The Pier sat down with Katchafire lead-singer Logan Bell during the band’s stop at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, CO. In customary Maori fashion, Bell and the rest of Katchafire welcomed The Pier with open arms into the green room. Bell’s warm personality and infectious smile, along with his narrative, storytelling-style of conversation made for a laid back chat.
In an Exclusive Interview dropping on April 17th, Bell discussed the band’s new record and nearly-done deal with legendary label VP Records, Maori cultural influences on the band’s music and stage presence, future collaborations, as well as the band’s songwriting progression and non-stop touring.
Over the last 15 years New Zealand natives and home-country reggae kings Katchafire have gained a reputation for solid musicianship, soaring harmonies and relentless touring. The eight-piece band has released four albums to date, including 2011’s “On The Road Again.” The Maori “family band” has toured the world, from New Zealand, to South America, to the United Kingdom and the U.S.—all the while gaining a size-able and dedicated fan base.
Katchafire is currently working on the band’s fifth studio album. For the first time, Bell discussed the broad details of the upcoming album, “We are working on a new album now….(and hope to) package that up around the end of the year or the start of next year.”
Bell shared that there is a connection between the band and VP Records, but that the details are still in the works. “We are looking at inking a deal with VP Records. It’s just kind of opening up and we are working through the details…” Bell said.
Not surprisingly, Maori history is intrinsically woven within all aspects of Katchafire. The responsibilities of “representing” a country and a culture are both honorable and burdensome at the same time. Dubbed as the “Reggae Kings” of New Zealand, Katchafire has the weight of the Maori people on their shoulders. “I feel like it’s kind of our responsibility to tell those stories. We’ve been dubbed the kings of reggae music at home…(Unlike in the past) I do feel a little bit of that pressure to tell those stories,” said Bell. Most notably, Katchafire’s protest song “Lead Us” provided fans with a glimpse into history and struggles of the Maori people.
Like other bands in the reggae scene, Katchafire is hoping to collaborate with some of their favorite artists in the near future. Bell shared that the band has some very real collaborations they are hoping to put together. “I’d love to collaborate with Gentleman…(we are also) wanting to do something with Gappy Ranks…these are the ones we are thinking about seriously for collabs,” Bell said. Bell also shared his “dream collaboration.”
Along with these insights, Bell provided details on the band’s progressions in songwriting, relentless touring and their upcoming tour dates, which includes stops in Brazil and a return to the U.S. this summer.
Katchafire Show Locator
Article & Interview By: Kit Chalberg
Katchafire’s official music video to “On The Road Again”. Enjoy!..