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10 Questions with | Kaibald

Inspired by the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, Kaibald is a band with an international background. The sound of the group with its name born from Estonia’s only desert – the Kaibald sands – tests the boundaries of western, blues, rock and country. Desert-like guitar tones meld with rich vocal timbres and harmonies carry vivid imagery to the mind and soul. Kaibald was formed in January 2020 as the first ideas of their own songs began to grow. The song ideas were further developed in a sauna-house deep in the woods of Hiiumaa and were finalized during recording and production late in 2020. Vocalist Liisi found a guitarist Riho, whose guitar sound suited her voice; adding Don on drums and an Australian Mike on bass resulted in the formation of a group with emotion and feelings at the root of their playing. Now, the band loves to share their original musical stories with as many people as possible. Indie Boulevard caught up with Liisi (lead singer) to talk about the new single, and much more.

IB: Hi Liisi,thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Before we talk about music, I would like to start our conversation with a question: How is autumn in Estonia? Has the first snow already started?

LIISI: Autumn has turned into winter already! But we never know if the snow is here to stay or if it melts soon and we’ll see it again in January. I love snow just as much as the sand. Mostly I enjoy skiing during the winter season but of course, all of the seasons have their magic. I am happy that in Estonia we get to experience the season changes.

IB: In 2021, you released the two singles 'Don Diego' and 'At Night'. And now, recently, you have come back with the third single 'Heatwave'. It's a very Americana song, a bit dark country, and quite different from the previous singles. Tell me about this song.

LIISI: Heatwave is mostly created by me. It started from Riho's guitar riff and was developed further from there with me guiding others through the process. The idea for Heatwave was born when most of us were burnt out and tired of the constant stress of life. A feeling that is known probably to anyone these days. The song describes this feeling as if you were lost in a desert. However, at the same time, it’s energetic and uplifting. So it’s a mix of negative and positive, reminding us that keeping a positive attitude in difficult times is important to keep going and be sure that better times are ahead. Stylewise it is inspired by western movies, blues, rock, and country. And you can be sure the sound quality is great because we recorded and mixed it in cooperation with the best mixing/mastering/recording engineer in 2021 according to the Estonian Authors’ Society and EAPP.

IB: When a band releases one or two singles a year, it means they are working on or planning a new album. What stage is your debut full-length album in? Just no secrets.

LIISI: A very honest answer is that we have recorded a few more songs but want to release them together with the music videos, to get more traction and exposure for the songs. But since we film and edit the videos ourselves on a limited budget, then it takes quite a lot of time during our spare time. We’re aiming at an album, but there’s still some work to do to get there. Something is definitely coming. Maybe not an album in the near future but we’ll see.

IB: I know that your group is named after the Estonian island "Hiiumaa". In the music video for the song 'Heatwave' the action takes place among the sands. Is it the same island?

LIISI: Yes – our group is named after the Kaibald sands in the middle of Hiiumaa. We liked the idea of using the name of this small desert as our favorite music style is inspired by desert rock.

IB: Besides you as the singer, there are three other members in the band. Who writes the songs for Kaibald? What does your creative process look like in general?

LIISI: We create our songs mostly during 2-3 day band camps in Hiiumaa in a small sauna-house. The silence and isolation we get there, in the middle of nowhere, is somehow really inspirational compared to the rehearsal room in a busy capital city. So Riho, our guitar player, jams some random riffs on his Telecaster and the rest of the group shouts out if they like some specific parts of these tunes. Then Don adds a beat on a Cajon (because the whole drumset wouldn’t fit in that small house) and I take some random lyrics to start creating the melodies on those tunes. After the main parts of the song are in place, we start polishing them in the rehearsal room with some extra sessions for creating the original lyrics and instrumental layers. The minor details are finalized in the recording studio.

IB: I remember trying to start my own rock band once. Everything was going very well until it was time for rehearsals. As it turns out, the biggest difficulty is getting everyone together at the same time and in the same place. How do you manage to stick together? What's the secret?

LIISI: We have weekly rehearsals, and everyone just makes these times available. It’s actually a meditative experience to jam and rehearse the songs and we always look forward to the rehearsals. Would be great if we could do it daily and make a living with this hobby. It feels like a therapy session for the soul. But creating songs is a bit different - Riho and I tend to argue quite a lot, but the final result is worth it.

IB: In your music I hear a lot of foreign genres like Americana, blues, and the same pop-rock. And I imagine, I don't know, that Estonian music sounds very different. Why did you choose this particular genre for Kaibald?

LIISI: Our inspiration comes from different artists all over the world but the styles our music is mostly based on originate from the USA. We didn’t choose the genre purposely, but it rather just happened, probably influenced by what we like and have listened to in recent years.

IB: Are there any live performances planned in the near future? And if so, where and when can you be caught?

LIISI: You may see us in a local jazz club playing some blues classics on a jam night but we not going on stage as Kaibald any time soon. That’s because unfortunately our bass player Mike’s life has taken him back to his home country, Australia. He’s still following and supporting what we do from there, though. But „He“ is no longer in the band and „She“ has taken his place. People will find out who „She“ is when we release our next song dedicated to Mike and mainly created by him. Something will definitely happen in 2023.

IB: If the country or the city where you dream to perform?

LIISI: Perhaps a cliché, but USA – because we feel that there are just more people who value our genre. But of course, we would enjoy performing anywhere where people would be happy to enjoy what we create.

IB: And the last question. This is a very simple and difficult question at the same time. What are your goals as musicians? And if you achieve these goals, will it make you happier?

LIISI: Our goal is to share enjoyable sounds and tunes with the world and to keep enjoying the process of making music.

Single ‘Heatwave’ by Kaibald available on all digital platforms. Click on this link and read our «Heatwave» review.

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