As the drummer for New Zealand trio the Clean, Hamish Kilgour was one-third of a legendary band that helped invent indie rock and pop in the early '80s.
That band continued to release albums and tour over the years, and Kilgour meanwhile played drums for other bands, formed the Mad Scene in the early '90s, and finally released his first solo album, All of It and Nothing, in 2014. That record and its follow-up, 2018's Finklestein, featured Kilgour teaming with Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson to craft low-key, lo-fi indie pop with a touch of psych around the edges that wasn't too far from the sound of the Clean.
Hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand, drummer/vocalist/songwriter Hamish Kilgour formed the Clean in 1978 with his guitarist brother David and guitarist Peter Gutteridge, who was soon replaced by bassist Robert Scott (later of the Bats). They released their debut single in 1981 on the newly formed Flying Nun label, then followed it with a run of EPs and singles that cemented the trio's legendary status. The band split in 1982, but began a long history of going on hiatus and re-forming to release an album or go on tour. When not behind the drums for the Clean, Kilgour stayed active in various other bands and projects. Along with David, Hamish worked in wistful, jangly tones similar to the Clean with the Great Unwashed in the early '80s, and later in the decade played with Bailter Space.
In 1990, Hamish formed Monsterland, playing guitar alongside guitarist/bassist Lisa Siegel. The band formed in Auckland, New Zealand, but when they moved to New York City in 1991 they quickly changed their name to the Mad Scene upon discovering there was already a New York band using the Monsterland name. The group released a handful of EPs and three albums during the '90s. At the same time, Kilgour played with the Clean as required and appeared on albums by the Moles, Dean Wareham, Cakekitchen, and, in the 2000s, Samara Lubelski. The Mad Scene released another album in 2012, Blip, and Kilgour began working on his first solo album. With the help of Gary Olson and indie pop utility player Miggy Littleton, All of It and Nothing was finished and released by Ba Da Bing in 2014. That same year he also issued a solo single, "Crazy Radiance"/"Window Washers."
Despite finally emerging as a solo performer, Kilgour's collaborative spirit was still strong, and in 2015 he teamed with Tiny Ruins to record the Hurtling Through EP, and in 2017 he played drums with the indie rock band Roya on their self-titled album. That same year he spent time working with Olson on an album based on a bedtime story he told his son. The dreamlike and subtly psychedelic Finklestein album was issued in 2018, once again by Ba Da Bing. ~ Fred Thomas & Tim Sendra, Rovi