Interview / Kira Mac, The Emerging Stars Of Rock, At Maid Of Stone Festival

There is so much happening in the rock and blues world, and enormous talent is making itself known. One up-and-coming artist is Kira Mac, and the last year has been quite immense for Kira Mac as a band. Their set at Maid Of Stone proved they are a band well on the way to taking the next big step.

Interview – Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival

“Well, it’s been quite incredible,” Kira told MetalTalk’s Adrian Stonley of their journey so far. “We write the songs, but the man behind the magic is Mark, our manager. He’s built this brilliant team around us, techs and sound engineers and tour managers. We’ve got some really, really good people in our corner, and that’s enabled us for the last year to just be able to concentrate on making a great stage show.

“It’s helped us to become what we are. It’s just kinda snowballed. It’s been a real rollercoaster, with some swift learning curves. Hopefully, it will continue to snowball as it has, and we can build a brilliant career on it.

“Mark says we’re off on tour next in Estonia,” Joe Worrall said, “so what Mark Says goes [laughs].”

Kira Mac’s first album, Chaos Is Calling, has been out for a while now. How do they feel about it now it’s become consolidated?

“Well, when we wrote it, it was a long time ago,” Kira says. “We didn’t even have a full band back then. It must have been about 2018 when we wrote One Way Ticket, and we’d probably do a lot of things differently now.

“But for a debut album, we wrote every single song on it, and we loved making it, touring it and playing the songs. Now, we’re also looking forward to infusing new songs into the set as we go. But you know it’s so difficult to drop something.

“We love all the songs on it, and we wanted an album that was all killer, no filler. It was very us at the time. It’s received some fantastic airplay, and we have to say Planet Rock have championed us, and they have been absolute gold. So much more than we could ever have expected.”

Kira Mac - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

“That album really encapsulates where we were in that moment,” Joe says, “and for us, we still love listening to it. I can go back and listen to it and still have a tear in the eye.”

“Before we actually went out [on the road], we had just got the masters back,” Kira says. “It was ready for release months before it was actually released, and we all had it on repeat in our cars and on Dropbox. It was like it was on a streaming site. [Jokingly] We’re sick of it now [laughs], but at the time, it was beautiful.”

“But hopefully, the next album will be a bit more of a grown-up version of that,” Joe says. “The songs that we are writing feel like an evolution. You know, a real marker of where we are now and all the things we’ve done and all the things we’ve experienced on the way.”

Kira Mac - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

“We played four new songs in the set this afternoon,” Kira says, “Play The Game, Farewell, Climbing and Scorne’, though that’s been out a while, so it was good to see how they would adapt to the live environment.”

The big question is when Kira Mac is going back into the studio. “Back end of September, we go back into the studio,” Kira says. “We’ve got about 25 more songs. Joe’s just writing in his little hobbit hole, and there’s a lot to choose from, but obviously, we want to condense it.

“It’s good to have more songs as you can then think about the quality. What we wanted to do on the last tour was to road-test them and see what those songs felt like in the wider world because that was something we couldn’t really do on the first album.

“We wanted to get them out there, see how people reacted to it, see which one’s people would be like, ‘Wow, yeah, arms in the air.’ Then we can take that back into the studio, play those songs live, then edit them, and play around with them, make them as good as we can.”

Kira Mac - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Kira and Joe say that the old tunes were written one dimensionally. “None of these guys were around, so we would just work on a tune. Now it’s different. It’s more of a team effort. There are certain songs that are like hangovers from way back when. Like Farewell, one of the new songs we played today, it felt like an old one because we had been writing that for the first album.

“Some of the new music, it’s like we’ve all come in at a different time, so it’s become more of a three-way writing kinda thing. It’s like with some of the other ones where now we’re in the room together, and we’re sitting trying to figure something else out.

“Play The Game was very organic. We mashed two songs together that were like skeletons. They were there but not quite there. We put them together and made another.”

“When we started doing it [writing for the new album], we had a couple of labels sniffing around, and Mark, our manager, was like, well, you need to tailor it to this or to that. So it was like trying to write to a brief almost.

“But then everyone just decided to go independent for the next album. It was like the shackles came off, so now it’s just like we can write some stuff that might be a bit heavier. Sometimes it’s not so heavy. It’s like we’ve taken all the music that we like and thrown it into the mix.”

Kira Mac - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

“One issue was whether to label or not to label for this album,” Joe says. “We had these labels that were all interested, but they all wanted a different band out of us and in the end, we decided that we were just going to stay independent and not go with the labels and then we could write whatever we wanted. And that’s now where we are.”

“Some of the tracks have more of a nu-Metally kinda vibe,” Kira says. “We’ve got like super-duper country rock tracks, and then we’ve got some mad curve balls that don’t fit at all. There is some difference in the new songs. Play The Game is quite One Way Ticket for me. It is poppy and rocky with a pop-rock melody. Then with a song like Climbing, it’s much heavier.

“Towards the end of the set, it becomes almost like a Thrash Metal release, like an Alter Bridge song with no copyright on it [laughs].”

“Don’t worry, we didn’t actually do that,” Joe says, “or we’ll end up in court.”

“We listen to a lot of music together,” Kira says. “Then we get tied up in a song and inspired, and it’s like, let’s write something like that. Let’s rip that off [laughing again]. Sometimes though, we listen to stuff that is so left-field. For example, Joe listens to something like Metallica, I listen to loads of country tunes, and then we mix in rap, country riffs. Then we’ll mash it all together and come out with a Kira Mac tune.”

Kira Mac - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Kira Mac – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

How does the band perceive themselves in the market at the moment?

“I think that personally being a female-fronted band right now is good flava,” Kira says. “If you guys [points to Joe] had a male singer, you would have different songs. At the moment, everyone’s trying to push the girls. But even then, it’s fair to say that female representation is still lacking in the rock community.

“But also, you can’t just put a band on because they’ve got a girl in the band. They’ve got to be writing great songs and be great on stage. You’ve got to be able to hold your own against some very strong males in the category. It goes against everything feminist and everything about being female in rock if you accept us because we’re just girls.

“There are really staple people in rock, like Lzzy Hale. There’s a gap there for the next Lzzy Hale, female-fronted open genre bands to come into it. There are loads of contenders out there at the moment, which is really good to see. Good healthy competition never hurt anybody.

“I’m close to Kim Jennett and Bastette and all the girls on the scene I speak to. You know we’re all good friends outside of the music industry, so it’s also good to have a female community.”

It’s clear, therefore, that Kira Mac have a plan, have the songs and know where they are going. I think matters are going to take a very interesting turn when that new album hits the streets.


Maid Of Stone Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 21-23 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Adrian Stonley, Paul Monkhouse and Robert Sutton were reporting from Mote Park.

All Photography: Robert Sutton

Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival held over 19-21 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.

All MetalTalk Maid Of Stone 2023 coverage is at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/maid-of-stone-festival-2023

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