TMF meets ahab
Hot off the back of their extensive tour with vintage British folksters Bellowhead, ahab have proven themselves an exciting and wholly earnest stage presence. Combining classic folk instrumentation and hook-laden four-part vocal harmonies, ahab (no capitals) are a young, dedicated Hackney collective on a soaring trajectory to the top. KMVT, their latest critically acclaimed EP is out now, produced by the legendary John Leckie. Guitarist/co-vocalist Callum Adamson took the time after a show in Falmouth, Cornwall to appease our inquisitive love of new music...
How did you land on tour with Bellowhead - was it a shared label decision?
I think it came about because Bellowhead on their previous tours felt that they needed a support band that was as lively as them so that they could hit the stage with an audience that was already g'd up.
During the recording of KMVT, what were the band's major song writing influences?
During KMVT I guess we were actually just getting our live set down onto wax. It is a selection of songs that had brought us to that point in time and it was important to get those out there for people to own. So I guess what we were listening to didn't have a huge impact on that record; what had the most impact was the crowd reaction when we played those songs, so we were definitely recording it for the people that have supported us so far and allowed us to keep playing.
Following this tour with Bellowhead, will you be taking a break from touring?
We will be taking December and January to finish writing and demo'ing the album and will then be touring again in February before going out to Australia to tour in March.
When can fans expect the debut LP - how far into the writing process are you?
We're pretty much ready to start playing a lot of the new tracks live. We have April scheduled in to record it with a release later that summer in mind.
What was it like to work with John Leckie during the recording of KMVT?
It was awesome - he's one of the few people in the industry that can be genuinely called a legend. The records he's delivered and the bands he has worked with speak for themselves. We were nervous as he was the first producer we ever worked with, but it turned out to be a great session where most of the tracks were done in one take. We really learned a lot from John during those sessions.
Any stories you can tell us about your time with him?
Yeah, there was a great night on the third to last day where we were done recording for the day and we were listening back and having a few drinks and stuff. John put on the demo versions of an album that Seebs (Ahab bandmate) and I absolutely love, and we just turned to each other and started grinning like 5 year olds on Christmas morning ..... Oh, there was also this fish incident, which I'll save for later!
What act would you ideally wish to tour with in the future?
Personally, I'd love to tour with The Avett Brothers. They played after us at Tonder festival in Denmark and their set really is amazing.
How did you all meet each other?
By hanging out in bars in Hackney.
During recording, is there a dominant character in the band that has creative control or is it a mutually collective process?
It's really a collective process. You can see it in the live show. There really is no central figure in the band, which I think is what makes us such a good band.
What was your favourite release of 2011?
Bon Iver. No contest really.