Kit Walters may be best known locally as front man for hardcore breakout Scapegoat, which has toured and released records in the U.S. and Japan. As a producer, Walters, 25, helped Scapegoat (a band he joined at age 12) and Charlotte's Sugar Glyder compete nationally. Now he's moving into pop with his new group the New Renaissance.
Q. How did you get into engineering and production? I started recording seriously in 2004. (Scapegoat was) recording our album "Let Our Violins Be Heard" with (producer) Jamie King and there was a computer malfunction and we lost half the record. So (I learned).
Q. Is it more about your ear or the equipment and your knowledge of how to use it? Honestly, it's more your ear. There are pieces of gear that will make stuff sound better. But we did (the albums) "Zombie Dog" and "Violins" on pretty bare stuff.
Q. Has your approach to writing and producing changed with this new dance pop project? I don't know whether this is a mythical way of me looking at it or what, but I've always felt like I download songs from the universe. (I'm) changing what I tap into. Because I'm trying to make Top 40, Top 10, No. 1 songs now - and that really is my focus - I'm studying mainstream music. I used to (complain) about mainstream music, but what I've come to appreciate is there is something beautiful and artistic about making the perfect, formulaic song that the average Joe cannot get out of their head. I started listening to more Michael Jackson and really dissecting these popular hits so I could incorporate that into my music.
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Q. What are some of the challenges, other than the obvious big business side, of working in pop music? There's only so much depth that people want to deal with, but how do you do that with your values and what you want to promote? Look at people like Ke$ha. She's telling young girls to get wasted and have sex with older men. How can you make popular music without having to stoop to that?
Q. How does Scapegoat differ? Scapegoat is a complete baring of my soul. One thing that's made me disconnect (from Scapegoat) is I'm not that angry guy. I had a very hard time at the Amos' show (in November). I don't want to scream in your face. I want to sing and I want to dance and have fun. On another level there's a disconnect between me and the fans because I'm not vibing with it. I love the (2011) "I Am Alien" record, but I can't sell it well enough. It's hard to keep that up. I wouldn't mind the band continually growing and doing different things.