Kimball: More Than Just a Household Name
Kimball’s music captures your heart. The band has only been playing together for three years, but produces a sound that speaks to the ages. Composed of long time friends Austin McCauley (guitar and vocals), Emily Barr (vocals), Brodie Glaza (drums), Christian Fifelski (bass), and Jack Mullen (electric guitar), Kimball is poised for growth and focused on the road to success.
A number of great bands have been formed by complete strangers who come together to make music. Kimball’s story is the opposite. The bandmates established a friendship early on while attending the same church. As the member’s grew older they decided to come together and create their own music. Austin McCauley explained that a good friend was the inspiration behind the band’s name.
McCauley on guitar. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
“Three years ago we were applying to play at Arts, Beats, and Eats and realized we didn’t have a name for our band,” says McCauley. “As a joke, our drummer [Glaza] suggested our good friend Mikey Kimball and it just stuck. Mikey is a major influence on us in so many ways.”
As the group reflected on how they began, Glaza spoke about the group’s progress to date. “It has been an upwards journey of writing music in a basement, to producing and recording it in a studio. It has been such a blessing and beyond a ride.”
Glaza on drums. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
Creating Music That Inspires
Making music with meaning is at the core of Kimball’s existence. While the band loves to have fun and rock out on stage, they also aim to be vulnerable in their lyrics. “You can express more through music than you can with words,” says Emily Barr, vocalist for the group. “We really believe music is a universal language that connects people together no matter where you’re from.”
Barr and McCauley performing a duet.(Photo: The Creative Armory)
McCauley pointed out there is also a deeper meaning behind the group’s tracks. “A lot of our songs come from a place of struggle and are emotion driven,” said McCauley. “We want to spread love through our music and have people experience something together.”
Favorite Venues and Artists
One of the band’s favorite places to perform is live music cafe 20 Front Street in Lake Orion. Barr explained that the intimacy of the venue was the reason for the bands choice. “We do love the energy behind big shows and seeing everyone get into our music, but this venue is an intimate space where we can do acoustic sets,” she said. “Since we started off playing acoustic, doing those types of sets are nice because we can really connect with the crowd,” McCauley added.
McCauley at Otus Supply in Ferndale.(Photo: The Creative Armory)
As for musical influences, band members named Alt-J, Bon Iver, and Hippo Campus as their top picks. “Songs by Alt-J and Bon Iver possess the same type of emotion-driven elements that we mix into our own sound,” said McCauley. “If we were ever given the chance to hold a live jam session with any band, it would be fun to jam with either Hippo Campus or Bon Iver.”
Jack Mullen, guitarist for the band, gave his personal picks for inspiration. “My favorite guitarists are John Mayer and John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers. I always say two Johns make a Jack!” he laughed.
Mullen playing electric guitar.(Photo: The Creative Armory)
On Detroit’s Music Scene
Kimball appreciates the outpour of support they continue to receive from other artists in the industry. “Coming into the local music scene was eye opening,” said Barr. “I thought we would be competing with everyone to see who is better, but in reality it’s a more encouraging atmosphere. We’ve played shows with other bands who we now consider friends.”
Kimball playing for large crowd at Arts, Beats, and Eats festival.(Photo: The Creative Armory)
McCauley said “There are so many bands and its really cool and inspiring to see what they are doing. It’s important to support other artists because it helps you make connections. I’ve made many great connections just by going to shows in support of others.”
On Playing Together
Just recently, Kimball made their third appearance at the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival in Royal Oak. For Mullen, the band’s newest member, it was the first live performance with the group. “I’ve known them all for a long time and watched from the sidelines when the band formed. I always wanted to be a part of it and was happy when they asked me to join.” Barr goes on to say that the bond of the band is what makes the experience special for her. “We’re all so close that we’re basically siblings,” she laughs.
Kimball shares a laugh on stage.(Photo: The Creative Armory)
On October 6 Kimball will release a limited edition 7″ vinyl EP through their record label Jett Plastic Recordings. The event will take place at Ghost Light in Hamtramck at 8pm. Taking to the stage is Kimball, The Doozers and Natalie Lucassian.
“Detroit has been very supportive to the band. It’s nice that people want to see them,” said the band’s manager Lee Rosenbloom. “They are young, hungry, energetic, and their music just floors me. I’ve done more work with them in the last 7 months than some of the bands I’ve worked with for a couple years.” Rosenbloom is currently working to get radio airplay for the group and also get them on tour- possibly opening for national bands.
The crowd dances as the band plays. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
“We are constantly writing new music and thinking about our next project,” said McCauley. “We’re steadily moving and welcoming new opportunities as they come to us.” Mullen added “The band has the drive, commitment, and interest to keep going. We have the talent and creativity to go far and I’m happy to be a part of that.
What is your favorite tune by Kimball? Share your thoughts in the comments!