Kicks joy Darkness (KjD) began performing in late 2000, and in December recorded an EP Ark
, produced in Anno Birkin
's Welsh studio. The following spring, he travelled around India with his brother David Birkin
, writing poetry and songs. He returned to England in April and embarked on a series of gigs with KjD, quickly building up a keen following on the London circuit. The band decided to record Method One — their first studio album — in Bergamo, where Alberto Mangili
had a recording studio. They gave their farewell gig at the Dublin Castle in London before heading off to Italy at the end of August. Birkin wrote to Weeks, "Everything has fallen into place around my skull thanks to this opportunity [of recording in Italy]. For the first time in my life I feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'm doing what I know. The fear and anxiety and excitement I'm feeling at the moment is bursting me."
On 8 November 2001, after the band had spent the day rehearsing, Birkin, Lee Citron
and Mangili were killed in an early-morning car crash on the outskirts of Milan. Birkin was a month and a day short of his 21st birthday.