No sooner do I relax my self-imposed rule on featuring non-Scottish bands than I receive an email from Sweden's Kate & After. Aside from having a great debut EP to plug, what they proposed was something I simply couldn't refuse... a K&A with K&A!
A quick word about their brilliant Things To Do EP first though. The opening track, and lead-single Me, Myself and I, is a great pop romp, sounding like Come On Gang! fronted by Marc Bolan. Then comes the Franz-esque The Pretender with its edgy riffs and cracking singalong chorus. The best is saved for last though, with my personal favourite, Lost and Found. It's a perfect pop song, but what else would you expect from a bunch of Swedes?!
Here's what the band had to say when the historic 'double K&A' got underway....
Kowalskiy: Who are Kate & After?
Kate & After: Kate & After is a five man indiepop/rock band from Gothenburg, the cradle of popular music in Sweden. Based on consciousness, passion and love to the music and life we aim to create a unique experience for all involved. Kate & After is a band looking to the horizon with their hearts on their sleeves and with visions beyond beliefs.
Kowalskiy: How did the band get together?
Kate & After: Carl and Jonas started the band in 2008. After founding the band they brought in the drummer, Jocke, who they played with in their previous band The Milestone Corporation. In the fall of the same year, Magnus and Kristoffer joined the band. All of the guys knew each other in one way or another from University.
Kowalskiy: How would you describe your music?
Kate & After: The Kate & After sound is vigorous, dynamic and filled with twists and turns; the diversity of Hammond B3 riffs and catchy guitar tunes complement each other into passionate indie pop. When live, as an audience, you will experience something extraordinary. The aim is to get the crowd to go home with a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts not knowing what just struck them.
Kowalskiy: Your debut EP Things To Do is out now on your website for FREE! What's the story behind the EP?
Kate & After: The EP is a step on the way to bigger and better things for Kate & After. We felt it was time to take the next step and went into one of the best studios in Sweden, Music-a-Matic, and worked with an experienced producer, Henryk Lipp who has produced bands such as Millencolin, Håkan Hellström and Thåström. The songs are together homogenous, yet reaches over several genres of music. Indie, Pop, Rock and Disco for example.
Kowalskiy: What's been the reaction to it over in Sweden?
Kate & After: The EP has been well received, even though the format of an EP might not be the best way to reach out. Several radio stations have started to play the EP and a few of them has put us up on the daily rotation list. Furthermore the music blogosphere has picked it up resulting in encouraging reviews, giving the band some extra attention and support.
Kowalskiy: Are there plans afoot to visit and gig in Scotland?
Kate & After: Not in the near future, however, we are discussing a European mini tour. How and where that tour will be carried out is not decided yet though. What we can assure you is that once we get to Scotland, we will give you an experience to remember. We promise to keep you informed. We have gotten a few nice reviews from Scotland and if we keep on getting that kind of feedback, there won’t be anything keeping us away.
Kowalskiy: What would be your ideal gig?
Kate & After: It would be nice to go to Glastonbury to play. Great crowd, great band and a great party. I’m pretty sure that we would bring our tents and stay among the crowd, partying throughout the entire festival. Otherwise we do really enjoy the intimacy of a club gig, so honestly we really enjoy our gigs at the time.
Kowalskiy: Are there any up-and-coming Swedish bands we should look out for?
Kate & After: There are a few that immediately pops up. Johnossi, Carl Norén and Royal Republic are all being played frequently on Swedish radio now. On a personal note I would like to mention Kid Galahad, Swedish for Beginners and The Breachers which are all smaller bands but with great songs and lots of talent and potential.
Kowalskiy: Over here, if someone was to say Swedish music, we'd immediately think pop music or death metal (maybe that's Finland though). What's the music scene really like in Sweden, and how do Swedes perceive Scottish music?
Kate & After: I think you are correct when mentioning pop and death metal, cause they are the two main exports from Sweden. However, Sweden is a versatile music country. For all of you who long for something else out of Sweden I would like you to listen to Hoffmaestro & Chraa or Sounds of Violence. Two brilliant examples of that Swedish music have much more to it. I do believe that when mentioning Scottish music people in Sweden (at least the ones into popular culture) will think of aware and honest pop. There is often a truthfulness to the Scottish pop scene, that’s at least how I percept it.
Kowalskiy: What Scottish bands are you listening to just now?
Kate & After: Glasvegas and Franz Ferdinand might be the most listened to at the time but there are a few other Scottish favorites amongst us as well. Teenage Fanclub, Travis, Primal Scream, Belle & Sebastian to mention a few.
Kowalskiy: Lastly, what can we expect from Kate & After in the future?
Kate & After: At the moment we are in an intense song writing phase, and we will record our first album next year. We will continue to develop the unique Kate & After-sound and do our outmost to spread it around the world. That’s the most imminent plans, in a further perspective we hope to be around for long to bring people energy, happiness, laughter, tears and most of all….brilliant music.
Their debut Things To Do EP is out now as a free download from their website, along with their debut single Snow Angel. Just click the cover art above! With no UK dates announced yet, I'll not bother with the usual 'Upcoming Gigs' spiel. However, Swedish readers (if any?? Come say hi!) can see them this Wednesday at Sticky Fingers in their hometown Göteborg.