Getaway Dogs is the brainchild of Santa Cruz-based songwriter, Kai Killion. Evincing a deep connection to music at an early age, Killion made his first drum beats climbing onto dinner tables at large bohemian-family gatherings, making strange and rhythmic noises with his vocal cords in wild bursts of self-expression. The son of a Californian artist/history professor and a Brazilian immigrant, Kai was born in Bath, Maine and spent his baby years in post-war Eritrea, a traveling toddler on his mother’s back as she and his father roamed about Northeast Africa and later Europe.
Kai’s family returned to California, spending seven years in the small surf enclave of Santa Cruz, and eventually, following his father’s success as a printmaker, they moved up the coast to the smaller community of Point Reyes. There Kai would spend the majority of his time in nature, going on long hikes through the woods with his parents, playing with friends in the hills, canoeing across Tomales Bay, surfing the wild and remote surf breaks and scouting the beaches and cliffs of that pristine coastline.
The family soon left the US again, this time to spend a year living with his mother’s kin in the tropical metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. During this year in Brazil, Killion became fluent in Portuguese and began to learn the guitar. They returned to Point Reyes and as a high school student Killion immersed himself in the arts, writing his first songs, forming his first bands, joining theatre and slam poetry contests and expressing himself on a day to day basis. After traveling across South America and New Zealand upon graduating high school, Killion returned to Santa Cruz to pursue a degree in history and a career as a musician.
Dubbed once by a friend as “cushy bedroom psychedelic bossanova” Killion’s music draws its inspiration from the variety of different cultures and genres he experienced throughout his childhood. From Tropicália to folk, psyche and indie rock, hip-hop, soul, jazz, beat poetry and more, Getaway Dogs began as a solo project but quickly evolved as various musicians of different backgrounds passed through the bands’ revolving door, each lending their experiences to the projects’ unique, malleable sound. The band’s debut record, “Lost In The Ebb” produced by Killion and Lucas Heinel in a converted basement, was the result of over two years of hard work, performing for crowds across the Bay Area and L.A. to promote the album. Released in August 2016 the record drew significant attention from heavy-hitting industry blogs like Magnet Magazine and the Huffington Post, among others.
Getaway Dogs currently perform around Santa Cruz and the Bay Area, and are in the process of creating new material. They have shared the stage with notable acts such as Tommy Guerrero, Durand Jones & The Indications, and Space Captain, and been a part of festivals such as Do-It-Ourselves and the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. The band currently consists of Killion (guitars/vocals), Spencer Higgins (drums, percussion), Lucas Heinel (percussion, synth) and Chili Corder (bass).