Ka tet are a Galway, Ireland based trio focusing on three-part harmonies and spellbinding guitar riffs. Last year, they released their debut album ARCADIA, created multiple videos, and embarked on a tour. Currently “warming up for festival season”, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with the band to discuss all of the craziness, along with touring highlights, their new single Baby on the Brink, and they tell us some secrets…
AMBY: Hello there Ka tet, welcome to AMBY. What have you been up to lately?
Ka tet: Hey guys. We’ve had a crazy busy last year. We released our debut album “ARCADIA” along with three singles “Let my Lady”, “Bob n’ Charlie” and “Baby on the Brink”. So between making those videos, promoting the album and touring we’ve been very busy bunnies. Right now we’re warming up for festival season, whilst working on some new tracks… no rest for the wicked!
AMBY: How would you describe the overall vibe of Ka tet in one word?
Ka tet: We try to be honest in what we do. When you come to a gig you wont get any bullshit, its just three lads who are there to do what they love with no frills attached. We try to be honest when writing as well. When we write we try to keep the music true to ourselves and try not to think about any of the other music we love and write Ka tet tunes!
AMBY: Hot off of your February UK tour, what were some of the highlights?
Ka tet: On the whole, we really enjoyed the entire tour and met some great people along the way and played in some kick ass venues. I think our best show was our last show in The Water Rats in London. We played with some excellent bands and to a brilliant crowd… saying that though I would have to say the high point of the tour was the morning of Kyle’s (our bassist’s) Birthday when we went to ‘Moose Coffee’ in Manchester for a Canadian breakfast. That was where we learnt that maple syrup goes with everything… especially meat pancakes and eggs. Coincidentally our manager Adam is from Canada, so he was pretty much in heaven.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to Ka tet at a show?
Ka tet: We played at a film/music festival in Dublin before Christmas this year. It started when we arrived at the gig to discover we had forgotten my guitar and pedals. We manged to borrow a guitar and blagged our way through it. Then half way through the show some nutter got up on stage and grabbed the mic and started into what we first though was freestyle rap/singing. We soon realized however that what we had first mistaken for a lunatic was actually an angry neighbor who had barged his way on stage to give out to the crowd for keeping him awake. The gig subsequently got shut down by the cops during the next bands set and we all had to go home… but that was generally fairly weird/funny I guess? There was also the time I was high on antibiotics I was taking for a bad throat infection, mixed with beer and started tripping balls on stage in Mullingar too… that was fun.
AMBY: Your album ARCADIA came out last year. What’s next as far as recording goes?
Ka tet: We’re always working on new songs anytime we’re rehersing for a gig, we’ll always spend an hour or so warming up, and we often end up recording some good jams whilst doing it. We haven’t really decided whether or not to release another album, another EP, or a few singles next but we are working on some new songs. It’s been a while since we focused so much on writing new stuff, but we’ve had time lately to go back to the studio and start pushing out some new tunes, which we’re really enjoying. We’re really looking forward to playing them live too! On top of that we’ve managed to come into contact with legendary music producer Kim Fowley, most famous for his work with The Runaways. He’s expressed great interest in working with the band and is planning to come to Galway from LA later in the year to produce some of the new tracks with us. Bringing another creative influence into the mix is something we’ve never really done before so it could have some very interesting results and its something else to look forward to this year.
AMBY: You recently dropped your new single Baby on the Brink. What’s the story behind the song?
Ka tet: It’s actually about a woman I met at the same gig I tripped on antibiotics. She’d evidently been through a lot of shit, and was soliciting herself to anyone who would buy her a drink, but she was a really nice woman. In my head she snaps and goes awol by killing her latest lover… of course that never happened, but it’s fun to imagine sometimes.
We decided to release an interpretive video for the single too. We basically got hold of my uncles pub for a couple of mornings during the summer. Then we were lucky enough to have 30 volunteers from our hometown of Ballyhappiness (Ballyhaunis) along with some close friends, members of the Cold Room Collective, including the guys from Race the Flux and our manager Adam Nolan. The always brilliant Phantofilms shot and produced the whole thing for us and the marvelous Gearoid Connaughton directed it. We’d worked with Phantofilms on our first single, Let my Lady and we had a seriously good time doing it, so we were always gonna work together again and as soon as possible. We were lucky enough to have Lorna Larkin and Aron Hegarty star in the video. They had to endure some early mornings, and some cold, wet, late nights, but they powered through and gave a brilliant performance together.
AMBY: Does being a Galway-based group have an influence on your sound? If so, how?
Ka tet: Galway has a very varied live music scene, so we do get to hear a lot of great music which undoubtedly has an influence on us in some way. Also, the city in general is a creative place to be, there’s art and artists all over the place. Plus it’s become a very popular tourist town, so there’s any amount of interesting people knocking about. It makes for a very creative environment. So all that allows us to focus on being creative, Galway is a pretty comfortable place to be in a band!
AMBY: Where did the name Ka tet come from, and what other names had you considered for the band?
Ka tet: Ka tet was borrowed from a Stephen Kings series The Dark Tower. It basically means a group of people, brought together for a common purpose. Ka tet was one of our first choices when we got together, but we though it wasn’t memorable enough so we changed it to The Loose Ends. We only changed it back because of an 80’s band of the same name. Needless to say we’re glad we did…. I’d hate to be in a band called The Loose Ends now.
AMBY: What has you most excited for the release of 2014?
Ka tet: Personally, I’m looking forward to hitting up the European festivals this year and hopefully releasing some new tunes very soon.
AMBY: Lastly, tell us something about Ka tet that nobody knows yet?
Ka tet: Ronan has three nipples, I’m not an ambi-turner, and Kyle once ate three raw potatoes in five minutes to win a bottle of Jack.
Thank you Ka tet, for giving us your answers!
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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout