No one is a ‘casual’ fan of Kula Bay. From their summer anthem ‘Summertime’, to their latest single ‘Make Up Your Mind’, the Warrington-based four piece have certainly caught our attention. Since having formed in 2017, the lads (David- guitar and vocals; Max – bass; Oli – drums, and Matt – rhythm guitar) have gone from strength to strength, having recently having performed at Manchester’s newest and most buzzing venue, Night People in Manchester and once again at in their hometown at The Lounge.
The band will be headlining the final Friday at [WAM] Festival in March. Get your tickets here.
After having only met them for five minutes, I was instantly comfortable. When speaking to musicians, it’s hard sometimes to remember that they are in fact, people, but it can most definitely be remembered when interviewing four normal 20-somethings, making music, doing something they enjoy, and only by accident becoming one of Warrington’s best and biggest new bands on the scene.
“It’s hard being a rock ‘n’ roll star,” Matt laughs whilst they all find somewhere to sit.
What’s the best thing about working with each other?
“David and I have started reading each others minds,” quips Max, whilst giving no other context to the statement. “Like, we feed off each other, some bands are always at each other’s throats, and need to take time away,”
Matt: I don’t think we’ve ever had a disagreement, have we?
Max: It’s relaxed, it’s never a task, especially when rehearsing.
Where’s the best place you’ve ever played?
Oli: Deaf Institute, for sure.
Matt: Wharf Chambers in Leeds.
David: Yeah, definitely Wharf Chambers.
Max: A small community centre in Hilden. Basically, a German YMCA.
In an age where indie as a genre is dying, what’s the most difficult thing about being in an indie band?
David: We started as an indie rock band, but now we’re more pop, I guess.
Max: Yeah, it’s about trying to experiment with different things.
Matt: We’ve said it ourselves from the beginning, that we just don’t take ourselves seriously.
Max: The biggest problem with being an indie band in this day and age is that most indie bands take themselves very seriously. They’ll wear dead tight jeans and say things like ‘this is what we want on our rider,’ and ‘did you know I’m in a band?’.
That being said, we’d be down for matching outfits.
Matt: Can we do boiler suits one day?
Max: Definitely. This doesn’t really answer your question. We’re just here to tell you, ‘pull your head out of your arse and have a little dance.’
So how are you trying to be different to the million indie bands out there telling their fans to do the same thing?
Max: I don’t think we are that different. If there are that many indie bands out there, all we can do is just have fun with it and be happy with that.
Matt: And not expect to become famous overnight.
Max: I’m not saying we’re gonna just ‘be ourselves,’ because that sounds cliche.David: We don’t have to try that hard to look different. Like if someone came to see us and they’d never seen us, they’d leave thinking about my blonde wig.
Max: Rather than ‘that guy with the skinny jeans’.
Oli: Will you stop please? This is the second time you’ve ragged on my skinny jeans-
Max: I’ve got nothing against skinny jeans, I just like the freedom of baggy pants.
Matt: As long as people listen to your music and think it’s good enough to see you live, then when they do come and see you, you put on a show they’ll remember, that’s enough.
David: When we started I’d never been frontman before, so our shows were quite boring, then I realised people are paying to watch a show.
Max: It’s a service. If you want to get big playing live music for yourself, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
David: I try and write songs that people will want to listen to.
Max: Yeah, why not try and write something with a bit of longevity?
What have you been listening to recently?
David: Loads of Talking Heads. And Mac Demarco.
Max: My phones been broken so-
Matt: He’s just been singing to himself.
Max: Just the stuff they play in work really. Cardi B, stuff like that. And Erykah Badu.
Matt: I’ve had Memphis Tennessee stuck in my head all day, does that count?
If, in the words of Kendall Jenner, 2018 is the year of, like, realising stuff, what will 2019 bring for Kula Bay?
Matt: Taking down Kendall Jenner.
David: Just proving that we aren’t messing about. We mean bizzo.
Matt: In the past, it’s been about just getting music out, but now we’ll be going heavy on the production value.
David: Although we’ve not got all the support behind us, we have matured from being a DIY band to being… a mature DIY band.
If someone were to compare you to a band, which band would you want it to be and why?
Matt: If someone told me we sounded like Spilt, I’d be happy with that.
David: Probably Blossoms, or The 1975; like if someone compared us to them, don’t get me wrong I’d be well happy, but I don’t know how they’d get to that.
Max: Some things are always going to sound like something else, so as long as it’s something that we know we enjoy, then we’re doing the right thing.
David: It’s all within the genre.
Max: Yeah, if someone said we sounded like Miles Davis, I’d be like ‘cheers,’ but also, ‘what planet are you on?’
David: We used to get Vampire Weekend. I mean, if we could go on tour with Vampire Weekend I’d be fine with that.
2019: the year Kula Bay tour with Miles Davis? Probably not.
One thing is for certain, and that is that Kula Bay are definitely one to watch out for in the coming year. The boys will be playing at [WAM] Festival, at The Auction Rooms (Legh Street) Warrington, on the 22nd March, alongside The Winachi Tribe, Tea Street band and Man and the Echo. Tickets are on sale now
– Adrien Astre
Enjoyed the interview, read all about the bands first 18 months in their own works via the brand new [WAM] Magazine launched this month. Check out the magazine online here
Want a physical copy of the magazine send to your door? Just pay postage