DISCOVER | Rinoceros – North Wales, United Kingdom.20th November 2023
Today on DISCOVER, I have Tom Kyffin from Rinoceros giving us an insight on the unfunny Billy C, David Hasselhoff and quantum mechanics. Rinoceros are a five-piece assembly from North Wales current members include Tomoroseros, Doctor D, Craig, Dave, and Bobby.
Hi Tom, let’s get this started – Tell me a bit about the band’s genre and where you draw your inspiration from with your musical style?
Tom: We are Indie rock – only because that is what we are limited to in our proficiency but that is not to say we don’t, wont embrace, absorb and suck up anything that we like. It really all stems from 70’s punk with its DIY ethos to the advent of indie rock that blossomed out of that in 70’s/80s. But we will draw inspiration from things that are soooo far back they are fossilized and only found in a museum.
Vintage, love it. The band name is Rinoceros, I’m familiar with a ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ song also named “Rinoceros” – Any relation or coincidence with that one?
Tom: Billy C is a wandering apostate apostle of the church of Rinoceros he speaks in many tongues and we couldn’t understand him, so we chucked him out to wander the deserted lands of the blasphemers. He was a moment in our lives but we are more influenced by the Elecktra records house band of the same name. We are old, grey, hoary, near extinction and cant spell – so despite any tenuous links NO so it is apt that we are Rinoceros
A wandering apostate apostle of the church of Rinoceros sounds very interesting. Just to confirm, you mean Billy Connolly, right? How long have Rinoceros been together and what influenced you to start writing music and performing?
Tom: No we would never kick out the big yin – its the other Billy C the unfunny one. We walked past the Sorbonne when we were little calves and heard the delicate strains of tortured cats and decided on that day onward, we needed to right the wrongs in a very bad world. Rinoceros is still embryonic but has been spotted out and about in the wild in several guises and forms over the past several years. Blink and you’ll miss us. Guerilla music for members of the Rinoceros zoo.
That definitely tickled me a bit then. I had a feeling this would be an interesting interview from our previous interactions. Could you tell us what can fans expect when they see you live – are there any special surprises or anything that sets your show apart from others in your genre?
Tom: The very fact we turn up is a surprise. The very fact we can finish a song is an achievement shared by the congregation. Although often likened to a cult we are in fact a church, a broad church (not the tv show!). We play real music with real songs for real people. We have the ability to make people cry (they are usually not running away!) smile, dance, smile (and other things that we can’t legally mention). We are considering handing out goody bags and are always working on top secret special (usually stupid) things to do at gigs – Keep your eyes peeled for Rinoceros Bingo Night.
Rinoceros Bingo Night sounds like it would be a hoot. Do you have any rituals or routines before a gig? If so, what do they usually consist of?
Tom: Chickens, pentagrams, curses, swearing, vegan entrails, pint of cider and a darts with a life-size cutout of David Hasselhoff, so no nothing really. More of an issue finding out where we left our plectrums.
There’s a name I’ve not seen a while – David Hasselhoff, is he even still kicking around these days? I’m curious to know what is the creative process is like when you make a new song. It seems like it would be an interesting adventure.
Tom: Well we kick him around cant get rid of him, hard to get rid of wet cardboard in a hoof. New songs are channeled through the whims and means of each contributor or sometimes it is just gifted (via amazon prime) by the universe. We listen, read, borrow, steal and then put it all in a big bag of muti then open it and see what comes out.
Sounds like a Forrest gump moment “life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” with your process – Do you have any albums currently out? If so, what are they called and where can they be found?
Tom: Gump is probably of a higher intellectual level that we can achieve. As yet we are ponderously slow in releasing anything although we are attempting to do things differently. We have enough material for 4 albums now and are considering declaring ourselves dead before releasing them to maximize sales at the funeral. The state of the music industry is just shambolic and whilst we have had interest off some labels we were not overly happy with what they were offering. We have though bowed to fan pressure (more nagging really) and released a selection of demo’s via the “interweb thingy” to shut them up. Some of these demo’s are gaining radio play so you may hear them droning in the background without even realizing. Facebook and You tube will be the spot to head to as we are attempting to build and reintroduce the concept of a fan club and any official releases will be announced there.
Oh, interesting! Where would people be able to hear your music on air?
Tom: Hospital radio! (we end up there a lot!) Local county radio stations. Amazing radio UK/US, Small (ish) international internet radio. Keeping it lowdown wanting to reward and help the smaller people with their ear to the ground that put a lot of energy and effort into the scene. Currently trying to get on 6 introducing but there’s something about returning an intern that we (accidentally!) borrowed. If you want to hear us tell the station you listen to!
I noticed on your SoundCloud you have a whopping 31 tracks (I bet that appeased the fans after the nagging) available for streaming with a recent launch date of 5 March 2023. Are you working on anything new for 2024?
Tom: Yeah those are just some of them! Plenty more to come. We are always working on new and better things. We can also see what is actually more popular – it has surprised us and is a nice way to get some direct feedback from the people that actually matter. The latest Thinking Back (the fantastic Bobby Kane reshuffle) is up there for a while. The “Plan” is to actually record and release them properly (these are just our demo’s) but it is becoming a huge task so we need to sit down and rethink about what we are going to do and how. Currently the state of the music business is on its knees and only getting worse so we will be looking to reintroduce a little bit of learnt DIY ethic. But either way for someone who is interested in music you can watch us grow and develop (with handy tips and tricks along the way!) and if your lucky have a good laugh when we fall flat on our ass.
Sounds like an exciting future for you guys then! If people wanted to come along and see you live, maybe participate in Rinoceros Bingo Night where are you next playing?
Tom: Currently keeping it low in the heads up to x-mas but we can be spotted around and about North Wales (undercoverRinoceros) ducking and diving into random bars playing some covers and trying new material on an unsuspecting public, you can usually find us propping up a barstool or two (or three or four fivesixseven!) at Lighted Stage events and hopefully we will have some festival slots to announce next year. Follow us on Facecrook or yootoob for more info, and there is an official website on its way.
I’d like to thank you for your time today, it’s sure been a chaotic whirlwind (a good one though!). I like to end interviews with a light hearted question and closing, so my final question to you today is a mystery that I have always wondered that you might be able to enlighten me about – why do round pizzas come in square boxes?
Tom: Thank you for your time and daring to enter the world of Rinoceros we hope you will return someday soon. In answer to your deeply philosophical question is actually a mass global experiment for quantum mechanics based on Schrödinger’s cat theorem. The pizza ia in fact square until you open the box. Or it could be because you actually getting some free air to make you think you are getting more. Love and Peas. Rinoceros
Artist: Rinoceros / Label: Rinocerator / Genre: Indie rock
For Fans Of: Bowie, strokes, Iggy, U2, Sabbath, The Clash, The Cure, 4 Non Blondes, Toy Dolls, Police, MC5, Tin Machine, The Turtles The Smithereens, REM, Ruts, Herbie Hancock, simple minds, cult, beefheart, Zappa, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Beatles, Bob Vylan, Zuzu
Next upcoming shows:
Lighted stage TBC