The four-piece are the forerunners of the new generation of bands in Hastings, a scene previously dominated by Rock, metal and grunge bands like Cage Theory, Regular John and Dr Fonda. This new injection of music brings the town’s music scene up to date. Of course the bands that were there before are still drawing in the crowds of faithful fans but it’s impossible to ignore all this serge of young musicians doing the rounds in our live venues.
Following the recent announcement that Bass player Harrison Caruana was leaving the band, I met up with the remaining members of Kid Kapichi, George, Ben, and Jack who introduced me to a new face, bass player Eddie. Here’s what I learned;
Their success so far is all down to Ben’s third nipple, and extra trouser baggage. (This may or may not be true, I didn’t ask for proof). They swear a lot, talk a lot, George loses his thought process very quickly, which is why he’s the drummer I guess, and they are all very comfortable playing with each other. Their words, not mine!
But I guess most of you want to know actual band stuff so, in between the “MUST NOT BE PRINTED BITS”, they talked about their love for Hastings live music, saying goodbye to Bass player Harrison and how excited they are for the summer.
When Harrison left the band it was all on good terms, the band have a lot of love for him, as they explained; “It’s one of those things where style and taste develop but not always in the same way for everyone. We didn’t want to keep asking Harrison to play music that wasn’t to his taste. If you are doing this seriously, then as a band we all need to be on the same page, it doesn’t mean that anyone was on the wrong page, but realistically musical differences happen. It’s important to enjoy it, and it was clear that Harrison wasn’t enjoying it anymore. We’ve maintained our friendship and we love the guy, he’s an amazing musician and a really decent guy.”
So over to Eddie then, the new bass player who told me he has known George for years and has played with him in other bands, since the age of 12. This new line up came about after Eddie’s previous group played with Kid Kapichi, Eddie knew that his musical style matched and he was ready for a change when he found out about Harrison’s exit. Having already become friends with the rest of the band it became the obvious choice to all, especially as the band had so many things lined up for the summer, they couldn’t afford to leave too much time before bringing a new member on board.
So does having Eddie on board mean there have been some changes to their sound and new material? “The first time Eddie turned up for practise we ended up writing a song together. It’s really nice that we all get to listen to each other’s ideas from the bare bones. We’ve only recently found our sound as a band after three years. But we know that we all understand how it’s going to sound at the end, it’s great to have that chemistry. We could tell straight away that we would all be able to write together.”
All four of them were very excited for their upcoming gigs and new releases in the summer; “We are working towards a re-launch, with new merchandise, a new EP, even a new logo. For the first time, we are going to have songs available for download from our new website, we’ve got a month to work on it all before the EP launch” (which will be at legendary venue The Hope, Brighton on 26th June). “Then we have a really busy summer with Battles Big Weekend, The Beer Festival and The Beach Party. If we really want to get somewhere, we know we have to work hard, and be strategic with where we play gigs. But we still want to play gigs locally, like at The Union Bar, because we love playing there. Paul is like the father figure to most of the local bands, he has created a hub for Hastings live music and really believes in all the bands that play there. It’s been an integral part of our band, without him we wouldn’t have known where to start.
Having all grown up in Hastings (I say that, but they are still all in the ‘drinking beer for breakfast stage’ and clearly not as desperate for coffee as I was) I wanted to know what it is about Hastings that they felt, created such a high concentration of bands in such a small town? “Hastings has always been a great place, especially for music. But for the past ten years people have been really harsh about it for whatever reason. In the past three years or so I think people have had enough of the negativity and have come forward to be more like, ‘no we are good and we are doing this’. And that was the same for us, we wanted to change that”. The band formed whilst in college, Jack, Ben and George and Harrison at the time got together and did a covers gig just for fun. Like a lot of bands in Hastings they just like to play music and have always been surrounded by it. “After the first gig we got together and wrote a song and realised that actually, we could do it. That made us want to do more gigs but we didn’t want to wait, so we did gigs with seven or eight covers and then played a few of our songs too, and slowly we started to do less covers and just played our own stuff, and people seemed to like it."
So it was playing covers that led to you wanting to do your own thing? Was it easy to decide what roles you all took in the band and how did that help prepare for the gigs you do now? “It’s a great way to develop your music taste, your stage presence, and your confidence playing live. It also made it easier to identify our roles, but we never played covers to get the crowd in, we played covers because we wanted to, and couldn’t exactly do a gig with just three songs. Now we all have an equal amount of input when it comes to writing the songs and we treat it like a full time job, song writing and practising has to be our focus and we have to put in the hours.”
So after three years what’s the big picture for the future? “A lot of people think that the main focus for an unsigned band is to get signed, but that really isn’t the case for us. With the way things are now in the industry you have to be able to manage yourselves, getting good management is important, but you have to be able to do a lot of it for yourself. Creating a good fan base, and promoting the band is down to us because there is no money for anybody else to do that. It’s important to know who you are and what you want, so that when things do start to happen you are prepared. So we are working on that and who knows what will happen.”