The Karma Heart – Interview

Thursday 30th September 2010

Jenn Cherene – Vocals
Graham Haswell – Guitar
Lee Tuck – Bass Guitar
Phil The Beat – Drums

Where did you all meet and how long has the band been together?

It’s been a band of many changes and rebirths, and all have been for the better! Although some of us have been playing together in this band for over 5 years, our newest edition was drummer, Phil Bell, in October 2009.

Myself and Graham met at college when we were 17/18 years old. We knew Lee and Phil from other band’s we had been to see or were already friends with. Like I said, the band has changed it’s line-up a few times, but it’s like it was all meant to be. Like magnetism, the four members of The Karma Heart are completely dedicated to what we hope to achieve and to each other. It just took a while to finally find that line-up and group of friends.

Why did you decide to change the band name from Remedy to The Karma Heart?

We decided to go for a name change when Phil joined. It signaled a new beginning for us; our attitudes changed, our resolve became stronger and we found ourselves venturing into a new sound that was less classic rock and more suited to our generation. It just felt more like ‘us’. The name ‘Remedy’ no longer suited what we felt was practically a new band, with a fresh outlook and a load of new material.

Another deciding factor for us was try searching ‘Remedy’ in Google and see how many different things come up!? There’s also about 1000 possible options for the search on MySpace, and we were just worried about how many people might look for us and never find us. We understand you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for fans to find you and listen to your music; otherwise you’ll just lose them.

You say the band was formed out of shared disappointment for the disposable attitude that is developing in the music scene. Why is it that you think that attitude to music has come around?

Aha, your picking this up from our old Remedy bio – our attitudes have changed slightly since then, but I think we still feel there is a ‘disposable’ view towards music these days. People are just spoilt for choice; there are so many bands around these days, and not all deserve to be where they are. The market is saturated and it only seems to be those backed by the big Record Labels or who have millions of pounds in investment behind them who are getting the limelight. Week in, week out, there’s a new flavour, a new next-big-thing, and it’s just too much. Listeners don’t have time to digest one band and decide if they want to be a loyal fan, before another is thrown in their face and they forget the first one.

I don’t know who’s to blame, the industry, the economy, possibly even the listeners themselves for being to much like ‘consumers’ and not music fans. But I guess that’s just what you see on TV, in magazines, there are those dedicated to their favourite bands and those that just love music or seeing them play live – those are the people we’re trying to reach out to – it’s their judgments that count to us.

What is it about the bands style of music that you feel will bring back that ‘timeless rock song’?

Again, that was when we had a more ‘classic rock’ vain to our material, but I suppose there are bands like the Foo Fighters, whose songs will be played on the radio for years to come. It’s about what I mentioned before, a song isn’t given the chance to become a timeless hit these days; you’ve got one week to make your single top of the charts and then your out!

Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones; their songs are still being played on the radio, whose singles in the Top40 today will still be in the playlists in a decade? We just want to see if this ‘timeless’ formula still exists or can be created again?

We understand the importance of self-advertisement in the music industry because there aren’t huge amounts of money being thrown at you. Tell us what it was like organising your own headlining tour back in 2009?

It was hectic! It was all touch and go all the time; Are we booked/aren’t we? Will we get paid/won’t we? Will anyone show up? Haha! But it was such an achievement to say we’d done it ourselves. And being on the road for 10days together was such a laugh, we just wanted to keep going. It’s a major test for a band; going out of the comfort zone of your home town, living together, surviving on the road.

We proved to ourselves we could do it and it just made us more determined to keep going and to keep raising the bar every time.

We see you’ve had a lot of good reactions from the press. Have you had any airplay or mentions on mainstream radio yet, and how difficult do you feel it is for a new band to get that airplay?

We received a lot of regional airplay and a few interviews, but nothing on any of the majors i.e. BBC. We did get a lot of good magazine press for ‘Remedy’ and we’re hoping to do the same again with the new Karma Heart album. We do have an advantage that I work for a press office so I have a lot of media contacts, but anyone can open a magazine and somewhere in the pages it will say ‘Reviews Editor – Joe Bloggs’ and will give you his email. It’s not hard to find people’s names/addresses and send material in.

Problem is you can’t make people play your track or give you good reviews, it’s still down to those individuals to give you that chance.

If you could open up for any music act, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Ooo the band could have a conference about this all day!! There would be loads of dream contenders; Foo Fighters, Flyleaf, Paramore, No Doubt, Biffy Clyro, and then you’ve got the deceased collaborations with Jim Morrison and Dime Bag Darrell, but I know we’d all compromise and agree to go with ‘Incubus’. They’re a big influence, individually, and on our overall sound, we’d love to open a stage for them!