Kat Mahina chats with the Cassette Kids ahead of the release of their debut LP, Nothing on TV, and their anticipated stint on the Bacardi Express circuit, supporting La Roux!
Your debut album Nothing on TV is set for release in March this year. How’s the writing and recording process been and what can your fans expect from the finished product?
Being the first time we’ve had to go out and write and record a full-length album, we threw ourselves in, in a pretty full on way. We had writing sessions every day for about 6 months and wrote close to 30 brand new tracks on top of a few we were already playing in the set. It was an amazing experience, getting up everyday to create! We had a few sessions with other writers as well just to see how it would challenge the way we put songs together and to see what new perspectives we could get on our songs. Sitting in a studio with Paul Mac, or Mikey Defrancesco (Van She) really incited a desire to explore some more electronic sounds which have been layered on top of our traditional band set up. It’s a really fun, energetic album with a strong pop direction, but it also has its darker more intense moments as well. We hope our fans will have fun with it and want to come and see the action live.
What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything. Hearing another bands, good times, bad times, the desire to keep pushing forward and have something new and exciting to show people. My favourite part of the process is just finding a good melody and hearing everyone’s parts slot in together. It’s a good feeling when you’re all just jamming and something comes out off the mess. In terms of subject matter, I usually wait to see how the music makes me feel before I start trying to think of what the songs about.
You’ve been touring the country with the likes of Lily Allen and The Presets, with upcoming shows supporting Calvin Harris and Hockey – to name just a few. What have been some of your touring highlights thus far, and what are you looking forward to?
Playing the Hordern Pavilion with Lilly Allen was crazy. We’d been holed up in the studio recording everyday and then suddenly we had to step out on a stage in front of 6000 people. We’d never seen that many faces before and we hadn’t been outside in the real world for months so it was very surreal. We played songs that we’d never played before as well so it was probably one of the only times I’ve ever felt a bit nervous. This year is already looking really busy. We’re most looking forward to going to London in February, Texas in March for SXSW and BACARDI EXPRESS!
Extending on this, what are your favourite and most hated things about life on tour?
I hate wanting to eat shit food because I’m tired. I hate having to throw pillows in the middle of the night to shut up the snoring. I hate 18-hour drives to Adelaide and how fast my sound guy drives around corners. Apart from that everything else is splendid. If you’re on a good tour it’s the most fun you’ve ever had! We love meeting other bands and being able to watch them, we love getting a rider, and most of all we love playing shows to enthusiastic crowds!
Are you excited to be hopping aboard the BACARDI EXPRESS in March?
So excited. Our friends Lost Valentinos, Bluejuice and Van She did it last year and we were burning with envy! There is no other tour like it. Food, accom, bars, bands, big crowds. It’s everything a touring band could ask for!
Especially for those who haven’t seen you before, and will be attending the BACARDI EXPRESS, what can crowds expect from your live show?
It’s sweaty, energetic and big. We worked hard on the live show sounding huge so hopefully we can pop some eardrums and get people moving.
I went to the Bacardi Express in Melbourne last year and was bitterly disappointed that there was no beer at the bar – only Bacardi. What’s your favourite alcoholic beverage?
We usually do enjoy a few cold beers, but luckily I’ve become quite accustomed to Bacardi and dry with fresh lime.
The summer festival circuit is in full swing. What’s your favourite Aussie festival and do you have any standout memorable moments from your festival performing experiences, (and/or what/who are you looking forward to)?
Pyramid Rock was interesting because we played against gale force winds and it was about 40 degrees, and we still managed to pull good crowd! Later on a massive storm came and tore the main stage apart. It was a bit scary. My favourite festival would have to be Splendour. We are crossing our fingers to be able to play it this year! Most looking forward to SXSW in Texas because we’ve recently got a bit of US interest and we really want to bring it and create some more opportunities for the band.
Who’s the best live band you’ve seen lately? (and/or who are you listening to at the moment?)
I saw Animal Collective at the Enmore recently and had to re-evaluate my whole perspective on the live performance. The show was unbelievable, sound, lighting, performance, everything about it was very unique. At the moment I’m listening to The XX, Friendly Fires, Grizzly Bear, Girls and Simian Mobile Disco.
And finally, as we enter into the New Year, what do you hope 2010 will hold for Cassette Kids?
A lot of touring, adventures overseas, some great festivals, and widespread enjoyment of our first album!
Thanks for your time guys!
Don’t miss Cassette Kids on board the BACARDI EXPRESS – travelling from Brisbane to Sydney via Coffs Harbour and Newcastle taking place on March 25th-27th. Check out www.bacardiexpress.com.au
for more details.