Kodiak Jack interview

Rockgig recently were lucky enough to catch UK 5 piece Kodiak Jack supporting Tesla on their sole UK date at the Islington Academy. After being blown away by the band and their superb debut cd " Alhambra " Rockgig managed to catch a few words with vocalist Bryn Roberts to tell us about all things Kodiak Jack.

 Rockgig  Can you tell me about how and when Kodiak Jack were formed?

 Kodiak Jack  The band were formed in 2008 but have been pushing forward really since 2011. The band was formed when friends from two different bands wanted to do something different. Something with a heavy influence but melodic and catchy.

R   What bands have influenced your sound ?

KJ   The main influence is probably Guns n Roses. But each member of the band brings in a completely different influence and musical focus.  From Classic Rock to Grunge, to Metal to old school rock.  I guess it's the merging of these influences that help us create our sound.

R  And has that changed between your debut cd and the new one "Alhambra" ?

KJ  I don't think much has changed as such, but we have just honed our sound and really found our direction. I think that gigging as a band and writing as a more cohesive unit has helped and given us our own direction.

R  Brian Wheat of Tesla produced the new cd how did you hook up with him?

KJ  Brian became interested in us from working with our manager, he heard our debut album, liked the tracks and really wanted to work with us. How could you turn that down?

R  Did you have the new cd ready to go when you went over to Sacramento or was there any changes made in the studio?

KJ  No, we had the basis of the album done, but there was a lot of work in pre-production and we are always open to try new things and even change things as we recorded. Working with such a legend as Brian Wheat, it would be arrogant and foolish to not use and be open to his experiences and suggestions. The guy has been doing this for 30 years and at the top level, working with some of the biggest names in music. It was a learning curve but we loved every minute of it and came back better musicians, better songwriters and in turn, a better band for sure.

R  How long did it take to record?

KJ  The recording and mixing were completed during the four weeks the band spent at J Street Recorders. Not everyone was out there for all of it, but it was great to be able to take our time and really work on crafting the songs.

R  Will you be working with Brian again in the future?

KJ  We certainly hope so! Brian is still actively involved with the band and offers guidance and advice so after such an exciting experience, we would love to do that again. Album number 3 will be one hell of an album for sure.

R  Rockgig saw you support Tesla at the Islington Academy and you went down extremely well. 
How was it for you?

KJ  It was a fantastic experience and we loved every minute of it. The crowd were great and really seemed to get what we were about. We had some fantastic feedback after the show and lots of nice messages on Facebook and the like since as well.  It was certainly a highlight playing with the Tesla guys, they are all really great people and an incredible live band so a privilege to be invited to open their show.

R  With "Alhambra " now released what is next for you? More gigs?

KJ  Gigging and writing. It's about getting out there and keeping the momentum going. We have a good few gigs in the summer and a few festivals, plus we are booking a short tour for September… we want to keep the gigging schedule as packed as possible into the new year.

R  Any ideas for the next cd?

KJ  Yeah we are working on new material as we speak and will be trying a few of them out in future gigs. We already play a few new ones, like Scars for example, so there are plenty of tracks to come yet!

R  With the world so focussed on social media how difficult is to get your name out there.

KJ  Well I think it's easier than ever, but the issue is it's easier for everyone else too. So it's about quality control and making sure you are on top of things. But it can be a very powerful medium if used correctly.

R  With the growth of the internet and the drop in cd sales how do you see and measure success? Cd sales, facebook likes, critical acclaim or personal satisfaction?

KJ  I think the measure of success for us is that people keep coming to gigs. Yes Album sales, acclaim and praise are important, but actually it's the fact that people come out and spend their money to see us that is what drives us.

R  If there was one Kodiak Jack song that showcases everything you love about the band which one would it be and why?

KJ  I would have to say Coming Home. It's certainly a favourite for the band to play as I think it says a lot about us. It has melodic guitars with big harmonies, but chunky riffs and big solos with lots of dynamics and a catchy chorus.

Rockgig would like to thank Bryn for taking the time out to talk to us and we look forward to seeing the rise of one of the most exciting bands that has come out for the UK for a long time.

You can catch up with the band at their website www.kodiakjackofficial.com and via Facebook at www.facebook.com/kodiakjackuk or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/KodiakJack666

All photos are credited to Tom Roberts Images .

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