Interview: Kartica

Published on June 19th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Emergent Sheffield rockers Kartica have recently supported The Twang, The South (formerly The Beautiful South) and The Complete Stone Roses, so Rocksucker fired over some questions to the band’s front man Matthew Hook to find out a little more about the operation…

How long have you been writing, performing and recording music for? 

We’ve been putting songs together since we formed in about May 2008, and performing it since August of that year.

How would you describe your music, if pushed? 

Well it’s stomping guitar driven anthemic indie rock. It’s everyman music at its best! The main thing for us has always been the melody. Our influences are pretty obvious: it’s the glory days sound of Oasis, the later years sound of The Verve and a whole host of mainly ’90s indie bands thrown in. There’s just a certain feel in the music from the sound, the tempo and the delivery etc where you just get that’s it part of that, that you belong in that plethora. You get that same sense these days with bands like The Courteeners, The Enemy etc. I think their fans when they hear us will feel that affinity.

Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?

We are based in Sheffield and record usually at 2Fly Studios in the city, a place where the Arctic Monkeys recorded their famous first album demos. Dave Sanderson who records us has always done a sterling job and through repeat recording really seems to be on our wavelength when it comes to what we want. Aside from that we’ve also recorded some tracks at the Animal Farm studios in London which was a great experience.

Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention? 

No we’re not signed to a label. At first when you form a band you put yourself on this all encompassing quest to get signed, as if that’s the sign that “you’ve made it.” It’s often the first question people ask, as if it’s proof to them that you’re a ‘proper’ band. However the longer we go on, the more I realise there’s a lot more to it than that and the less concerned i am about getting signed up anytime soon. I’ve heard time and time again stories of bands who’ve been given a seemingly great opportunity only to implode six months or so later.

Obviously long-term we’d want to be signed but we’d only be happy if the label behind proved they were desperate to have us, were 100% behind us and gave us a fair crack of the whip. So there’s plenty of time to get ourselves in a much stronger position for if anything like that came along.

Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like!)

There’s no plans for an album yet. We waited nearly four years to put out a single, making sure we had enough experience and it was accomplished enough to put out there! There’s no rush for an album, our profile is not high enough yet. The time has got to be right. The plan is to release a couple or more singles throughout the rest of the year and try to continue raising our profile with them.

Where can we hear your music online?

Well you can buy our debut single “Don’t You Think So?” plus B-Sides on iTunes, Amazon and a host of other online shops. Aside from that you can catch videos on Youtube

Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far? 

Well as far as moments, for me recording is always a great time cos you just chill and enjoy the process of gradually bringing a song to life. I love that moment when it starts to come together as a mix and you get that first feeling for what it’s gonna sound like. Aside from that we’ve had some great gigs including supports slots with bands like The Twang, The Beautiful South, All The Young, Jon Windle and The Complete Stone Roses. But to be fair our best gigs have probably been some of our own headline gigs. Two in particular come to mind: The Shakespeare gig in Sheffield in April, where it was a small and intimate setting, but sold out and a great atmosphere. The other was playing the O2 Academy in Sheffield last year. There were over 400 in attendance and the atmosphere was unbelievable. It really felt like a breakthrough for us, that gig, due to the reaction and reception from the crowd.

Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…) 

Well we’ve just finished a run at the minute of a good number of gigs, so it’s a little break for the ‘summer holidays’ and the next gig will probably be at Tramlines Festival in Sheffield where we’re doing a few spots over the weekend. After that, we’ll look to be playing across the north/midlands and look to do a big Sheffield gig nearer the end of the year.

Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to? 

There’s a number of good bands we’ve come across locally. Ones to look out for from Sheffield are amongst others are Section 60, The Velotones & The Wicca.

Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose? 

Oasis to keep my spirits up, Ocean Colour Scene for a lot of the more sanguine moments, The Beatles for the variety and quality of songs, MGMT for when I’m losing my sanity, and The Smiths for when I’m trying to regain it!

Kartica, thank you.

For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit www.karticamusic.co.uk


About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.

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