A little bit indie, a little bit classical
Photo by Lenny Gilmore
They may have a cute name, cute merch and cute alternating boy/girl vocals, but the nine-month-old Kid, You’ll Move Mountains aren’t aiming to charm, though frontman Jim Hanke does admit the five-piece has had “great luck fall in [their] lap.” This luxury has allowed a somewhat lax approach to promotion and recording – but don’t think the band lacks a smidge of motivation or enthusiasm. “Our ages and personal situations require us to be pretty focused,” says drummer Nate Lanthrum, with a subtle air of experience.
From 2001 to 2005, Lanthrum and his brother, bassist Andrew, toured six months a year with Chicago’s Troubled Hubble, as Hanke sang for El Oso across the northerly state line. Ultimately, it was Hubble’s showcase for Latest Flame Records in Hanke’s hometown of Milwaukee that crossed the musicians’ paths. After being “blown away” by their performance and “overall humility,” Hanke and Lanthrum’s bands formed a “family-like union,” booking and networking together throughout the Midwest.
As both projects wound down from current to former, Hanke and the Lanthrums, still eager to “bring something new and creative to [their] respective local scenes,” appended guitarist Corey Wills and classically trained pianist Nina Jones – whose background contributes a more traditional perspective – to complete the group.
“Nina is a phenomenal musician,” says Lanthrum, in awe of Jones’s comprehension of “notes and keys” instead of his more-familiar “deep, guttural sounds and sweeping arm gestures.” Nevertheless, he’s learning, and is convinced that with her dynamic, KYMM has “a whole new range of places to go.”
Further boosting the grassroots appeal of the EP, a Polaroid photo taken the day of purchase satisfies both the need for album art and a “slightly different” execution. At live shows, the instant camera is omnipresent and fans can opt to be photographed for their own CD jacket. “The only downside,” says Hanke, is “when people refuse the picture because they think they look pudgy or they have red eye. We have a stack of those.”
Clearly, photo discards should be incorporated into the packaging of KYMM’s upcoming glossy debut, which the band is currently in the process of home recording, somewhere between Milwaukee and Geneva, Illinois. “We definitely want to get an official record out there, but we are also anxious to take our time and tool around with different ideas and make the entire process a fun adventure,” says Hanke.
In the meantime, Hanke intends to “play as many shows as possible” as Lanthrum scratches his itch to return to the road. KYMM has already opened for a mix bag of artists ranging from serious-type acts like A Silver Mt. Zion or Joe Lally from Fugazi to MC Chris who, as Hanke describes, “makes a living rapping about video games.” However, eclectic is exactly what the band prefers. “It makes for a terribly boring evening if you see the same type of band over and over again,” says Lanthrum. “I’d like to tour with more hip-hop or rap outfits.”
If their luck holds up, KYMM will share a bill with Mos Def and Lupe Fiasco long before Lanthrum fulfills his personal goal to “reinstate the word ‘booya’” into daily vernacular. VS
Kid, You’ll Move Mountains plays with The Box Social on Saturday May 5th at The Cactus Club.