Katchafire - Lighting The Reggae Flame
Author: Rebecca Thomson (photography by Vanessa Bidois)
Logan says they’ve found there is a huge demand for their music in the Pacific, but can’t really pin down why. An earlier visit to New Caledonia was also popular. In Noumea they played alongside Andrew Tosh to a crowd of 55,000. The opportunity to play in New Caledonia came about because the promoter was in NZ checking out equipment and saw Katchafire on the television.
"It was the huge thing for us, the first time out of the country for the band and it really opened our eyes. But Fiji, that was sort of demanded by the people - the airplay and everything over there was so huge."
And "in a jiffy", Logan says, they would go back, "they’re really open, they’re really nice people". In fact there are plans to return, this time with girlfriends and wives in tow. It sounds good too. "The promoter owns a couple of resorts over there... so we could be the house band for a couple of weeks - that would be pretty cool."
But before they head back to Fiji, Katchafire have that heavy national touring schedule, a quick stint in Australia, and then the band is off to Europe for the northern hemisphere summer and the reggae festival circuit. Plans haven’t been fully thrashed out but France and Germany are probably on the agenda.
"Reggae’s huge there, much more so than in America - it’s amazing, the Germans go crazy over it."
While in Europe, Logan says they hope to meet up with French reggae outfit Mister Gang, who they initially met while in New Caledonia and who supplied the horn section on ‘Slow Burning’.
"We just totally clicked, even though we didn’t speak the language - we used lots of hand actions and body language," he chuckles. "They’re one of the best bands I’ve ever seen."
With ‘Slow-Burning’ still doing just that, having sold 18,000 copies and counting, the Katchafire boys have already started to work on a third album. As with their previous albums, much of the early work being done in a home studio. Logan says 80% of ‘Revival’ was "created in the bedroom", but they headed to the Waikato Polytechnic studio, where a number of them studied music, to do the polishing off.
It’s in the Waikato area they plan to stay, from where they are happy to see Hamilton bands kicking some ass on the national stage. "People have dogged Hamilton for so long and so the attitude here is to get out there and do it yourself," says Logan.