The Koa Show: Our Interview with Conor Kelly

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Koa is a wood found in the rainforests of Hawaii. Koa is widely used to craft instruments for many acoustic guitars, violins, and cellos. Koa is an innovative seven-man-band from Nashville, Tennessee.

Jack and I interviewed the lead electric guitarist of that band, Conor Kelly, before their first show at the Gothic Theatre in Denver on the 5th. This Is Koa is the band’s first ever album and, “is like the first accurate representation of what our band sounds like,” Kelly says.

That night was the first night that the EP was played for an audience in Kelly and Chase Bader’s, the lead vocalist and acoustic guitarists, hometown. Not only was Denver special enough but, “the last time Chase and I played that show we were in a high school band here and we did some battle of the bands thing,” Kelly says.

Kelly went to Regis Jesuit for all four years, and Bader for most of his high school career. “When I came to Regis, Mr. Heidenry [guitar club teacher] was like the first guy I met,” Kelly says, “I learned a lot form him and a lot from who he’s influenced by.” High school was a time for growth in Kelly’s passion for guitar, “I just sat and listened to CD’s all the time and stayed up in my room till three in the morning playing guitar.” Kelly continues to take guitar lessons from a previous member of one of Kelly’s favorite bands The Allman Brothers Band’s Jack Pearson. “You think you know how to play certain things and you sit in room next to him and oh my god,” Kelly says.

Taking lessons isn’t the only way Kelly has been able to expand his music talent. “Right now I’m really focused on guitar, but I’m working on opening myself up to new influences and new sounds.”

Koa plans to release their first EP to iTunes and Spotify on November 13th. Stay tuned for their first full-length album out sometime next spring. For now, find This Is Koa on mainstream music sites in two days, and as always, subscribe to Fiona & Jack Radio for more.

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Conor Kelly Interview

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The Koa Show: Our Interview with Conor Kelly