Stockholm-via-Australia based trio Kate Boy have been making waves of late. Their propulsive sound has been receiving praise all over the world and with their debut One being released next month, the electronic outfit are gearing up for a major international tour.
Roar News spoke to Kate Boy about dancing, defiance and the sheer majesty of vinyl.
Your sound treads a unique line between murky, textural electronica and crowd-surging pop – how do you combine these two worlds when you’re creating your songs?
We feel these two worlds are not necessarily too far from each other. They can be, it’s always a matter of context. So many different genres inspire us to make our own music. But just between genres is where we feel inspired to be.
Many pop songs are written primarily on a traditional instrument, focusing on the melody and the chords. This is important but we feel the sound is equally important even at this early stage in the creating of a song. So we always try to work on all angles from the beginning.
As a group you originate from Stockholm, but individually your origins vary. How did you all meet? What would you say is the ‘place’ of your music, if it has one?
We met in Stockholm via a mutual friend when Kate was in town visiting for a few days. Shortly after forming the band Kate moved to Stockholm so we were all in the same place. All of our music has been made between Stockholm and Sydney, so perhaps it’s “place” would be somewhere in the middle?! So much of our album has been inspired by touring around the world and by the people we have met on that journey, so it feels like there is a little piece of inspiration taken from every city we’ve been to.
— Fiction Records (@FictionRecords) October 21, 2015
Your artwork is stunning. Who or where does that come from?
Thank you! The artwork for the album was done with an artist we love named Lee Griggs. We got a 3D scan of Kate’s head and he built this evolved version of KATE BOY out of it.
Your lyrics seem to have a kind of defiance running through them. Where do you think this comes from?
We started touring early and that allowed us to connect with our audience almost immediately, and we experienced the incredible feeling of singing whilst the crowd is singing along. So when it came to writing new material, we really felt inspired to have a deeper message in our songs, where it wasn’t just personal, it was about us all… something that we can all feel empowered singing together. Now that we think of it, the theme of connection is everywhere in our music, albeit subconscious .
Some elements of your music put me in mind of The Knife – are there any artists who are particularly strong influences for you?
Most of our influences are from artists back in late 70’s and early 80’s that pioneered genres that evolved out of the use of electronic instruments. The slate was clean back then, artists got a hold over instruments that no one really knew what they could offer, they just sounded completely unique and new – and from there some musicians went “lets explore something we don’t know”. That way of looking at creating music inspires us a lot.
Your songs make me want to dance. What is your ideal reaction from a crowd at one of your shows?
There is an amazing energy when the whole crowd is a dance floor, but we also understand that some people don’t need to move when they listen to music. As individuals when we are watching other bands/artists we love – we are sometimes dancing and sometimes standing still just enjoying the music. We want the crowd to do exactly how they feel when they are at our show, that is the best kind of audience!
‘Northern Lights’, for me, has a different feel to it from your other songs. How did it come about?
Northern Lights was the first song we ever wrote together. We actually wrote it the very first night we met. We were discussing the Northern Lights phenomena because it was Kate’s first time in Sweden, and we felt really inspired by the concept of finding something rare and special like the Northern Lights.
— KATE BOY (@KATEBOYofficial) October 6, 2015
I noticed that you’re signing copies of your debut LP ‘One’. Was it important to you to have your first full-length released on vinyl?
Having our album on vinyl is really a dream come true, there’s just something so special about vinyl. Since less people are buying music in physical forms nowadays, owning an album on vinyl is like having it as a piece of art. We all collect vinyl and hope that it never dies out!
How are you feeling about touring your first full-length album internationally?
We’re so excited to do this tour because everyone will now know the songs that we play. Usually the audience has only heard the few singles we’ve released, and the rest of the material is new… So it’s going to be cool to know that people now have heard the music before, and hopefully there’ll be more people who can sing the lyrics with us!
ONE is released 6th November via Fiction Records.
Kate Boy perform at Oslo, Hackney on Wednesday 2nd December. For additional tour dates go to kateboy.com