the AU interview: Anthony Forrest of Kingfisha (Brisbane)

Brisbane’s reggae outfit Kingfisha, are half way through an eleven date "Digging for Fire" single tour. And have been touring like demons on the back of their debut self titled LP, the success of which, prompting comparisons to roots legends Fat Freddy’s Drop, and The Black Seeds. I caught up with front man Anthony Forrest to talk about the recent successes and what’s on the horizon for the sunshine state’s dub/reggae kings.

G’day Anthony, how’s the tour going, where are you now and how have the crowds been?

The tour's been awesome. Great crowds and they've been really responsive, it has definitely been our best tour to date. We're back in Brisbane during the week, just flying in and out on the weekends for shows.

You guys have been on the road for what seems like forever, any highlights?

This whole tour has been incredible. The first show of the tour was Womadelaide, and that was nuts, we thought it would be hard to beat, but each gig keeps on delivering. We're having a great time at the moment.

You won the unearthed roots comp in 2010, how important was that to the success you’re enjoying right now?

It was awesome to build a relationship with triple J, especially as an independent reggae band in Australia, they've been ultra supportive of us.
We also got to play in front of festival promoters and booking agents, so it was a massive leg up.

How did Kingfisha come about?

The guitarist, bass player and I were playing in a band previous to Kingfisha, when that disbanded we decided to concentrate on playing reggae. We started as a studio project, always with a plan to have a band once we had the tunes.

Brisbane has produced an amazingly eclectic bunch of bands in recent years. Is there something in the water?

There is a great scene up here. Everyone’s really supportive of each other and a lot of cats play in numerous bands together. I love how Brisbane bands have their own sound - not mega-polished but very unique.

Your debut LP is an instant classic, how was the process, and working with producer Pauli B (Beautiful Girls, George)?

We actually tried a few times to produce the album within the band, but it didn't come together, but served well for pre-production. It was great having Pauli on board. An awesome guy with great ideas and a love of music.

The LP is dub heavy, but still remains quintessentially a roots-reggae record, any plans to add a live horn section to future shows or recordings?

Not at the moment, we're happy with where we're going with our sound, we're enjoying working with our synths and samplers for now, and for touring it would increase costs, but who knows?

What does the next year hold for Kingfisha? New record? Tours?

After our Australian tour we are going to Reunion Island (off the coast of Africa), for a couple of shows, and then a 3 month break. I'm travelling to Europe with my family and hoping to work on some new tunes while I'm away. I'd say we'll do another tour toward the end of the year and start pre-production for the next album!


Be sure to catch the fellas as they wrap up their "Digging for Fire" tour on these dates:

Friday 26th–Sunday 28th April-Apollo Bay Music Festival, Apollo Bay
Sunday 5th May-Wide Open Spaces Festival, Alice Springs
Saturday 11th May-Great Northern, Byron Bay