Kodiak Jack talk new ep Scars

Rockgig recently caught up with Kodiak Jack to talk about their new ep Scars (rave review to follow shortly).

Rockgig Your new 4 track ep Scars is out on August the 10th on Angry Badger Records and I have heard it and it is fantastic (heavy riffs with huge choruses) how excited are you to be getting new material out?

KJ This has been a long time coming and something we have been wanting to get out there for some time. We are really proud of the tracks and it’s only a sample of what’s to come next. Some songs have become regulars in our sets, but others are brand new to everyone and hopefully they will become firm favourites too.

Rockgig Why an ep is it the taster for a new full length album?

KJ Well that’s the plan. We have other material that we have kept back, but we are writing such good songs at the moment, we wanted to keep people happy and get some of the tracks out there and bridge the gap until the next recording.

Rockgig Any songs left over from the Alhambra recordings?

KJ Not really. That was quite a conclusive point for us. The experience of being there and working with such a Legend as Brian Wheat from Tesla, and the process of growing as a band, kind of meant we needed to move forward and push ourselves. Both as musicians but also as a band, song writing wise. We learnt a lot in that process, so kind of drew a line in the sand and haven’t looked back since, song wise.

Rockgig Did you have all the songs ready to go before you entered the studio?

KJ Yes, this time we were probably the most prepared we have been. There was still a lot of discussion and ideas that came up, as it is in any studio situation. It’s a really creative environment and each member gets to hear clearly what the others do and how this builds into a body of work. You can’t go in there too precious of material though. There were certain songs that sounded so much better than we hoped, so that threw us. But in a good way. 

Rockgig Do you demo the songs before entering the studio?

KJ Absolutely. It allows us and our management to reflect in an informal way and listen back before making any decisions. It’s also a really helpful process in terms of deadlines and seeing how it transfers from a live sound to a recording. 

Rockgig Do you write together or separately?

KJ It’s a bit of both. Generally we come up with ideas individually and bring them to the band. Some songs can happen in 10 minutes and almost are fully written musically. Others can sit on the side for a year until something clicks. But each of us inputs into the process, which always seems to work for us.

Rockgig How long did it take to record?

KJ It was pretty quick to be honest. We have had quite a lot of experience of recording and we were well prepared this time. The whole EP including Mixing was done in about 5 days. LONG days, but really good too. 

Rockgig Who produced the new ep and will you be working with Brian Wheat of Tesla again?

KJ The EP was a mixture between the band and Aubitt Studios. Jon from the band led the production from our side as he/we had a clear idea of where we wanted to go. I think the band would love to work with Brian again. Brian has been a great friend to the band and helped us get where we are. His experience, knowledge of the band and the genre are invaluable to a band like us, so we would only jump at the chance if everything was right. 

Rockgig Where did you record the new ep?

KJ We recorded at Aubitt Studios with Rob Aubrey and Joe Lewis Brown. They have worked with artists such as Dragonforce, Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Steve Howe (YES). It was a joy and such a relaxed environment.  

Rockgig After all of the critical acclaim for your last album Alhambra did you feel under any more pressure when writing the follow up?

KJ To be honest, by the time we were thinking of our next recording, we already had a substantial group of songs in the bag, so we weren’t worried about quality of material as such. But I guess with any album or release, where you have received praise, you are always going to wonder if people will like the new material as much. But we are 100% confident it’s the right direction for us, that hardened KJ fans will like it and it also will hopefully reach others that we haven’t got to yet!

Rockgig Can you tell us what any of the new songs are about?

KJ Just like any KJ release, it’s a mixture of experience, opinions and commentary on what’s going on for the band or individuals. Bryn is the main lyricist, so a direction of subject matter often comes from him. Some of the songs are about negative experiences in life and coming through stronger, others are more about commenting on things that the band feel are important. We quite like everyone to have their own understanding of the songs and whilst each one tells a story, it hopefully can be a story that’s the listeners own version, if they feel they can relate to it.

Rockgig You played Scars on the last tour and it fitted into the set perfectly do you think you have now found your niche sound wise?

KJ Absolutely. SCARS was always our stand out song and something that came naturally to the band. I think coming back from America, we started to approach things in a more professional, mature and structured way. We learnt a lot from that period about the industry and ourselves and hopefully that has allowed us to move into the direction we want to go into.  

Rockgig You recently played the Isle Of Wight Festival how did that go?

KJ It was great. Such a great experience and a fantastic festival. We were really welcomed there and played to a really vocal and appreciative crowd, which was amazing as we were up against the Prodigy at that time. But we had a great time and even got time to enjoy a few drinks and watch Billy Idol too. Those guys can play!

Rockgig What does the rest of 2015 hold for Kodiak Jack?

KJ Well it’s about getting us and the EP out there. Gigs, tours and promotion. Videos are coming for two of our singles and whilst continuing to work on new material as well. Hopefully some good sized tours and some support acts too. But we have a busy summer, with a headline slot at Victorious Festival in our home town. That will be amazing, going up against the Flaming Lips and some other amazing bands. But it’s been a fantastic year so far and hopefully we can carry that onwards.

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