Irony Destroyed is a band who’ve just recently began their sojourn upon the ever expanding Kenyan metal landscape. A few weeks ago we had the chance to hang out with this crazy bunch to find out what they are about. We were fortunate enough to sit in on one of their practice sessions. Lead Guitarist Lenny Kiano came out to meet us and we headed to where the rest of the band was holed up. The doors opened to a group of fellas completely immersed in their art form, windows are sealed shut to ensure all the sinewy flavors of dissonant creativity blend together. The wall of sound is incredibly earth shattering; you’d almost feel the skin peel from your body. Later on we get a chance to sit down and talk about a few things like what brought the band together, how the journey has been so far and what infernal plans they have for the rock fraternity!
The Band Members Are:
Leornard ‘Lenny’ Kiano – Lead Guitarist. Very vocal and lives and breathes the band. Not overbearing as you’d expect of a lead guitarist perhaps the oldest member and its mouthpiece
Carrington – Drummer: Has a nonchalant air about him. Drinks in the wisdom of the cosmos and lays that out on the drum set. Very attached to those drum sticks too, wouldn’t prefer to be anywhere else.
Lawrence – Vocals: Studying Microbiology at Kenyatta University Scary little fella this one and a ball of energy too. Wears his heart on his sleeve. Has a bit of sly wit and his favourite phrase is ‘brutal’ \,,/
Henry – Rhythm Guitar (trying out with the band at the moment). Relatively new to the and really enjoys his regular dose of metal.
Skylar – Vocals: We didn’t get to meet her but this is what we imagined she’d be like, the lone swan amidst a school of crows. A calming and contrasting presence amidst all the dark energy flowing from these guys.
Mark – Bass :Studying Quantity Survey at the University of Nairobi.silent waters run deep. I suppose that is the case with most bassists rarely has a thing to say just let his sentiments seep through his bass guitar
From being void and formless to going out and making disciples, this band’s journey began four years ago. Lots of hands were involved in its formation and their maiden performance at March from the Underground.
Lenny – The band was formed around 2010 with totally different guys, but the major guy was called Nelson he was the vocalist then, he’s the one that came up with the band, the name and everything. At the time I didn’t know him very well. Most of us guys have met on social media and all that. There’s this song called ‘Think Twice or Possibly Thrice’, he’s the one who programmed the whole stuff, I only added a few riffs here and there but it was his idea. He left us with that.
He went abroad to study. When he recruited me we were like so many different guys at first. Everyone was scattered, not only in Nairobi, there were guys from all over the place even Murang’a so meeting for practice was hard till I found all of these guys. I just decided, most people didn’t know us …we started last year proper….most of these fellas I just met them on Facebook. Lawrence does covers on YouTube so that’s where I first met him so I was like yeah this guy could sing for us. Starting out is a matter of putting name out there like the fan pages, posting content, spreading, it’s a matter of spreading our name inviting people to like the page…then recently we were recognized by LYT and Diallo just came and asked us if we wanted to play this gig. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t even have performed at March. We wouldn’t even be here. He’s the one that approached us. That was our first gig so we aimed at it being the foundation the, point that makes you or breaks you. “Tukitoka apo on stage na tusuck that’s it”. Wasee watakuwa like io band ingine ilikuwa? Unajua. Venye tuli introduciwa na ao wasee ndio ikakuwa such a huge thing for us, wasee wakatujua. Pages zilikuwa zimepata like over a hundred likes within a week ata nilikuwa nimeshangaa. I wouldn’t say that it was our big break but it was our foundation. I can say LYT helped us out apo ivo. Naeza wapatia credit.
Influences are varied but everyone seems to be in some kind of metal mostly death and metalcore.
Lawrence – I’d say brutal death metal. Bands like Vehemence, Suffocation, Skinless. Locally Id say In Oath and Lust of A Dying Breed’, those bands are really something. And even Void of Belonging.
Mark – Locally I can say Lust of A Dying Breed and Last Years Tragedy. Iv listened to their EP Generation Light. Internationally I can say Northlane,they are a Melodeath band.
Lenny– The person that influenced me was Timothy Abuor, he plays guitar for Moment of Silence. We were with him in the same High School he’s then one that used to play guitar for the school. We used to play together and were even supposed to form a band together I don’t know what happened.We are still in contact. Mostly the bands I listen to are metalcore a bit of death metal but I listen to all kinds of rock so that when it comes to writing I get ideas from each and every angle so that the final material reflects that diversity. The bands I listen to are like As I lay Dying, Parkway Drive basically any kind of metalcore Im a big fan.
Carrington – For me Id say on the local scene, Lust of a Dying Breed, Last Year’s Tragedy & Void of Belonging. VOB have an awesome drummer, George. He’s a good friend of mine, we talk. Myself I knew I was interested in drumming in 2003 but sikua ati ile intensive, it was really casual but from around 2009/2012 that’s when I started doing lots of practice. On the international scene most of the bands I listen to are mostly metalcore especially from Sweden the likes Dead by April, I also like Asking Alexandria, As I lay Dying. Dead by April’s drummer Alexander Sveningson; we talk even on social media, nilimwambia yo I appreciate your technique being left handed and all that’s really unique thanks for whatever ur doing.
Henry – Nikiwa high school nilikuwa naskiza Death Metal. After high school nkaanza kuskiza metalcore Alesane, horthone heights na Silverstein pia emo kiasi. Mostly napenda izo rhythm solos na clean vocals.
Carrington – there’s a time we were talking with the vocalist and we thought about doing something different, some fusing of different genres. So we were thiking of ata kama iwe ni Swahili ya huko coast tuifuse na metal haitakuwa mbaya. At least we’ll have our own sound and we’ll stand out as unique.
Lenny – we don’t want to be just metal. Tunajaribu kuwa na a local feel ata kuwa na guitar za kikuyu kitu kama hiyo and put in a little breakdown there its gonna be unique. Even to bring a certain aspect ya bringing in elements ya wasee uko abroad. And hopefully hio uniqueness and diversity itakuwa our breakpoint. Like even with the vocals with Skylar we bring in that soft element and then Lawrence carries that heavy element.
Lawrence – also we are trying to bring in punk, Carrington can bring in that with the drums
Casting a nostalgic glance back to when we first watched these guys live at March the most vivid memories call back the thoughts of a song they performed called Undying Memories. Undying Memories was like all beautiful things a child fraught from mindless chaotic chance. Every member casting different dyes into the lot, then catalysed by Skylar’s clean vocals engendered something with unmatched vitality. That song is has yet to be recorded however. In that waking moment we urge them to tell us more of what recording plans they have and if there is more in store.
Lawrence – I don’t know if you’ve checked out that song called Orion. Once we work on it ndio tutafikiria how we’ll record it. Lakini sahii bado haiku complete. We want to do it the way LYT did their recording, like go away for a couple of days badala ya kurecord sijui 2hrs isikuwe perfect. We’ll make as many songs as possible then we’ll record as we go along.
Carrington – Yeah we’ve been writing a lot of riffs and lyrics
Leo – the process is all inclusive. Like huu msee ata write lyrics, nikuje na hizi riffs then carr will add drums, like hatutaki kujilimit. As in everybody is in charge of their instrument, kila mtu ataplay venye anafeel then itasink tu that’s why most of our practice sessions tutacheza tu nonsense hadi iingie.
Lawrence – Lakini we are sure we’ll grow. Iyo ni for certain. In the next two years itakuwa like a well oiled engine.
Lawrence – Our idea ya kuspread ngoma ni ku use matatus. Unaenda labda githurai unawapea music unashare. Radio haitawork juu some of our songs probably zitakuwa vulgar.
Lenny – Industry na rock ya kenya mostly watu hawaunderstand. Ata labda hio ndio reason ile place tulikuwa tunapractice tao walitufukuza. Si tulikuwa tunafeel ngoma hao wasee wako apo wanatuangalia tu. Ni kama nikiskia reggae mi hufeel like sort of irritated it’s the same way they probably feel wakiskiza metal. Basically its for the fans the few fans wale wako apa.
Mark – Our next gig we want to have an intro like LYT isikuwe tumenyamaza tu. Juu io part ya kunyamaza ilikuwa weird when we performed.
Leo – I mostly do everything when it comes to posting pictures, teasers and relevant things. Most bands don’t post everyday but when necessary ndio wasee wanaona tuko works.
Interactions and Side Projects
Lenny- personally nimewrite riffs for yonkey heis we were doing a track and they featured us and at least for exposure it’s a fusion of house and metal but they worked on the drops and the base. We‘ve also talked with Mwangi from Deowa they also look keen on recording.We try to practice every week. At least twice.
Lawrence- my fantasy band would obviously be me on vocals, Douglas Kihoro on base/backup vocals, Christopher Yagami guitar and Abdalla guitar and drums ikuwe George. Ikuwe brutal!!
Mark – there’s a chick pia alikuwa anadai tuwork nay eye anadoingi Rhumba pia iyo inaeza kuwa fiti.
Lawrence – Id say my side project is Born in a Casket a band that is under the works. Im working with some really brutal fellas. So it’ll come through soon.
Lenny – I do lots of youtube covers. I have a couple that I’ve worked on I’ll upload them soon
Carlito – I also do hip hop on the side with some fellas from school. Used to play in church gives me access to drums. We need another pedal for the drum.
Henry – I work with a band in Kenyatta University called ‘NYK’ its sessional and plays around January thereabout.
Mark – I used to play in a gospel band called the well but I had to leave them when I joined Irony.
Before we part ways they intimate what they’d hope for in the future and it goes without saying that it’s more live shows. A taste of the stage has really placed the ambitious winds under their wings. We wish these guys all the best in the journey and for the rock scene in general. So there you are that’s Irony Destroyed for you, the true meaning of that name lost forever in the mind of those that conceived it but its new meaning getting smithed out every week in that sweltering cauldron of a practice room and every day in the minds of the band members. We hope it brings new meaning to future fans too. Till next time make sure you keep it brutal, melo or whatever it is that catches your diabolical fancies. \,,/
March from the Underground photos credit to ‘Black perl Photography’