click here for more
Interview: Skux Talks About Her Debut EP 'Kudis'

Interview: Skux Talks About Her Debut EP 'Kudis'

A.K. / Friday 23rd August, 2019 10:33AM

Tāmaki Makaurau / Alaska-based punk Skux has promised to organise a beach or trail clean up for every pre-save her EP received. Kudis (pronounced Cooties) is Ayisha Jaffer’s debut as Skux, and the first two singles 'Kudis' and 'Painted Blank' were a loud and clear indication that the EP would be a massively frenetic, high energy one-two punch. UTR assistant editor Annabel Kean probed Jaffer on her new release, which tells a story of Kudis aka "Playground Death", which she uses to describe any and all things that plague the masses - be it measles, bad vibes or plain old propaganda. Get to know the punk behind the punk, stream the EP below, and introduce Kudis into your vernacular…

What is ‘Skux’ and who in the NZ music scene would you describe as ‘skux’?

Skux has so many meanings to me rooted from a long, deep conversation on the origination and history of the slang term and how it looks like a punk band name to the supportive yells of "skux" every time I toured with a NZ artist in other countries and Kiwis came out to support them. I love the word and how it sounds but also what I feel like it represents. Saying you're Skux is basically saying "you're a badass and you do it in style."  Giving this one to Randa, hands down. 

What’s the idea behind spelling Kudis like you have? Is it just a fancy way of saying cooties?

I read this incredible article by Amy Collier called Cooties - A Medical Guide in The New Yorker after I decided to name the EP Cooties and it's a very in-depth dry, satirical article about cooties – the best article I've ever read. The piece dives deep into a the root of the word "cootie" to the related word "Kudis" which translates into "Playground Death." I felt that "playground death" was very true to the message I was trying to get across. 

Is New Zealand still an exciting place for you? Or is it more familiar / home these days?

New Zealand is definitely still an exciting place for me. I've done a lot but still not everything I've wanted to. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junky so there are still heaps of things for me to do. I haven't yet done Castle Hill, the East Cape, or the Abel Tasmen. And I'd like to pop over to Scott Base if anyone will let me (I do have that whole naturalist/boat background). I know walking the length or biking the length of NZ is a thing and I'd like to do that too whilst catching fish + foraging foods along the way. Perhaps I could pop into every off the beaten path venue on the way and do a DIY acoustic versions of my songs since past. See, lots of exciting, aspiring plans. It never gets old for me. I feel like regardless of where your home is, there is a lot to explore where you are. Generally I feel people learn that when they leave and hear about it from others who have explored their backyards for them. 

How have you found the Auckland music community compared to those you’ve been involved with in the US?

I find the Auckland music community very tight knit and supportive. It reminds me of scenes since past meaning, there are all of these collectives of musicians and they all go up together in Auckland. That used to happen in the US but now I feel it's changed a bit in recent times as music is easier to make independently in your bedroom and you don't necessarily have to go out and play shows to get those fans since you know... the internet. In NZ there is a lot of platform and encouragement to go out and play, not only for the musicians but also for the industry. There seems to be an award ceremony for everything in music, non-stop, all year long that is incentive and encouragement for everyone to go out, meet each other, connect, collaborate, and keep doing what they are doing, and do it well. It's small, everyone has to come up together. "Started from the bottom now we're here..."

What’s the new EP about? Does it have a theme, tell a story?

It's about Cooties (Kudis) - Playground Death generally. Kudis stands for anything you can think of that is infecting the masses or even you personally for example propaganda, fear, bad vibes, a toxic relationship, your own anxieties or even a literal epidemic outbreak from mental health to the measles. Whatever it represents for you, this whole EP asks people to see how silly it is to sit and fret over these KUDIS and actually get up and take action against them. We go on a journey of self empowerment and steps to accomplish this together. 

I feel like concept albums don't happen as much as we are all a bit ADD culture these days but I'm pretty old school so I wanted to stick with an overriding thematic EP.

On top of this theme, the EP is an ode to punk a bit for me as I explore several genres of punk from old school to nostalgic to surf... it covers the gambit. 

If I were to run through the tracklist and tell a story, it'd go like this:
1 - Kudis - There are things out there that suck so stop being complacent and get out of bed and fix it.
2 - Painted Blank - The things that suck, whoever /whatever did them, we are holding you accountable.
3 - I Am the Explorer - That stuff that sucked that whoever/whatever did, well, we are above that and moving forward.
4 - On Her Way - We are busy bettering ourselves all around this earth.
5 - Bodgie and Widgie - And we had fun.

Please give me your top five favourite pick ’n’ mix lollies.

I had to google "pick 'n' mix lollies" is that terrible?  I eat these all of the time. Also I feel the need to tell everyone since we are talking about sweets that jelly tip anything is incredible phallic--you're eating a dick.

Top 5 pick n mix lollies:

1 - COLA BOTTLES - FOR SURE. Can they make regular, non-fizzy cherry cola ones too? Please. Just putting in my request.
2 - Obviously Jelly snakes - have you seen my EP cover?
3 - Flying Saucers - my grandpa used to get me these as the "penny" candy shop (inflation made it 25 cents). Also...anything alien related = yes.
4 - Jaffas - my last name is Jaffer but also, these are delicious, therefore, I am delicious. LOGIC. 
5 - Lovehearts - BECAUSE I am terrible at flirting and this is helpful. My best line is "I like your shoes" (because I'm probably looking down) but if I say it, it's on! And if you fail with your loveheart candy gifting, you still have CANDY. 

The debut EP from Skux, 'Kudis' is out now HERE.


Share this
Subscribe/Follow Us
Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on your favourite platform  

You can show your support to keep UnderTheRadar running by making a contribution. From $1, any amount can make a huge difference and keep us bringing you the best, comprehensive local content. Support UTR!