‘The location doesn’t matter’ | Clint Spiteri

Teodor Reljic speaks to electronic musician Clint Spiteri who, apart from his ongoing involvement with the trio Dolls for Idols, will be performing at SickFest on August 14 as his solo alter-ego, KNTRL

What is the main thing that keeps you writing and performing on this island?

Writing music is something that gives me satisfaction and freedom to express myself. The location doesn’t really matter for me.

How has the alternative music scene in Malta changed since you first started? Are there more or fewer opportunities for musicians within this genre on the island right now, as compared to five or six years ago?

Back in the 2007-10 I felt the scene was a little bit more vibrant with regards to bands and gigs. In my opinion there was more potential in the scene. Nowadays the worldwide alternative scene feels a little bit lost, with not much to look up to, which I think is also reflected in local bands. There’s only a few local artists which are currently releasing interesting tracks in my opinion. My thoughts are also the same for the alternative scene globally.

Opportunities are limited, various places that used to be available for frequent gigs are now closed and we now have only a few places left – which leaves the bands with less choices and therefore less opportunities. Bands have to work hard to get a stable, regular crowd and following. Realistically speaking, we have no industry in this sector but we do make efforts to keep this scene alive. I can say that since the 2007 the alternative scene has remained more or less similar to how it was before it just now we have less places to play. However apart from all the limitations, bands still get local gigs, few following and maybe some radio play.

What are some of the key characteristics of your sound, and how has it evolved over time?

Dolls for Idols were the act that got me into electronica. Back then the sound was much more raw – which was totally okay for an electronic/punk band. Now, I’m more comfortable to translate my thoughts into actual music via synths. KNTRL is more about digging into sound synthesis: sounds with less rawness and more feeling.

Who are some of your favourite contemporary Maltese musicians, and what do you like about them in particular?

Fuzzhoneys: I like that raw sound they have and also Francesca’s voice. I also like stuff form The Velts and Brodu.

Are you looking forward to performing at SickFest? What can your fans expect from you during this event?

I’ve already played at sick fest in 2012 with Dolls for Idols, and it was an awesome experience.

The organisers are really cool lads and also professional. So yes, I’m very much looking forward to this edition. I will be playing some originals from my upcoming release on OFF recordings and also some ambient stuff, moving to melodic techno at later stages of my set.

SickFest will be taking place at Beachaven, Xemxija on August 14 from 16:00