Violent Kin is a family band. Not of the Partridge Family variety, but a family nonetheless. It's fitting, then, that the brother-and-sister duo of S.J. and Maygen Kardash got their start with the birth of a child.
Although they grew up playing in an orchestra together, the duo never wrote their own music exclusively together until after their four-piece band The Blood Lines crumbled. When Maygen was 18, one of her close friends became pregnant and she decided to write a children's song for the occasion. But the song needed some work, so Maygen went next door and got her brother to lend a helping hand.
"It was surprisingly easy," Maygen says, calling from the side of a highway in rural Ontario. Much easier than in their previous band, which, though democratic, had issues with coming to a full consensus.
"So we just decided to take on the world," she says with a laugh. "We aren't writing kids' songs anymore."
But they are writing like children of the '80s. The band's highly infectious pop hits mix the art of Talking Heads with the sensibilities of Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears. Maygen doesn't think this is a coincidence: "I have this theory that you can't help but love what you deeply listened to as a child because it's your formative years. Now I'm in a band. I'm at band age. So that's what influences me."
One of her biggest songwriting influences is Genesis drummer Phil Collins, who Maygen discusses in great detail. "One of the reasons I love Phil Collins so much is that he's not afraid to wait to bring things in," she says, stepping back into her car to continue Violent Kin's cross-Canada tour, which includes a stop on Saturday at the Paragon. "Some people like the hook right off the bat; we do it sometimes too, but Phil Collins will make you wait."
Violent Kin w/Delhi 2 Dublin, KDZ, Saturday, November 13, 10pm, The Paragon Theatre, 2037 Gottingen Street, $12, ticketpro.ca