So, the Soundclash music festival happened, and the waterfront never sounded better. Soundclash, a annual festival celebrating Canadian music, offers up-and-coming Toronto-based musicians an opportunity to share their music with perhaps not hard core music fans, but music lovers nonetheless. AMBY had the pleasure of interviewing several of the bands, KASHKA, Grounders, and The Thing Is, who are among those competing for $10,000 worth of prizes. The winners will be chosen on the harbourfront website, which viewers may enter to vote for their favourite band (www.harbourfront.com/soundclash).
Interview with KASHKA lead singer, Kat Burns
AMBY: I know you were in a band, Forest City Lovers, for about 6 years, but then it ended.
KASHKA: Yes. It’s sad, but it needed to happen. It was the only musical project I’ve done, from the beginning of when I started playing music, at 20, until… 6 years later! [Haha]
AMBY: Where did you come up with the name KASHKA?
KASHKA: It’s just my name in Polish.
AMBY: I was reading that the producer of the band is Leon Taheny…
KASHKA: Yes! It’s been a great experience working with him!
AMBY: Other than this [Soundclash] what has the band been up to lately?
KASHKA: Well, brief timeline: Last year I put out a record with my friend and wonderful producer, James Bunton. We co-wrote a bunch of songs and put them out, so it was sort of the foray into this solo project, which is coming up on a year now. Last year was mainly planning and figuring out what I wanted to do, then I recorded another record with Leon. We were playing it much more electronic at first, trying to figure out what worked live, and now I’m trying a bit more of a live band. It’s still electronic, but now I’m trying to take some of the electronic pieces and make them into the live bass-line, instead of the computer bass-line. It gives it more energy, but it’s difficult. Takes a little bit more in studio practice time.
AMBY: Do you prefer studio or live performances?
KASHAK: Studio is good for experimenting, but live is wonderful too. Once in a while there’s a moment that touches you and you can remember it forever, and I hope that on some level people are feeling something when they’re watching us live. I like that feeling of sending something out into the world and watching it bounce back. In the studio you can’t really tell.
AMBY: How would you describe your sound to people who are unfamiliar with it?
KASHKA: I would call it folkpoptronica.
AMBY: That’s what you said in an article in the Whitby This Week!
KASHKA: Yes, Will McGuirk of the Whitby This Week coined the term. I’m not into random sounds, I like a cohesive, memorable melody, like in pop, but I also like using organic instruments in the production of electronic music. It’s not quite folk, not quite pop, not quite electronic.
AMBY: Do you have any plans for touring coming up?
KASHKA: Yep, well the new record comes out in November, so when that happens.
AMBY: Who would you say are some of your influences?
KASHKA: I really love Dolly Parton, she’s a really good pop song writer. I don’t sound like her, but I just love that she produces awesome pop songs. I hope to one day write one of those songs.
AMBY: I’m sure you will!