Can Confirm, ‘Kyle Gordon Is Great’ On Debut Comedy LP [Q&A] | THE NOISE

Comedic up-and-comer and social media star Kyle Gordon is ready to make us all laugh with the release of his gut-busting debut album, Kyle Gordon Is Great. Featuring viral smash hit "Planet Of The Bass (feat. DJ Crazy Times & Ms. Biljana Electronica)," "Girls Are The Best (feat. Tanya McCabe)," and "Ugliest Girl On The Beach (feat. Antonio Frankfurt)," Kyle Gordon Is Great is the culmination of years of character creation and genre parodies that Gordon has developed and perfected in his one-of-a-kind live shows.

“Some of these songs I've turned into super popular digital content, while many will be brand new to my millions of fans and followers,” shares Gordon on his new album. ”My goal with this new project is to create a product that would be both accessible and familiar to my audience while also being totally original and unique to the comedy landscape.”

The Noise had the chance to chat with Gordon about his influences, how he started doing comedy, and what the future has in store for him.

You've become known on the Internet as a multi-faceted entity that acts, makes music, and writes comedy. How would you define yourself at this point in your career?

KYLE GORDON: I'm a comedian, first and foremost, for sure!

I love your music-oriented sketches and the songs you've been putting out in preparation for your debut album, Kyle Gordon Is Great. Have you always been musically inclined? Has this always been the direction for you to merge your comedy with a different medium?

So it's funny because most people know me from social media. That's where I first garnered a mass audience, and I was doing all these different characters, but they weren't necessarily musical. I moved to New York in 2014 and started doing improv, which was my first foray into comedy, but pretty soon after that, I started doing musical comedy. The music and the comedy are actually older than social media. Like, it's the oldest thing, and it's really cool and exciting because I get to bring a lot of these songs and a lot of the stuff I've worked on for many years to people. It's exciting for all these fans I've amassed over the years to hear this side of me because it's new for them.

That's awesome! What sparked this return to form?

It was always a dream of mine because all the songs I'd written and been performing live in New York were just me and my acoustic guitar. After all, I just was not financially able to do anything beyond that. I couldn't just schlep a full band out for a ten-minute set in a basement. A lot of the comedy music I was writing was genre parodies, so it was always my dream to make the songs I was writing sound super authentic and like the genre I was parodying. So, when I started to amass an audience, I began to think more seriously about recording an album, taking all the songs and bringing them into full bloom. So really, it was like the culmination of--it's how I'd always envisioned these songs in my head. And now, I have more of the opportunity and impetus to go out and actually do it. 

Tell me more about the early days. Which song came together first?

In terms of writing, it was actually "Worst Life Ever." That's my oldest bit. It's funny because a lot of this stuff is what I've been doing for so long, but there are videos on YouTube of me doing this; I mean, not this song specifically, but doing like a pop-punk, emo character. It was a song called "I Hate My Stepdad," which was the first comedy song I ever wrote; there's a video of me doing that in college in like 2013; my friend Grom is on drums, and it sounds atrocious. So, "Worst Life Ever" is definitely the oldest song on the album, and there's also a video of me performing that song in 2015 or 2016. Then everything else developed over the years, and it was always my idea to; just because I had all these songs, I wanted to find a way to put them all out into the world.

Were you an emo kid growing up? Did you ever go to Warped Tour and grow up in that community?

No, I didn't go to Warped Tour, but I generally didn't see many shows. I mean, for no reason specifically, it just kinda turned out that way. If I were to describe myself as any genre of kid, I was a class clown. This sounds so cliche, but I really liked everything, and this album reflects my natural inclinations and tastes when it comes to music and the fact that I love diving deep into genres. I call myself sort of like a musical relativist in that I try to see what other people see in a genre and put myself in their head and in these genres. Like, I do love pop punk and emo music, and so obviously, I grew up being a fan of Blink, and for "I Hate My Stepdad," I was pretty much doing a Tom impression. I'm 31, so in middle and early high school, that was the heyday of the genre. Obviously, American Idiot had just come out, and My Chem was killing it. So I channeled them and AFI for that aesthetic and Fall Out Boy, too.

You were just pulling from the greats, essentially.

Yeah, exactly. When I started doing this character first in 2015, I started getting more into the emo revival stuff like Title Fight and Balance And Composure because I was starting to revisit the genre. So yeah, there's a lot of cool stuff.

The first song I heard was your EDM track, "Planet of the Bass," and I'm so stoked to listen to the rest of the album when it's out on March 1. Can you walk me through your process, from inception to the final product? How long does that take for you? Typically, do you make the music or think of the character first? Do you do the lyrics/the jokes first? 

It varies from song to song. So the character DJ Crazy Times goes back to college as well, and I would do these David Guetta-type ad-libs, but I didn't actually have an original written song, but I knew I had this character. And then, when I started posting more at the beginning of the pandemic, that was one of the first popular characters. Still, I was doing these ad-libs, so long story short, "Planet of the Bass" is the last song I wrote for the album; everything else was done. And so, in that particular case, I wrote the music and built the beat first and then came up with a melody and the lyrics. The lyrics came last for that one, but the lyrics or some lyrical hook usually come first. And then I built, especially the old songs like it was a lot of trial and error. So I'd go to open mics and have one or two lines and then try to improvise more lines and freestyle it essentially, and then I'd go back and listen to it be like, "Oh, that's good. Keep that," or "That sucks. Scrap that." So overall, it's a lot of trial and error, like how it worked with “Planet of the Bass” but fewer iterations. 

Do you have a favorite song from the album?

Honestly, I'm really happy with everything. Like, I've got the Euro Dance song. I've got a 60s bossa nova sort of lounge, smarmy guy song for this one song called "Ugliest Girl on the Beach..."


Yeah, my characters aren't always good guys. [laughs] And then, on the flip side, I have this Shania Twain 90s pop-country song called "Girls Are The Best." I'm really proud of that one, too, because it wasn't as clearly defined as a genre, and I feel like I carved out this genre that was sort of a 90s girl power country kind of thing. And so I'm really proud of all those. The next single that will come out right before the album's release is an Irish drinking song. And, yeah, and that one I'm really proud of. I'm always worried before everything comes out. It's like, are people going to like you and what you're putting out? But I found that if I can go by my own tastes and if I'm happy and proud of it, that's all that really matters. If you start to think, “Are other people gonna like it?” that's how you end up being corny or trying to pander.

What do you feel is your primary goal with your comedy?

Whenever I make anything, the first and primary thing I think is, "Is this funny?" Something I learned very early on, especially when I first moved to New York and was getting into comedy, was that there was a time of me thinking, “Do I seem smart? Do I seem cool or edgy?” I quickly realized if that sort of stuff is floating around in my head, that's how you make bad comedy. I am only really thinking, "Is it funny?" My impulses when it comes to comedy beyond that with my music, especially what I'm trying to portray, I'm trying to be authentic. So, especially with the songs, like authenticity, especially with "Worst Life Ever," it was cool to see, probably more so than any other songs, how much the alternative community embraced it. Like they're like, "Yes, this is satire. Yes, this is a parody, but it sounds authentic."

The production is so good, and I feel like the way you poked fun at the tropes of the scene was well-intentioned and entertaining.

Yeah, and it was so cool that everyone had such a good sense of humor about it, and it came through that it came from a place of love, appreciation, and knowledge. If it wasn't authentic, it would have been harder to tell where it's coming from or what the joke is. But beyond that, with my comedy, I don't know. I don't know if I'm really trying to say anything. My motive really is just to be funny.

Who would you say are your biggest comedy heroes?

The biggest, especially in musical comedy, is Christopher Guest, who did This Is Spinal Tap. He also did a bunch of amazing mockumentaries, like Best in Show, which is about a dog show. And then A Mighty Wind is my favorite, and it's about folk singers in the early '60s. The music he wrote for that movie is perfect; it's a pre-Bob Dylan folk music parody. It's amazing. So my number one, like the George Washington on my comedy Mount Rushmore, is definitely Christopher Guest. I love Tenacious D also! Jack Black is amazing and has just hit after hit. An underrated musical comedy is Trey Parker and the South Park Guys. The music he writes for that show and for Book of Mormon- I'm not a big musical theater person, but the only musical I liked was Book of Mormon. It's just hilarious. So yeah, those are three big musical comedy inspirations.

After the album comes out, can fans expect a tour or any big shows they should plan to come out for?

So I am doing a little tour in April. So, Kyle Gordon Is Great comes out on March 1, and then I'm doing my first West Coast tour. It's a short tour, so it'll total 10 to 12 dates. So, there are some West Coast dates, then Boston, and then Southeast a little bit. And then I'm doing a show for the Netflix Is A Joke festival in LA in May, so that'll be cool. This is also my first tour with a full band, so I'm psyched because I did one show in New York at The Bell House a few months ago with a full band, but I'm psyched to actually like tour with the band. It'll be a lot of work, but I'm psyched.

How has that transition been for you, from solo performing to now having a full band to support you?

There are a bit of growing pains adapting my live show to having people on stage with me, but in terms of the sound now, it's all just been building to the sound I've wanted. I've been doing these songs the whole time, just me and my acoustic guitar. So yeah, it's exhilarating, and it was so cool playing with a band the last time I did it. I've always wanted to tour with the band, and now it's changed how I think about the show because I used to think of it as a comedy show with music. But now I think of it more like a hilarious concert.

Which song is your favorite to perform live right now?

Probably "Girls Are The Best." That one that really comes to life live, if for no other reason than at the end of the song, I make all the men stand up and have everyone yell at them and shame them. Like literally, I'm like, "Use physical violence! Attack them with your hands! Boooo." It's really, really fun to do that. I usually start my shows with that one.

Who would be on the bill with you if you could create your dream show?

Lonely Island, Tenacious D, and probably Weird Al because those guys have done it so much and would keep it tight and professional. Their shows gave me the idea to start thinking of my show more as a funny concert. Like those guys when they do live stuff, it's funny, and they do bits in between, but you know, you're going to see a concert. Like, it's good music, and you will laugh. So yeah, that'd be a good bill.

If you could have any celebrity feature on one of your songs, who would it be?

Honestly, Eddie Murphy. I have a song that I've written that he would be perfect for. I wouldn't even sing on it. I have it written; if he could sing it, it'd be perfect. It's a sort of a '70s R&B parody, and I have it in my back pocket. But if he could, I think he would kill it. 

Lastly, do you have a message for anyone reading this right now?

Go check out the record, Kyle Gordon Is Great. It's funny; someone commented on a video I put out yesterday. They said, "The whiplash of listening to this album is gonna be crazy." I appreciate them saying that because it's something I thought a lot about, especially nowadays, when playlists are so curated to a hyper-specific vibe. I have gone in the exact opposite direction. Listen to the album if you can because I've thought a lot about that, and what I've done is, I've, in the style of like an old Adam Sandler comedy record, like there are skits between each song, and each skit is different. So the album starts, and you hear a guy getting in his car and turning the radio on, and then each skit is like him turning the radio. And it's like a different radio station intro to each song so that you, like, get a little preview and taste, and the skits are funny too. But it takes you on a musical journey, like, you're in your car flipping through the stations. It became like that because all the songs were written before, but then doing all these skits became like a weird concept record or something. At the end of the day, it's a prog-rock album.

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