The Rocks Off 100: Fiskadoro's Richard Kimball
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
Who: Richard Kimball plays guitar and sings in one of Houston's finest noise bands, Fiskadoro. Over the years they've released a series of free EPs that have only gotten better and better, including the very dance-worthy Dubai earlier this year. The album dealt with a dystopian future where oil companies rule the world, and we're all just moments away from assassins' bullets. The band's take on music is so mind-altering that I tend to use it to drive away annoyingly square customers at my day job.
Photo by Ramon Medina
The band can be summed up with one sentence... "They released a Christmas album with a song called 'The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.'" If that doesn't set the scene then I can't help you.
Home Base: Richard is married to Fiskadoro bassist and co-vocalist Jennifer Kimball. The two of them compose their work primarily at their apartment in Lake Jackson over beats and synth lines sent to them by Kirston Lane Otis. When a show is imminent, the trio meet at Otis' house in Houston to practice for shows.
"Our favorite venue these days is the new Walters," says Kimball via email. "It's a beautiful building and we love having Terry do our sound. I also have always liked Mango's because Dunnock really understands what we are trying to accomplish. We haven't played a show there in over a year. Maybe we're banned or something."
Why He Stays in Houston: "We like the sense of dread and desperation," Kimball says. "It's like New York 1985. And it's where our friends are."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Like a lot of musicians, Kimball wonders why you can get a full house for the Swans or Peter Murphy, but you can't fill up Fitzgerald's for a local show. The fact that folks are willing to shell out and make the effort for national acts at smaller venues, but not pay to check out homegrown talent, which is much cheaper and easier to get into, baffles him.
Good War Story: "In 1995 I was living in Elizabeth, N.J. and playing in the band parkHORSE," opens Kimball. "We were asked to play a live set on Pat Duncan's WFMU show so we were nervous (pkH hadn't played live at this point) but excited because our friends would be listening to us on the radio.
"The first band that played was this really good punk band from the Lower East Side whose name I have forgotten," he continues. "We were supposed to play next but out of nowhere CJ Ramone showed up with whatever garage band he was in at the time. He insisted on playing so we had no choice but to yield to this sort-of member of The Ramones. He played a really long set, leaving us with ten minutes to make our broadcast debut.
"Ah well, it was probably for the best."