Hotel Great Northern | 8pm | Thursday, October 17 | $40.30
New Zealand’s Katchafire are bringing their pacific-roots reggae deliciousness back to Australia with their Fyah Up 2019 Tour. Katchafire have been spreading their love around the world for 21 years and celebrated that milestone with the release of their fifth studio album Legacy in mid 2018, which has spawned five celebrated singles: Fyah In The Trenches, 100, Love Today, Way Beyond and Addicted. Seven had a chat with lead singer Logan Bell as the band makes their way around the country…
Why does reggae have such close ties with people power and a more planet-focused approach to life?
Good question! Most likely since the founders of reggae, in Jamaica and the Rastafarian community, are not only First Nations indigenous peoples from Africa, so have built-in affinity with Mother Nature and the planet, but also, because of the slave trade they have genetic memories of the worst kind of mistreatment of humanity possible, reminding us all it is us the people who have the power to come together and save or kill ourselves, and our oppressors, and our planet, and we tend to spread that message in the music.
What are the origins of Reggae? How did that become your genre?
Reggae came to Aotearoa with Bob Marley and changed a lot of people’s lives then and there – I think because we could really FEEL what he was laying down, ‘who feels it knows it’. We started a reggae-covers band – our dad Grenville put it together – and then not long after, we started writing and performing originals, heavily influenced by reggae, and with our own touch of Maori flavours of course.
After 21 years, what has changed for you when it comes to creating albums and getting them on the road?
Wow, the whole industry has changed so much! Making albums, promoting them, releasing them, touring – technology is incredible hey! It’s nice to see vinyl is coming back strong; but it is also amazing how far and wide the sounds can reach digitally these days. Making albums is always a journey – finding the time is always an issue for us, but the passion is there.
What are the key themes or messages that you communicate in your music?
I think mainly we just try to be ourselves – authentic – so our messages change with what is going on in our lives, surroundings, and what we are feeling… we often write about Love (Aroha), and also about world issues, and ancestors and family.
Tell me a bit about the new album? Where did you record? What feel did you want for this album?
Legacy was a real adventure; it had been a while, and our manager was hassling hard for new material to buzz on, but being a pretty constant touring band made it really hard to block out serious time to make it happen. So we ended up doing bits and pieces of each song in different studios all over the world! Predominately Jamaica, NZ and LA, but also in Melbourne, Cairns, Byron, Sydney and a few other studios. We really wanted to show off some new feels, and also make sure to dish out some familiar vibes – so we mixed it up. Working with Jamaican producers and a few collaborators was a really choice experience.
What should we expect for your Byron show?
Thunder and lightning, brimstone and FYAH!
Get fired up at the Hotel Great Northern from 8pm on Thursday, 17 October.