Kula Shaker, Interview
Interview with Kula Shaker
On the week of the release of Kula Shaker's new record 'Pilgrim's Progress' we caught up with Bass player Alonza Bevan for a quick chat about their new album and what's install for 2010.
It's been a few years since the release of your last material, what have you been up to since the release of Strangefolk'?
It has been a few years, is time speeding up or are we just getting older? To answer your question, we've been playing the odd show here and there while writing and recording Pilgrim's Progress. Crispian and his wife have had a little boy, I've been wrestling with wood burners and defective chimneys, Paul has been obsessively practicing the drums and Hari has been busy being a genius. We have also continued our charity work, donating generously to accountants and lawyers.
I hear you've built a recording studio in Chimay, Belgium; has the whole band relocated to Belgium or is it just a place for you all to get away and concentrate on writing/recording?
I moved to Belgium about two years ago because Britain had become a fascist state. I live in a small village near Chimay surrounded by woods. With help from the band and friends we built and put together the studio in which we finally recorded Pilgrim's Progress. It's a lovely place to record but it gets bloody cold in the winter which was when we did the majority of the tracking. Must get the wood burner and chimney sorted for the next album!
Pilgrim's Progress' is released next week, tell me a bit about the musical advances you've made since Strangefolk.
I'm a bit too close to make any objective comment. This is the first album we've produced independently. I think the lack of outside influence, real or perceived, allowed us more freedom with the song writing and production. Hopefully the album sounds a little more free as a result.
'Peter Pan R.I.P.' is the lead single, do you think it's important to keep a childish sense of adventure in your life?
Absolutely!! Being grown up is just an act we all put on. We go through our lives pretending to be "mature adults" and it's only when you get to old age you realize how silly the whole thing is and can start acting like a child again.
Up until now, what would be one of the most defining moments of your career?
The moment Sting walked into our dressing room at the El Ray Los Angeles, pointed at me and said "bass player"
You're all obviously great musicians, tell me something you're not very good at!?
I'm not very good at finding my way. I bought one of those satellite navigation things and I still take the wrong turn. I get lost in the local town even though it's small and I've lived here for two years. I took a short walk back to the hotel from a Tokyo park the last time I was there, it ended up taking about four hours and ended in a long cab ride.
Which of your songs sums up your present mood and why?
Modern Blues from the new record. I've always enjoyed a good moan, less a miserable whine but more a celebration of complaint and non acceptance. The song is a fun rant about modern life, which is what I like to do most days.
Kula Shaker fans seem to be a loyal lot, at your last gig in Leeds, it seemed that fans were just as familiar with your new material as old. How do you think 'Pilgrim's Progress' will go down?
We are very lucky to have such loyal and perhaps mentally unstable fans. They have moved with us through our different directions in the past and I hope they will continue to do so on this new record.
Are you planning on touring the UK in 2010?
We're over the other side of the world for a lot of the summer so we are looking at touring the UK sometime in the early autumn.
If you could take any band on tour with you, who would it be?
I would like to take The Who circa 1965. The band was bursting with energy back then and the individual musicians were at the top of their game. I don't know how it would be if we had to share a tour bus, heavy tea drinking and barbiturate abuse might not mix...(we would be the ones drinking tea)
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