Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Colm from unsigned band KARMS find out more…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Ste and I (Colm) are brothers. We’ve been playing music together for over 10 years now! We used to play in a band called Blue Syndrome and at that time I remember receiving an email from Jay saying that if we ever needed a drummer to give him a shout. At the time I passed it off and completely forgot about it then.
Ste and Danny have been friends since school which so by association we became friends too. When Blue Syndrome split up, myself and Ste started writing new music and we loved the thought of getting Danny involved on bass, even though he’d never played bass before in his life. It was just an easy and fun idea to ask one of your best friends to hang out and make music together and see what happens. Funnily enough, Danny is also kind of a weird relative of ours.
We were so adamant at the beginning that we would remain a 3 piece band and we’d either get session drummers in for gigs or use electronic drums or something. For some reason, these videos of this drummer kept coming up on my youtube recommended videos list and I thought he was class. Turns out it was Jay and I never made the association. Ste, Danny and I are all from Dublin but we would travel down to Jay’s studio in Offaly to jam with him and see how it went. Everything just felt right, there was such a buzz in the room every time we played together. It’s a mad coincidence how we all got together in the end.
Danny’s mam’s name is Carmel but we all call her Carms. When we were coming up with a band name we had a notebook filled with pages and pages of stupid ideas and words and combinations of words. We were desperate for a name one night, it was late, and I said to the guys, I’m gonna turn over a new page and the first thing I write down will be the band name. I turned over the page, wrote in big capital letters KARMS and we all burst out laughing and instantly were all in agreement that that was the perfect name for us.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
We’ve all got our own musical influences. I know Jay, growing up was mad into Twin Atlantic (and still is). Danny is a massive U2 fan. I was into singer songwriter stuff as well as Foo Fighters and The Frames and Ste was this little kid that used to play in a Blink 182 tribute band. We all loved Paramore… who didn’t.
Nowadays, we still love and listen to all those bands but we definitely take inspiration or influence from bands like The War On Drugs, Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Sigur Ros and bands we’ve played live with like The Amazons, Fatherson, The Academic and Arcane Roots.
How would you describe your sound?
Big, loud and passionate. We like to take things from a pin drop to big screaming guitars. We haven’t quite nailed the pin drop part yet but we’re getting there. I think there’s a lot of energy in the songs and that just comes out of us playing together and enjoying the moment.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
We actually just released our album, Satellites. All of the songs are influenced by feelings I would hope everyone experiences throughout their life. There’s a real mix of emotion in the album. You’ve got tributes to loved and lost ones with Satellites and All I Want, some real personal tracks like Tearaway and Vienna, Beautiful Magic which sounds like a love song and lyrically reads as a love song but it’s really about finding that thing or those things that make you feel warm and fuzzy which doesn’t necessarily have to be the love of another person. We recorded all the songs live together in a studio in Donegal with an amazing producer, Tony Doogan. It’s raw and it’s loud.
What’s your local music scene like?
Dublin went through a rough patch but is most definitely on the up again. We found ourselves avoiding gigs for a couple of years because there just wasn’t a good vibe or it was always the same bands playing the same places. But now there’s a real growing local community of people who just want to have fun be it the bands or the people who enjoying seeing local acts perform in a local venue.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Having just released our album we’re hoping to promote that for a bit, do some shows and videos but ultimately we want to get back into the studio and write more. Sometimes you can get so bogged down in the business side of things that you can forget the creative and fun side so we definitely don’t want to let that happen. We could sit there all day watching a Spotify play counter or we can get into a room and do what we do best. Of course, we’d love to play some festivals but it’s hard to get on the radar. Whilst the local music scene is great right now, there is also a lot of noise and you could kill yourself trying to get heard above all of it.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
There’s many bands and songwriters we’d love to collaborate with. Take any of our influences for example. But what would really be cool is to work with some really cool composer and orchestra to strip the songs apart and put them back together for one big epic show.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
When the two boys, Danny and Ste, bring a wine bottle full of fruit juice on stage just to look rock n roll and people actually fall for it, is a good one. It wouldn’t be a KARMS show if something belonging to Ste didn’t stop working. Drunk nights out at gigs in our local are always the best. We put our names down to play these acoustic nights at home and for some reason we always seem to get billed as the last act which means we’ve too much time for drinking. By the time we get up to play, we are about 4 or 5 pints deep and we end up playing the most random stuff but always ends up being the best fun.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
Danny’s phone number.
We’re not leprechauns.
We will have new music really really soon.