Karn8 have been through every motion possible within this cut-throat industry since they started out down south in 2002. Coming out of the shadows and moving on from a key line-up change and the never ending stress of just being in a band. The three-piece are back and ready to take their trademark sleaze-rock sound to another level. Vocalist Kirst told SPHERE all about how a trip to Death Valley in Las Vegas has helped the band get ready to take on the UK alternative scene all over again.
“When we first started it did start to feel like we were writing the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino movie”
S] Your sound has changed and developed drastically since we
last heard from you, obviously the keyboardist (Kinghorn) leaving
was a factor but was it more than that for the remaining
three of you? Considering your ‘journey’ and musical influences.
K] Kinghorn actually decided leave because we were moving in a different direction. It was never really a conscious effort to change, we just found that when we were coming up with new songs they were different, but then again we are different people now. Kinghorn did affect the sound in the sense that there are no synths anymore so things are bound to sound different.
S] Tell us about your new L.P and single, what was the
inspiration behind one of the new songs, ‘As If You Could’ and would you say
the new album is a more personal reflection of the people behind
K] As If You Could is just a good old- fashioned trashy rock song taken form a riff that Bones came up with. At the time Hendrix inspired him but you can also hear elements of Rage Against The Machine. It has a similar feel to one of our old tracks Cannabalistic Queen . Our music is always personal as it reflects what we are going through and how we feel at the time of writing.
S] You all seem a bit more colourful now, in terms of your dress and your musical style, so for each of you – what makes you
happiest now, in 2009?
K] We are just happy to be coming out from the shadows and being able to show everyone what we’ve been up to. We are all happy about the prospect of playing live again, we are always happiest on stage.
S] How will the darker more synth driven ‘industrial/goth’ songs
like ‘Mirror, Mirror’ and ‘Dare Not Speak It’ be portrayed live? Will
you be cutting them out of sets completely?
K] To begin with they will have to take a back seat as we will physically not have time to cram all our songs into the set and the new material has to take priority. Eventually we will be including some of our old songs and as none of them were written on synths they will translate fine, if anything the new arrangements will give them a new lease of life.
S] Bearing in mind your faithful fanbase and the new direction of
your sound – what have been the most positive comments you
have had about the new direction from your die hard fans? If you
wish you can consider negatives here too?
K] So far it’s all been good, nothing specific but it’s still early days. We are not expecting everyone to get on board with the new sound, but as we can’t please everyone we just have to get on and do what makes us happy.
S] What are you planning and when will you be back up North?
K] The main thing is the album release and promoting with live performances. Other than that we have many plans but nothing we can reveal at present. We will definitely be playing up North at some point so ‘watch this space’.
S] Your new imagery is fantastic, set in Death Valley,
Nevada, What made you choose this location? – Also, was it great
to finally get a holiday given your huge work ethic?
K] Having breaks is very important, as getting bogged down in the day-to-day grind of life is not good for creativity. Spending time in Death Valley and Las Vegas was very inspiring and helped with lots of ideas for the band. We would love to play there one day.
S] What was it like working with Steve Hoffman (re-mastering
credits include The Doors and Johnny Cash) how did you get
involved with him?
K] Steve is just the nicest guy; very approachable and very busy so we are so grateful for all the great advice he gave us. He was the first person to listen to the album outside the band and was so complimentary about all the work we had done so far. Up to that point we had been doing absolutely everything ourselves so it was great to get some positive feedback. There is no great mystery to how we got involved with him, we asked for his help and he gave us as much as he could.
S] Explain the thinking behind the new album title, ‘Of All The
Strange Things’ ?
K] It’s a line from one of our songs. All the titles for our CDs so far have come from my lyrics. It’s hard to explain the thinking, as there is very little thinking involved. When I writes lyrics I do it on a stream of consciousness and only think about the lyrics if they have to change to fit the music, which miraculously doesn’t seem to happen very often.
S] We have discussed the one song and the album in a broad
sense, can you tell us about themes running through the album
and in as much detail as you wish explain how they are explored
on different songs?
K] The desert, music of the desert and films of the desert inspired us. We
have always been fans of The Doors and when we were recording the
album we got to see Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger playing live with
their band ‘Riders on the storm’. That was an awe inspiring gig and
definitely had an influence. When we first started it did start to feel
like we were writing the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino movie but it has
taken on a whole new life now. I guess it will be up to you guys out there
to let us know what you think.
For more information, please visit the band’s Myspace and website.
Check out the video for ‘Where The Fires Play’ below…
The group will launch their album on February 13 at Monto Water Rats in London.