Kakuzi are an alternative-indie Avant-pop band from Surrey in the UK. Despite being really busy creating their album they kindly agreed to complete an interview for us here at Song Revelation. Read on to find out what they’re currently working on, their favourite gig supporting Alabama 3 and which modern day artists they look up to. Check out their tracks too. Good stuff!
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Infectiously enthusiastic group, obsessed with being original, whilst at the same time having a firm grounding in main-stream pop music.
Q: What is your musical background?
Music students from Surrey
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was a massive learning curve. 2008/2009 were really fun years, playing lots of fun shows locally, picking up a great fan base and working on making a totally unforgettable live show. The result of this being that we achieved our first goal of getting picked up by an indie label, Major-G. 2010 saw us release our first official EP ‘Sun Kissed Planet’ which was followed by a small UK tour. Whilst picking us some favourable reviews and some decent radio play, jumping into this much larger pond of the music industry took its toll on the band. We rushed of to our private studio in South Wales to re-evaluate our goals and ambitions, also writing new material. Plans for a follow up album were abandoned, instead we opted to work on new songs with new producer and label The Animal Farm. Our first single ‘Words and Wars’ was released in December and has already received some great reviews. A follow up single is due in March.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Radiohead, Killers, Queen, U2, Gorillaz, Primal Scream, Eminem (also, we secretly like Coldplay and Take That)
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Gorillaz, Gorillaz, Gorillaz. Damon Albarn is a shining beacon for everything that is good about modern day pop music. An ideal role model for any young aspiring artists. Also, gotta have some respect for Dizzee Rascal.. might not be everybody’s cup of tea but he’s a great example of an artist who has built them selves up in such an organic and positive way, in an increasingly cynical industry.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
3 artists come to mind. Everything Everything, Temper Trap and Little Dragon. 3 very talented groups and singers that have really pressed our buttons over the past few years.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
I actually threw my iPod away, mp3’s are nasty little things. Their existence is totally ridiculous considering everyone now has supper fast broad band connection. Kudos to band camp for streaming WAV and AIFF. I did recently receive an original copy of the Doors LP on vinyl, as gift from my piano player… now THERE is an audio format that makes me want to rock out!
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
We try to come up with a conceptual idea first… a lead hook, or part of the chorus lyrics. Then we try and build the arrangement around that, trying to make the music and the lyrics come together to help convey meaning in the main idea of the song. On top of this we… 1) try make sure that we are not repeating ourselves ever… 2) that we are not repeating other peoples ideas… 3) we are trying to be as original and tune driven as we can possibly be. (i.e. not being original in an atonal jazz kinda way) you can be alternative and still have catchy songs, we promise!
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Well, if you look every no1 hit over the last 5 years, I would suggest melody. But really the answer is neither. No songs that I consider to be great, had awful lyrics. Also, in the long term, it is usually the lyrics than allow an emotional connection to made with people and music. In fact, I would say the most important thing, is making sure everything, even the smallest details are all good. Good tune, good lyrics, good beat, good arrangement, good production… even if just one small part is not good, then the track can never be truly great.
Q: Where are you based?
A small town called Leatherhead in Surrey South West of London
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Very boring… It’s one of the main reasons I’m in a band. To do something exiting and perhaps one day have enough money to leave this God forsaken place!
Q: What are you currently working on?
Currently working on a collaboration with a singer called Katie Ellen. An artist we regularly play shows with down in Portsmouth. Amongst other things, working our way through a busy schedule of gigs and preparing for the release of our new single ‘Animal’. Very exited about that.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Supporting musical heros of ours ‘Alabama 3’ I couldn’t believe that they actually talked to us back stage, let alone actually playing a gig with them.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
We hope that everyone loves the new single. I hope we write some new songs that are even better than the ones we have now. I’m super exited about playing with Joy Division and New Order’s Peter Hook @ Scala in April. I hope even more people come to see us live. I hope we do some more collaborations with some of the amazing artists out there. Generally speaking I hope I continue to love what I do, which is making music… how good is that, eh?!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
YES!!! Absent Kelly Presents: Peter Hook and the Light @ Scala w/ Kakuzi/ Kites – Gonna be amazing! The Peter Hook @ Scala, Kings Cross is on the 23rd of April.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Go out and support other bands at gigs, spend time with friends. Also, I go rock climbing a lot and try to get in some skiing when ever gaps in our gig schedule allow.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Our guitar player (Isamu Yoneda) is living in Japan at the moment so, over the past year we have been mainly performing as a 4-piece… but he’s back in the summer, so who knows? The unknown excites me a lot! Also, we are from the future?..
Editor’s Note: Kakuzi definitely have something that makes them very appealing to listen to, a good sort of ‘infectious indie’. We’re looking forward to their first album at Song Revelation.
If you’d like to learn more about Kakuzi or contact them, just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/kakuzi
facebook link: www.facebook.com/kakuzi
myspace link: www.myspace.com/kakuzi
web page link: www.youtube.com/kakuzimusic
soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/souplessluc
Kakuzi Blog: kakuzi.tumblr.com