TMF meets KAV

Remember the last time a band really impressed you? I mean, grabbed hold of you and held on tight until you cried mercy? Well, imagine my poor little heartstrings the moment KAV's blistering rock and roll filled the curlicued walls of the Brixton Academy. Crunchy guitar riffs, pounding drums, brooding bass, and KAV's snarling, brutal vocals. I was smitten. So, it seemed, was everyone else around me.

KAV may be a pretty formidable presence on stage, yet off it he is soft-spoken and sweet, generously chatting to a few of us after the show. So who is the man behind the dark sunglasses? Well sit up straight, KAV graciously accepted to speak with TMF, and here's what he had to say...

Hey, what are you up to today?

I’m just setting my new studio getting ready to practice with the band tomorrow!

You’re originally from Leicester - do you still make your home there?

I haven’t for around five years as I’ve been based between the States and the south of England. But I’m now building my new studio in Leicestershire so will be back there a lot more. I spend a lot of time in Leicester when I get the chance.

Tell us a bit about your new album.

Yeah, I started recording the album at The Fortress in London and then moved sessions to downtown Los Angeles to work with a guy called Josh Ostrander from a band called Eastern Conference Champions. We finished the album last summer and Stephen Marcussen who has worked with everyone from The Stones, Paul McCartney and Nirvana, did the final master at his studio in Hollywood.

It’s a dirty rock n’ roll album that’s been influenced by the journey; it’s a collection of stories that have been inspired by my surroundings and life experiences. I’d like to think it’s the kind of record that makes you want to get up and do something special.

I have my second single coming out in the next few weeks which is called 'King Of The World (The Undefeated Champion)' which is the follow up to 'Blaggers N’ Liars'. The album will be released early February 2013.

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How would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s sleazy filthy dirty garage rock n’ roll with a bluesy influence!

Who are your musical heroes?

The Stones, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, Small Faces, The Faces, Led Zepp, Bob Dylan, The Band, The Stooges, Stone Roses, Guns N’ Roses, Primal Scream, Oasis, Mondays/Blackgrape, The Beastie Boys, Charlatans, Space Monkeys, NWA, BRMC, Hendrix, Otis Redding, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, The La’s, Ananda Shanker Pink Floyd, Super Furry Animals , The Doors. You know I’m just pulling out names but these are the bands I first listened to, which then led me to discover lots of other brilliant music. This is how it started.

You recently opened for another Leicester band, some guys called Kasabian, at Brixton Academy. How did that come about?

Yeah, it was brilliant to support one of the biggest UK bands out there and be on a line-up with Band of Skulls as well.

I know the Kasabian boys from Leicester from when we were younger. I’ve mainly stayed in touch with Tom really, he’s a mate. He’s really supportive and loves the band and the songs. Plus, they are one of the biggest bands around and they’re not just going to put anyone on a line-up with them. The lead-up in August was fantastic. We headlined Club NME at KOKO and played the BT London Live Olympic gigs and then finished off the tour with the Kasabian gig. Loved every minute! Yeah it was brilliant to get the call.

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A lot of people are saying it’s a bad time for guitar bands. Do you agree? What do you think of the current musical climate?

To be honest I don’t agree - or care! I think it’s a great time, but I’m on the underground so I can see what’s happening where it really matters. People who say that are either out of touch, too cynical to discover something great or just rely on mainstream media to be fed what they think is good.

I was a rock n’ rolla the day I heard the sound of a guitar. I will always be a rock n rolla - it’s what I do, no matter whether its fashionable or not. Or even if it was about just success. I don’t care about the pop charts or pop bands. All I wanna do is play, and that’s what I’m doing. If I cared about that shit I would go on some TV talent show. I think that applies to any band worth their soul! The independent scene worldwide is buzzin' at the moment.

Are there any bands around at the moment that you are listening to?

I guess some of the bands I haven't mentioned before that I’m listening to in the car: The Kills, Jack White, BRMC always a fan, The Black Keys, The Black Angels and Brian Jonestown Massacre. I've been listening to the track 'Mary Ann' by The Horrible Crowes on repeat in the car for about two hours (they only play the hook/chorus once in the song and it's that good you have to keep on repeating it all the time). Also Band of Skulls and Kasabian. Love listening to stuff from DATAROCK to Eastern Conference Champions and I've recently been getting back into Nirvana and The Beastie Boys.

To be honest it's endless, I listen to so much music. But if I really get into something I can't stop playing it again and again. It's always a healthy mix of new and old!

What does the future hold for KAV?

A lot more touring and recording!


For more information, visit the KAV website.

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