Kottintrip living up rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle

Singer “Johnny Kottin” discusses heartfelt lyrics and hair

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Kottintrip

MAYBE IF WE STAND AGAINST THE WALL IT WILL LOOK LIKE WE CAME FROM THE GHETTO... YEAH, STREET CRED! Local act Kottintrip, taking some time off from a busy recording schedule at London’s EMAC studio, plays at The Salt Lounge Tuesday night with Jades Ground.

Although his nickname is a play on Sex Pistols vocalist Johnny Rotten, local grunge band Kottintrip’s John “Johnny Kottin” Besterd insists he’s a nice guy.

“I wouldn’t do anything rotten,” he says with a laugh. “But if you really want to know, there was this incident with some fire extinguishers and, well, you’re gonna have to catch me at one of our shows [to hear] the rest of the story...”

However, catching up with Besterd isn’t easy. For the last few months, Kottintrip " lead singer/guitarist Besterd, drummer/vocalist Greg Brydon, guitarist/vocalist Sean McIntrye and bassist Kyle McIntyre " has been busy recording its yet untitled debut at London’s EMAC studios and playing numerous local shows.

Unlike Rotten and the Sex Pistols, Besterd and Kottintrip aren’t heavily politicized. According to Besterd, Kottintrip’s lyrics “reflect on personal experiences in life.”

“[From] the heartache of losing someone special to the feeling of standing in the middle of a room shouting at the top of your lungs and feeling as if you’re not being heard, I try to focus on relatable situations in life, love, and rock ‘n’ roll when writing lyrics,” he says. “But take what you will out of them; they’re all open to your own interpretation, much like all art.”

Besterd says it’s difficult for him to pick a favourite Kottintrip song.

“That’s like asking which one of your kids you love more,” he says with a laugh. However, Besterd admits he’s fairly attached to “Around the Sun.”

He attributes his love for the song to EMAC producer Dan Brodbeck, who suggested reworking the song’s lyrics, which were originally about society’s dependance on technology.

“[Brodbeck is] such an amazing producer,” Besterd says. “He’s the kind of guy that makes you really push the limits of your own creativity. I rewrote the lyrics and that is when the song took on the name ‘Around the Sun.’

“The title is a metaphor for how we as individuals take a long journey through life, much like Earth takes its journey around the sun only to come back to the same point of origin.

“It’s about how some of us stray in life to try to become someone or something that we aren’t, only to come back and realize it’s who we are that defines us as strong, unique individuals.”

Besterd praises the entire EMAC staff.

“Those guys over at EMAC are all great,” he says. “I would strongly encourage any band looking to record locally or abroad to definitely look into EMAC first.”

Kottintrip has also received strong support from family and friends.

“All of our family members have been super supportive over the last couple years,” Besterd says. “But my father has been very important in some of the business side of things. He has been in the advertising world for a long time and is a tremendous adorer of music, especially rock ‘n’ roll. He’s a great guy.

“While some people’s fathers are telling them to ‘get a haircut, hippie,’ he’s the kind of guy who’ll actually get mad at you if you did cut all your hair off.”

Besterd says cool hair is synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll.

“Check out Bowie’s hair during Ziggy Stardust or Bon Jovi’s feathered bangs,” Besterd says with a laugh. “Personally, shorter hair is better for me on stage strictly because it keeps me cooler. The long hair can get a little hot and sticky when you’re sweating onstage.”

Are Bowie and Bon Jovi’s music as inspiring to Kottintrip as their hair?

“I think that question depends on whom in the band you ask,” Besterd says. “The greatest thing about our band is that we all take our inspirations from many different artists and styles, and then once combined, they mix into the music that is Kottintrip.

“Man, that sounded corny!” he adds with a laugh.

Kottintrip plays at The Salt Lounge Tuesday night with Jades Ground. The show starts at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/kottintrip.

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