Music Q&A: Katalina Kicks

The grunge rock London three piece chat ahead of
live shows in support of new album Vices

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Ian: I love listening to loads of different music – from classical to metal – and write songs as they come to me. I love writing music with a bit of an edge, but a strong melody too. Fave bands of mine are The Clash, QOTSA and The Stooges. A song will usually start for me with a progression on the guitar and I’ll develop a melody around that. Then we as a band will develop the ideas.
Jase: Everything around us from what’s going on around us to what we see happening in the world. I think it’s a time where you have to stand up and be counted and make sure your voice is heard. Having the gift of music allows you to voice that on a bigger level.
Nadia: I also listen to a lot of genres of music, I love some 1980s, Spice Girls, Alice in Chains, and been listening to a lot of Enya lately.

How have you evolved as artists over the years?
Jase: Massively. I absorb and get inspired by all types of music and musicians in a positive way, then take the good stuff from that and make it my own.
Ian: I think that we have developed loads in terms of songwriting and performing. We know what works as a unit now and how we project our ball of energy live. We have worked a lot on dynamics, which is a lot easier as a three piece to give songs more space and depth.
Nadia: I been into music from a very young age, but Katalina Kicks is the first band I ever played. This July is going to be three years since I’ve joined them, and picked the bass guitar to learn only seven years ago. I have so much to improve and evolve.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Ian: We have just released our album Vices and are touring across the UK and playing a few gigs on the continent too. Then we’ll be touring again in October. So over the summer we will focus on writing loads and developing the next album and working on artwork, photos, videos, etc. For us it’s all about creating a whole package so we love to get involved in videos and developing visual ideas around songs too. We’ve just got an SPDS sampler, so looking to expand our horizons for the next album – we’ll see what happens!
Jase: I think we have a great balance as a band and are constantly writing and bouncing ideas out for the next album after Vices. What direction the music will go I have no idea, but it’s an exciting and creative time.

What’s on your rider?
Ian: I’m very easily pleased – just beer and water! And I like dry roasted peanuts too.
Jase: A drink and a packet of crisps if I’m a good boy. It has to be a spicy pack though. None of your plain nonsense – I’m a rock star, baby!
Nadia: Water and tangerines. I love tangerines!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Ian: For the track Away on new album Vices I was really struggling for lyrical inspiration and hadn’t written them fully when we were recording it. We were in the studio laying it down a few months after Bowie died and, I know this sounds really odd, but I had a dream that he was speaking to me about the song. I woke up in the morning, totally scrapped what I had for the song and rewrote it in about 20 minutes. Bonkers.
Jase: Most surreal experience was I was given a book called the Secret that I started reading about eight years ago. At first I thought it was mumbo jumbo but when I applied it to my life it changed everything in a positive way. I’ve asked for some amazing things to happen. Some have taken a while to manifest and others within days. It’s mental that to think you can manifest something in your mind and hold it in your hand – really works!
Nadia: Bumping into and meeting a few musicians – Richard Patrick, the guys from InMe years ago back in Japan, Taylor Hawkins, and Axl Rose. Bbumped into him after work in central London. He was nice. I even got a snap with him.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Jase: Happy Birthday and had the full rights to it! It’s got a killer hook and simple, straight to the point lyric.
Ian: Ashes to Ashes.
Nadia: Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Tears for Fears.

What’s your worst lyric?
Ian: “One, two, high score, hand grenade, hit the floor” from the first single we ever released a few years ago called 145. WTF was I thinking?
Nadia: ahahahaha, that’s a good lyric Ian!

Katalina Kicks play Manchester’s Retro Bar, 13 May; West Street Live in Sheffield, 14 May; The Dulcimer, Charlton, 1 June; and Doncaster’s Vintage Rock Bar, 2 June

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