about his music, his styles and how writing changes between each type of music:
For those of us yet to hear your music, tell us a little bit about what your music is about?
The majority of the songs I write are relationship driven. For better or worse, there definitely seems to be a correlation between drama within my relationships (both positive and negative), and the passion that is evoked thru the lyrics and music.
Firstly about your band, tell us how that came about?
I formed The Brisbanes in 2005 with a couple friends in Kansas City. We each had different music backgrounds and taste, so it was a nice mix of styles. I plan on moving to the west coast next year to continue writing, and start The Brisbanes back up with a new group of musicians. KC isn’t the most receptive city for our style of music, so it will be a welcome change.
The music you write is very vast in its genre and style. Do you have any particular favourites or is it something you like to be as an artist, to not stay in one specific genre?
My favorite genre I suppose would be in the singer/songwriter category. I have a passion for writing songs for Films/Soundtracks (a la Elliott Smith on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack), and hope to continue to have that kind of passion for writing, and eventually that kind of success. However, I have a very positive and optimistic attitude in general, and love writing uplifting songs as well. From songs for soundtracks, to electronic beats for video games, I love not having a set ‘genre’ that I’m expected to stay confined in.
You’ve also written for TV from adverts to actual score music for programmes. Do you approach those types of projects differently and does it call for a different set of skills?
Without question. Certain projects sometimes require me to switch into a different personality in a sense. For example, I try to capture the ‘mood’ or ‘vibe’ of whatever I’m working on, before I start writing anything. If the project calls for a somber or sullen piece, I try to mirror that and disassociate myself from everything else at the time. Likewise for an upbeat motivational project… That is part of the challenge, really getting emotionally involved; but that is also part of the fun.
Are there any types of music that you’ve yet to get involved with that you’d like to get stuck into?
I haven’t really delved into too much country music, and with all due respect, I hope I never get ‘stuck’ into : ) I appreciate and respect the genre, but it’s just not in my blood. I really want to get deeper into writing lengthier and more layered compositions, and will need to upgrade my studio in the near future to accomplish that.
What do you get up to when your not creating new pieces?
Playing live with a couple different bands to keep the chops fresh.
I am a sports fanatic, in the true sense of the word. Having grown up in KC, I’m a die-hard Chiefs and Royals fan… Maybe that is why I’m really good at writing depressing songs!
Thanks to Jeff for his valueable time and we look forward to hearing more about his works in the future.