We met Radio Disney’s "Next Big Thing" winners Kicking Daisies! They are Duran Visek (vocals and guitar), Ben Spremulli (guitar, vocals), Carly Kalafus (bass and vocals) and Caitlin Kalafus (drums, guitar, vocals). We talked with them when they were in Manhattan filming a commercial. The commercial they were shooting was for Bazooka Candy Brands' new candy, Baby Bottle Pop Rattlerz (babybottlepop.com). It was so much fun and we loved trying the Rattlerz. We watched them film the commercial and hung out with them while they were getting into makeup.
How did you feel when you were on Radio Disney?
Duran: It was seriously amazing. We were playing this show in our hometown fair, it was a sold-out show, and during sound check our managers comes and grabs Caitlin. We go back there and Ernie D, which is Disney’s top DJ. He was on the phone, he’s like Kicking Daisies, how are you guys, and we didn’t know they were recording this, putting it on the radio, on the Disney Channel and everything . . . We like OMG, crying, everything. It was just amazing.
Who is your role model?
Caitlin: Our role model as a band we’re really influenced by the band Paramour because they’re really young, not as young as us, but started out around our age and they’re just like crazy. When they hit the stage they’re really energetic and they like to see how the fans react, what they do and how they treat fans in the audience. And we just try to model ourselves out of them.
Which one of your songs is your favorite?
Carly: I think one of my favorites is “Shut Up” It’s a song that I sing. I get to sing it and it’s just a fun song.
Duran: I think it’s always the newer songs that are our favorite, but one of my all-time favorites is definitely going to be “Promises,” “Alive” is actually another one of my favorites. “Secrets” that was our single on Radio Disney.
Caitlin: My favorite song is “Alive” because in Ben’s solo I get to go really crazy on the drums, kind of do all these awesome big fills and it’s just really cool because I think the audience loves that part.
Duran: It’s a good moment for us to put our all into it.
When is your first album coming out?
Caitlin: We’re working on it right now. Carly and I just finished recording bass and drums and Ben and Duran are in the process of recording the crazy guitars.
Duran: We’re going to get some hardcore triangle in there.
Did you always want to be famous?
Caitlin: Yeah, I did definitely. I’ve been playing drums since I was 8 years old and I’ve been playing music my whole life, just into it. And I just always wanted to be a rock star. There’s a tape of me at 3 years old singing. I always wanted to be in a band, be on stage
Duran: I use to play air guitar in the bathroom. I’m not kidding. After the shower I would wrap the towel around me and play air guitar just listening to dream theater or something.
Ben: I said I was in another band before. I didn’t think we’d go anywhere. I was just doing it for fun. But the fact that it turned into this is amazing. I never thought it would be, but it’s awesome.
How long do you have to work a day?
Duran: I have good intentions of practicing eight hours a day, but it just doesn’t happen.
Carly: Every day is different.
Duran: I warm up every day. I practice all in all — I’m not going to guess.
Caitlin: As a band we have a couple of hours of practice. Sometimes we’re recording. One time we recorded until 1:30 in the morning. That was fun. Sometimes, like today we’re doing this and it’s really fun. We’re filming all day. I don’t know what time it is. It’s been totally fun. You don’t realize the time goes by. We don’t really work, but we do and we don’t.
Where did you guys meet?
Ben: I was in a different band before Kicking Daisies and I use to play a lot of local shows. So after one of the shows I met this guy Mike who is a producer and is now Kicking Daisies producer. I talked to him and it would really be cool to have a band with kids my age. So about a month later he calls me about Duran. I heard some of Duran’s music and I thought it would be really cool for Duran to fly up to Connecticut where we live, so we can kind of start a band. See if it would work. We clicked instantly and so we decided we needed a drummer and a bass player. So Duran and I looked around on YouTube for drummers and we found Caitlin.
Duran: Who had two million views on YouTube. We basically got a hold of her and she’s like “are you guys good enough?”
Caitlin: Everyone says I said that, but I totally didn’t. I’m a little bit older than them, but they’re like really awesome and it’s so much fun to jam with them and then . . . ask Carly, she’s my sister, I was like Carly would you please join the band. She never played an instrument before and she didn’t want to. But I basically can I bribe her to. You can just; we just want to see what bass sounds like. If you don’t want to, we’ll just find someone else. So she ended up loving it and she picked up the bass like in 5 minutes and was playing the song.
Duran: We’ve been together for two years and she’s been the bass player ever since.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Carly: Still doing music.
Caitlin: I think we’ll all be best friends still. Probably playing really weird music or something. If Kicking Daisies fizzles out after awhile in 10 years, we’ll be doing like some techno rap.
Ben: I figure 10 years I’ll be seeing myself seeing myself in 10 years.
Does this job have much pressure?
Carly: Every once in awhile we’ll feel like stress and pressure.
Caitlin: It’s hard to balance school and this at the same time. That’s why we’re home schooled. Sometimes it’s like I have homework to do. But I have a show tomorrow and I have to practice. It works out and that’s why our parents are so great with that.
Where have you traveled to?
Caitlin: We’ve been to California four times and we’re going again. We’ve been to Miami, Orlando. We played all these camps around where we live like Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine. So we’ve been around here and down to Florida and out to California.