20 Questions With Kilter

The jazz-metal band’s bassist talks trees, salted butter, Erin Brockovich and more.

By Darryl Sterdan – 2021-05-24

kilter trio sys

Kilter are off. In the best way possible. Assuming, of course, that you like alvant-garde jazz-metal as much as I do. If so, the Brooklyn-based trio of bassist Laurent David, drummer Kenny Grohowski and saxophonist Ed Rosenberg III most certainly belong on your playlist. Coincidentally, they just released their latest video and single Sentient Robotics, the first preview of their upcoming EP Sys, which will be released June 25. Check out the video below — and learn more about Kilter as David takes a run at my ridiculous questions. Bet he wishes he had a robot to handle that:

Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and any other details you’d care to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
Laurent David, more than 40, less than 50, Brooklyn-based but born in Paris — enough to have my feet on the floor / too much / one eye blind / I let you guess my astrology sign at the end of this interview / hairy.

What is your musical origin story?
Diverse and complicated! I think I liked all types of music without taking care of what the others like when I was young. And I’m still the same. I started playing classical guitar at the conservatory, and played jazz, Latin, metal, etc. on bass.

What’s your latest project? Tell us everything we need to know.
The video for Sentient Robotics, from the EP Sys out June 25. Artificial intelligence and human consciousness will be closer and closer in the future — and that’s the topic we wanted to talk about in this new release. In this one we explain how our creature is born.

What truly sets you apart from other artists?
To be a jazz musician. There is as much different jazz styles as there are jazz musicians. And Kilter’s music is one of them.

How will my life improve by listening to your music?
You’ll learn that we can make powerful music with no guitar.

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you have given?
A Brazilian revue, for the New Year 2000, with half0naked dancers. I was wearing a shirt with flowers. The organizer hated us when we started to play, because the audience was expecting something else. It finished with police officers, because the singer wanted to beat the organizer: He didn’t want to pay the band. Happy New Year!

What living or dead artists would you collaborate with if you could?
Frank Zappa, a duo with Cliff Burton, and a living artist: Mike Patton.

What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
I really liked Cock Robin when I was a teenager. I let you guess why.

What useful (or useless) skills do you have outside of music?
That’s crazy, I have none.

What do you collect?
I have many basses and amps and FX pedals, but it doesn’t count, it’s my job.

What would you like to be reincarnated as?
A tree could be great.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness / total misery?
Perfect happiness is what happens between two periods of daily life. I think I would not like to feel ‘out of the game.’ It almost happened once and I didn’t like it, at all.

What’s your greatest regret?
I have no regrets

What are you afraid of?
Vegan food.

What would the title of your autobiography be?
Do You Hear Me?

Who should play you in the movie of your life?
I’d really like a female actress, to incite women to play bass. It could be Erin Brockovich.

What’s your motto?
Ampeg or nothing.

What’s always in your refrigerator?
Salted butter.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to have good sight.

What’s the silliest thing you believed as a child?
To walk on a very high roof, my father almost killed me.


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