I’m all about making an entrance.
I am the wrong side of history,
I am the right side of hell
Ever just say to yourself, “I’m in the mood for some film noir shock rock…but make it hella camp!” Kai Kaldro has done just that with a tour de force of absolute mayhem: a murder mystery with all the trimmings – including some from old issues of Photoplay in the worst collage artistry you’ll see all day. (Or maybe it does it for you. We don’t judge around here.)
Enter POST COITAL, PRE MORTEM, the first single and title track from Kaldro’s upcoming debut LP. In this bizarre track, Kai Kaldro struts as a kaleidoscopic enigma – part rock deity, part cinematic trickster. Swathed in the shadows of industrial soundscapes, he echoes the dusky, metallic tones of Rob Zombie, Ministry, and Thrill Kill Kult yet flips the script with an androgynous allure. Imagine him crooning in a murky baritone, the air thick with a horror-themed theatricality that could spook Hitchcock out of his director’s chair.
The video – definitely not safe for work – was also directed by Kaldro, “in full drag, like Ed Wood,” he adds.
Melding together a drag rendition of a Tarantino film, an Alice Cooper concert, Psycho, The Shining, and THAT scene from Basic Instinct, this saucy little vignette may turn your stomach, but like every good drag show, the absurdity will also have you double over with laughter, dragging you straight to hell along with it.
“It can be really hard as a singer-songwriter to ever convey irony or sarcasm when the lyrics are in the first person because they‘re often misconstrued at face value if you’re singing about violence or atrocities, but I was real adamant that certain lyrics being sung from the femme fatale’s point of view felt the most effective,” says Kadro. “If you get it, you’ll get it.”
“Unlike the iconic Ed Gein-inspired horror villains with female alter egos like Norman Bates, Leatherface, or Buffalo Bill who are very blunt in their murders and when finally revealed, appear quite awkward in drag… I thought it’d be interesting if our killer’s female side was so comfortable to the point of elaborately using “her” physicality…And in all morbid hilarity, the detective is so shallowly mesmerized by the superficial trappings and her apparel of the era that “made the woman” on screen: the neck of pearls, veiled pillbox hat, satin gloves, cocktail dress, and cherry red lips… so much so, that he doesn’t realize it’s another man he has sex with…The intention was to instrumentally replicate the slow burn and mysterious atmosphere of old 1940s detective films in an industrial rock soundscape, and but then lyrically catch it with its pants down by bluntly addressing the obvious sexual nature of those films that Hollywood at the time made hilariously transparent attempts to obfuscate thru the Hays Code stipulations. That’s where the dark humour and sardonic nature of the song is enacted.”
Post Coital, Pre Mortem is also Kaldro’s soundtrack contribution to the all-star horror film Desert Fiends, starring Eric Roberts, Bai Ling, Lorelei Linklater, Scout Taylor Compton, Tom Arnold, Brett Wagner, and many other slasher superstars.
Cinematically, Kaldro was mentored by his late great production sound mixer M Wolf Snyder (1985-2021). Kaldro’s dark sci-fi action short DISSOLVED GIRL was one of Wolf’s final pictures, who was then honored by Frances McDormand and director Chloe Zhao at the 2021 Oscars. At age 19, Kaldro was solidified as one of, if not the youngest film director to have a best picture winning crew member enlisted on his own production.
Once upon a not-so-distant past, Kai Kaldro was your typical mild-mannered, camera-shy, soft-spoken kid – the kind you’d never guess would end up howling at the moon. But, in a plot twist worthy of a pandemic-era memoir, Kaldro decided it was high time to shake things up. Enter his metamorphosis: from behind-the-scenes wallflower to a raucous, in-your-face embodiment of all things horror, gothic, and rock ‘n’ roll. Imagine a human whirlwind, equal parts loud, lewd, and totally unapologetic, slamming into the music scene with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
This is not your standard coming-of-age story. Kaldro’s reinvention paid off big time, propelling his debut single right onto the soundtrack of ‘Desert Fiends‘. But why stop at audio terror? Kaldro then plunged headfirst into the world of indie horror flicks, landing roles in scream-fests like The Punk Rockers Ghost, Skate to Hell, and Final Summer 2.
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