Face to face with Katalina Kicks

Katalina Kicks

Sounding as live and raw as if they were playing next to you, Katalina Kicks have this special spark in their music that makes it shine bright and powerful. Having gone through quite a lot in the span of several years, Katalina Kicks are stronger than ever as they’re unleashing their sophomore album ‘Dirt’. Vocalist and guitarist Ian George talks to Rock Britain about ‘Dirt’ and shares some stories about the band you’ll be retelling to your grandchildren.

– Your sophomore album ‘Dirt’ is out. How do you feel these days while unleashing it to the audience?

– We’re pretty excited as it’s been a long time in the making, so is great to finally get it out there!

– With sophomore albums having this notorious reputation for either making or breaking a band, how did you approach writing ‘Dirt’ and what was your main focus while working at it?

– It was a very lengthy process, as we went through so many changes with band members and personal ups and downs – I think the main focus was keeping the writing flow going – and then making sure we had the right people to get it in the best direction musically. It was a real challenge as we would write songs and gig/tour them with a new band member, who we then parted company with (which happened more than a few times) so then took the bare bones of songs and started again with other new people! But the songs survived – that’s the main thing.

To be honest it’s not about ‘make or break’ with us – we just love doing what we do – and are really looking forward to playing the songs more live – and then starting the next album!

– How have you evolved as a band since the release of your debut album?

– Massively in terms of knowing who we are and what we want to sound like. The first album was a bit too tame and over-produced for our liking with hindsight, so we had the chance (and time) to get this one sounding as live and raw as possible, which is what we are all about.

– There have been some line-up changes in Katalina Kicks. What have your new musicians brought to the band? How have they influenced the band?

– We’ve had more line up changes (with less deaths tho) in the last 3 years than the Chili Peppers have had in their entire career! Each new member has brought something different ideas wise and parts of songs have developed with a massive range of influences. But now things are finally settled and there is a great creative vibe with everyone firing in the same direction, so we’re looking forward to writing the 3rd album!

– You have toured not only in the UK, but also well outside the UK. What did you take away from those trips overseas?

– I guess we take influences from the other bands and artists we play with, the different cultures and daily nuances of another country and above all the people we meet. We have met some amazing people, seen some fantastic places and have some great stories – some of which have become songs.

– You’re really famous for your live shows. What are the most memorable stories that’s ever happened to you during your shows and the ones you could share with us?

– Once of the most memorable ones for all the wrong reasons was at a pretty famous London venue as the final leg of our UK tour a year or so ago. We had been on the road for 15 days and were pretty knackered (combination of no sleep/too much drink/driving ourselves etc). We got stuck up in Scotland, so had to drive to the London venue and play, going straight into the house equipment, which we were fine with, until the stage manager went nuts on all of us individually for slightly moving a tom, or a guitar amp etc. I mean he was being REALLY fucking pedantic. We are a pretty chilled out bunch really, but the combination of tiredness – and this arse of a stage manager (even the venue owner afterwards admitted that he was a dick!) – pretty much led to an onstage fight, which in turn got the audience a bit intrigued. So eventually after calming down/busting up a few times we started playing. One song in a bass string broke (which is very rare). Cue new bass. Next song in the drummers kick pedal broke. He lost the plot and stormed off stage. By this point we had filled the place as everyone was expecting more war & drama! So we continued without a drummer – until a guitar amp blew! Then the guitarists strap broke! Drummer came back and we DI’d the guitar – we were all so pissed off by this point that we stormed through the next 3 songs and went ballistic – which the audience loved. It was real heart in mouth stuff, which I guess is what people want – to be entertained!

– What’s your personal most favourite live show you’ve ever been to?

– I saw Bowie years ago. That was something I’ll never forget.

– How did you come into music? What inspired you to become a musician?

– I never did music at school, as never understood the theory etc. After I left I met this really cool music teacher when I was 16 – he taught me to listen to what I like and learn like that – which I did and never looked back. Bands with real meaning like Nirvana and The Clash inspired me to write – and vent – at the same time!

– What’s the moment of Katalina Kicks’s career you’re most proud of so far?

– Touring in the US & Canada and also playing Koko were amazing moments.

Also this 2nd album marks a pretty great achievement – to keep going despite a lot of adversity/negativity and have something that we are proud of is a great result.

– What’s the best thing about being in Katalina Kicks?

– It’s all about the music and the people you play it with.

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