Kane Ritchotte of more

Stuck at home like the rest of us, Kane Ritchotte of more talked with QRO....
Kane Ritchotte of more : Q&A

Kane Ritchotte of more : Q&A

Stuck at home like the rest of us, Kane Ritchotte of more talked with QRO.  In the conversation, the one-half of the band (along with Malcolm McCrae) discussed their 1/2 EP (QRO review), their upcoming other half 2/2 EP, life in Studio City lockdown, working at the famed Sound City Studios with the likes Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, choosing drums, making videos & livestreams, breaking hearts & ditching friends, and much more…


I remember when quarantine started, and talking to somebody, they were like, “You know you’re gonna have to wear a mask for the next six months?” I was like, “What?”


QRO: How are you holding up, with everything that is going on?

Kane Ritchotte: You know, I’m doing alright, giving the circumstance.  It’s very up-and-down, but I’m alright.

QRO: Are you in Los Angeles?

KR: Yeah, I’m in the Valley, in Studio City.

Have you seen some of the images from that Wuhan waterpark that just reopened?  Full-blown frenzy, because they’re so sick of COVID!

I hope that this doesn’t keep happening so often.  [People] being irresponsible, and then start waging wars over it, because people will start being so blame-y about it.  Especially, I can imagine that happening with Wuhan, being where it originated from.  I just hope that shit doesn’t backfire, and all of a sudden, we’re dealing with people who countries, because of the whole thing.

It would literally be the only way we could make this worse, by blaming people.

QRO: How are things in Los Angeles, Studio City?

KR: You know, it’s hard to say, because it’s actually not that different from pre-COVID, because I tend to work alone, or just with Malcolm, my partner, all the time.  And so, with the exception of occasionally going to a bar, or somebody’s birthday party, something like that, my day-to-day life isn’t wildly different – and I could say the same thing about my friends, my close friends, my peers.

So, in that sense, it’s been an easier transition for us, into this kind of quarantine state.  But on Instagram, or Facebook, or anywhere I receive a depiction of other people’s lives, it’s all different.  I see people who infuriate me, with what seems to be oblivion to the severity of the situation.  And I see people who are visibly depressed because of their seclusion, people that live alone, don’t have a roommate, don’t have family out here.

It’s all different.  I don’t really know if I have an accurate understanding of what the vibe really is, outside of me, my family, and my best bud.

It feels like doing the simple things, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, it seems to be effective.  I can live with that.

I remember when quarantine started, and talking to somebody, they were like, “You know you’re gonna have to wear a mask for the next six months?”  I was like, “What?”  I couldn’t even picture it.  I was like, “That would be ridiculous!  That’s not a world I want to live in…”

And now, that sounds fine with me.  If everybody could just commit to that, I’d be so happy.  Cause I’m out here wearing a mask, and there’s some fucking people who are spreading this shit.


We were so excited to start playing, just in time to kinda get it all stripped away from us.


QRO: How was making 1/2 EP?

KR: Well, it only became an EP after finishing it.

Basically, we went in to record what we thought was an album, me & Malcolm, a little while back.  And then, when we started getting close to finishing, and we partnered up with Warner Brothers.  We kind of got our management team & label assembled, in the final few months of recording.  And so, when we started talking about releasing the music, and how we wanted to do that, we all realized that it probably wasn’t the smartest way to establish a band, in this day & age, just to come out with our entire load of music.  We’re a brand-new band.

So, we decided to split it into two EPs.  And that’s why we have the two EPs, although the public only has the one in their hands now, and very shortly will have the other half, which is why we named it “One of Two” and “Two of Two”.

QRO: And then what can you call the second EP?  ‘2/2 EP’?…

KR: Yeah, that was the idea, but we could just curveball that this point…

QRO: Well, I’m just wondering how to say that.  ‘Second half’?  ‘Two half’?

KR: In our heads, it was ‘one of two.’  But it seems to be everybody has their own – I’ve heard ‘half,’ ‘one over two’, but I like it a lot…

QRO: That is coming out in October, right?

KR: Uh-huh.  That’s the idea.

QRO: Is that EP all finished, no last minute COVID hold-ups or anything?

KR: No, luckily, we finished it a month before COVID.

We squeezed out a couple shows.  We were so excited to start playing, just in time to kinda get it all stripped away from us.

But it’s good, because, on the one hand, obviously we feel like we’re being infinitely grounded by Mother Nature.  We also are very much looking forward to whenever we can get back to some sort of live music situation, hopefully sooner than later.  But, whenever it is, I’m gonna appreciate it on a level I’ve never maybe had before.

QRO: Yeah.  Not since turning twenty-one and could go to a concert & drink…

KR: I know, totally.  The appeal, the mystique of it, all that, it feels totally like turning twenty-one and going to shows you couldn’t go to before.


Most of the time, an artist’s most recent record is their most proud work, hopefully, theoretically. And that happened to a lot of people this year, and it’s wild. The era of COVID records…


QRO: Did you have any tour dates planned?  You said you did a couple of shows…

KR: We just tiny, what we were calling ‘warm-up’ shows at the time.

Luckily, we weren’t signed on to any tours that got like cancelled or stuff like that.

A big part of our support plan for the record was to lean heavily on touring & playing live.  I grew here in L.A. as a musician, 28 now, through my life I’ve kind of developed a really great extensive group of peers who are in all kinds of successful bands.  There were talks of touring together.

I used to be in a band called Portugal. The Man, and we were going to tour with them.  I was playing with a band called Grouplove, and we were gonna try to do something at some point.  All that got postponed, but nothing was in the books yet.

QRO: I know Grouplove had an album that came out right when everything [Healer – QRO review]

KR: Yeah, sure did.

I was just talking to them on Facebook – well, I was talking to Christian [Zucconi] & Hannah [Hooper], the two singers (QRO interview).  We were talking about the record.  They were making that record when me & Malcolm were making our record, and I did a brief tour with them, playing keyboards of all things, for a second with them, at that same time.

So, we were sharing each other’s records with each other, before they were out.  And we were both getting so excited; we had so many conversations about how excited we were to put these records out.

We were talking on the phone, “Yeah, I guess everybody’s just making COVID records…”  So many people have dropped all these great records!

Most of the time, an artist’s most recent record is their most proud work, hopefully, theoretically.  And that happened to a lot of people this year, and it’s wild.  The era of COVID records…


I think we all admire the Laurel Canyon community in the sixties. I think we’re trying to cosplay, take back into the sixties.


QRO: You recorded it at Sound City Studios?

KR: Yeah, sure did – and it was fucking unbelievably cool.

QRO: Was that intimidating?

KR: We started working with a producer named Tony Berg, who worked out of this really great studio he had at his house in Brentwood.  All our records that we’d loved of his, most of them were done there.  Other people’s records were done there that we really liked.

We imagined we’d be doing it at Tony’s house, but right about the time we were about to start tracking, Tony said he’s moving.  And it was a big deal – he’d been in that house forever!  Everybody loved that house.  It was such a hotspot for so many bands that have blossomed out of L.A., would be at that house all the time swimming, recording – it’s a real community.

So, we were a little sad.  We were like, ‘Oh no, we don’t get to do this experience that we’re so excited about.’

But then he told us that he’s moving to Sound City.  So, we got really excited.  We got really excited that we would be one of the first bands to work with him there.

So, it would have been intimidating, had it not been somebody very close to us taking it over.

It’s magical, for sure.  I’ve spent a lot of time there, now.

There’s not a lot of people in there – well, there’s nobody in there now – but pre-quarantine, it’s a pretty small group of people.  It’s Tony Berg, who runs Studio B, and it’s Blake Mills, his partner, who runs Studio A.  Beyond that, there’s two engineers, Joseph Lorge and Will McLennan, and our friend Matty Balter, who also assists in engineering.  And that’s it.  And then the artists who are there.

So, there’s a lot of time where you’ll kind of find yourself in a room, alone, you know, on the phone, or writing something down, or whatever you’re doing, and then, kind of realize, ‘Oh my god – I wonder what went down in this room?  How much amazing, or weird…’  You start fantasizing about all the history at the studio.  It really is a special, loaded zone.

I think my experience in Sound City [Studios], for the couple years that we were there so often, prior to COVID, was the best music education I’ve had in my life.

QRO: You and Malcolm also did backing vocals for Ethan Gruska’s new record [En Garde], right?

KR: We did some vocals; I played some drums on it.  We love that record, and we love Ethan.

But that’s another cool thing about the Sound City hang, which is really Blake’s community, and Tony’s community of people.  It feels a lot like a camp of people, because we all love each other’s music.

Blake works with Perfume Genius, who was doing their record [Set My Heart on Fire Immediately] when we were doing ours.  Ethan was doing his record, and he’d just finished Phoebe’s record, Phoebe Bridgers.  And so, we kind of got to play on each other’s records.

Ethan plays a lot on our record.  We worked a little bit on Phoebe’s record [Punisher – QRO review].

It’s very reminiscent, I think we all admire the Laurel Canyon community in the sixties.  I think we’re trying to cosplay, take back into the sixties.

QRO: So, Ethan worked on your record, as well as you working on his?

KR: Yeah, a little bit.

I mean, we’d kind of all be at the studio together at the same time on certain days, or just poke our heads in or whatever, hand each other an instrument.

Basically, on Ethan’s record, he was doing this song called “On the Outside”, which I think is probably my favorite song on the record – it was prior to me & Malcolm having anything to do with it.  And he was like, ‘I think this would be a cool song for you guys to play on.’  I played some drums on it, did a little singing on it.

But the coolest thing is the opportunity.  A lot of times, we would just sit in the room with each other, and just be a fly on the wall, watch a buddy make their record, kind of observe somebody else’s process.  That’s been the best education that I’ve ever asked for.

To date, I think my experience in Sound City, for the couple years that we were there so often, prior to COVID, was the best music education I’ve had in my life.

It just feels like there’s a new level of responsibility as an artist these days, because the arts have such a powerful effect on our culture and our community.

QRO: Would people recruit you in to play drums?  I always imagine drummers are a little harder to find…

KR: There’s a lot of great drummers.  I think the thing that ends up being you hear about drummers playing on a certain group of people’s records consistently, I think that’s an instrument that typically a lot of songwriters don’t play, or songwriters don’t typically reach for that instrument, so they need somebody else.

But it’s such an important element that you have to really be a like-minded artist.  I think that when people find their musician community that they identify with, you don’t really feel a big need to reach too far out.

I’ve kind of ‘positioned myself’ [laughs] to be used, as much as possible, as a drummer, within our buds.

QRO: When you play live, do you play drums?

KR: I’ve done it a couple ways.  I’ve played guitar at our first couple shows that were just me & Malcolm.

Then we did a show with a different drummer & with a bass player, and I was playing guitar.  And Tony, our producer – I really didn’t want to play drums in this project, live, just because I was very hungry for a new experience, and I love playing guitar.  But he was adamant that I should be playing drums.  We got into a kind of couple arguments about it, because I was so digging my heels in about wanting to do something different.

He just said, “You know, I think you’re a great guitar player.  But, you know, what’s your best instrument?”

I was like, “My best instrument is drums.  I’m most proficient on drums.”

He’s like, “Well then you should be playing that.  You should be leading with your best foot.”

And I was like, “Yeah, I guess you’re right…”

So, then I started playing drums live, and now I’ve grown very fond of it.  I do feel most comfortable back there.  And I love playing drums.


more’s video for “Elaborate Attractions”:

QRO: How was making the video for “Elaborate Attractions” (QRO review)?

KR: Oh, it was a blast!

We did that with Malcolm’s older brother [Keane], and we kind of talked our management & our label into just letting us essentially do it ourselves, just the three of us, which was a bit of a leap of faith on their end.

It was really fun.  It felt like when I was in middle school, me & all my friends would goof off and make movies on our little cameras – it felt like that.  It felt like just kinda fucking off, and having a good time, and being weird, and laughing.  It was very fun.

QRO: Forgive me, but are you the guy who goes looking for lemons, or the one who gets into the truck with the girl?

KR: I’m the one who gets in the truck with the girl.  Classic…

QRO: I feel like that’s the better fate…

KR: Yeah.  I took the easy way out, for sure.

Malcolm kind of designed the premise of the video, and the narrative of the video.

There’s another video we have out, for a song called “God’s in the Details”, that our good friend Riley Keough made, essentially, for us.  She came up with this concept, and she shot it all on her phone.

The premise of that is basically – it’s fictional – her being heartbroken over me?  Me being an asshole, and a womanizer.

And then Malcolm wrote me a part where I ditch my best bud for a chick in a truck.  You know, I’m not so pleased with the picture they painted of me, but I’ll take what’s given…

QRO: The colors & the fish eye lens reminds me of nineties alternative videos, like The Flaming Lips’ “She Don’t Use Jelly” or Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing”, with that part in the grocery store…

KR: Aesthetically, we were referencing all that stuff.

We were really into Spike Jonze’s music videos.  That was totally the vibe.  I’m glad you picked up on it.

QRO: I’m also old enough to remember those videos…

KR: It was a great era for music videos.  Kind of spanned into the early 2000’s.  I loved all those – I still do love all those videos.

QRO: Do you have any videos lined up for the second EP?

KR: Yeah.  We’re gonna try to make videos for every song, eventually.  I don’t know how extensive they’ll all be.

We’re gonna do a handful of ‘legit’ videos for this next EP, for sure, but we’d like to also backtrack and do some kind of visual content for all the songs that will appear on both EPs.

Riley Keough’s video for more’s “God’s In the Details”:


QRO: Have you done any livestreams or anything like that during the lockdown?

KR: Yeah, we just started doing things like that.

We did a livestream for bandsintown on Twitch.

We just did something for SPIN.  They have this cool series called, ‘Lullaby Sessions.’  And it’s essentially for parents to tune in around 6:00, PST, and 9:00, Eastern Time, to kind of help.  Essentially, artists are coming on to sing lullabies, to help them put their kids to sleep.

The thing with the whole streaming medium is there’s oftentimes some sort of theme or concept.  It can be a pretty deflating way to perform, just because you’re so confined, so we’ve been trying to run with theme.

So, instead of doing lullabies, we were inspired by these ‘sleep aid aps’.  It’s essentially, you put your phone next to your bed, and it plays you this really Enya-esque synth pallet, with some sort of spoken word over it.  So, we did a very ethereal, rain stick-infused kind of sleep ap version of a livestream.  It was pretty ridiculous, retrospectively.

We’re gonna start saving these livestreams, and putting footage up.

QRO: During this lockdown, have you been writing/making any new music?

KR: Yeah, we’ve been doing it.  Basically, getting together and working on music every single day, all hours of the day, a lot of nights until three or four in the morning.

I think a lot of it comes from not knowing what else to do.  Paired with this new immense responsibility to bring some sort of potency in our work, because we’re in such dire need of it.  I think we’re still figuring out what that looks like.

Because I don’t think we’re the kind of band that identifies with, you know, overtly politicized lyrics or concepts like that, but we do feel responsible to deal with what’s happening around us, in a way that, I think on our record that’s coming out now, the time we were in, I think we were taking a more inward, reflective kind of approach, and sharing that.

Which might not end up changing, but it just feels like there’s a new level of responsibility as an artist these days, because the arts have such a powerful effect on our culture and our community, you know?  Which obviously is hungry for some sort of direction.

I feel like everything’s been heightened. I feel very raw.

QRO: During this time, have you picked up and/or accelerated any bad habits?  Like I went a long time without shaving…

KR: Absolutely.  I have totally done that.

It’s been the obvious things.  Like, drinking more often than I should, or than was.  Smoking more often than I should, or was.

But then, beyond that, I think it’s just been kind of all my habits.  Whether I feel like they’re positive or negative.  Working on the music, or being creative, has been a very obsessive kind of outlet for me.

So yeah, I feel like everything’s been heightened.  I feel very raw.  I feel like everybody’s very raw & vulnerable right now.  And we all deal with it differently.

Me & Malcolm have definitely gone full blast, nose-dive into the deep end of trying to be creative all the time.  Which is good, because that’s what we do for a living.  But it’s also, we’ll have to find a balance, because people can burn themselves out that way.