With an average age of just 18, Cheltenham sextet Young Kato showcase a vibrant indie pop sound that has been compared to Foals and The Killers, although they are also influenced from 80’s pop as they combine synths and indie guitars to create instant poppy hooks that leave you wanting more.
Their youthful, celebratory approach recently led them to join LAB Records who will be releasing their self-titled later this month.
Already Heard recently caught up with bassist Joe Lever to discuss the bands formation, influences, the new EP, their recent single (‘Drink, Dance, Play’) and more.
Already Heard: Can you introduce yourself and your role in Young Kato?
Young Kato: I am Joe and I play Bass in the band.
AH: For those who haven’t heard of you before, how would you describe your sound?
Young Kato: I would describe it as big pop music.
AH: I understand you have quite an Eighties influence. Are there any bands in particular that have influenced Young Kato?
Young Kato: Indeed, Tommy (Wright – lead vocals) is pretty into his 80s stuff. He is a massive fan of The Smiths in particular. I myself wouldn’t describe myself as an avid 80’s music fan though! I think we all have quite a variety of influences.
AH: Are there any current bands you would compare yourselves to?
Young Kato: I would probably say we are in the same vein as bands like Foals, The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club but I wouldn’t really classify us as an ‘indie’ band. I think we are almost a stadium rock band that play small venues! I don’t like classifying our sound as I don’t really know, we prefer to leave that to other people. Call it what you want!
AH: Can you tell us how the band came together?
Young Kato: Jack (Edwards – lead guitar) and Sam (Henderson – drums) are step brothers and Jack was in a band with some mates (Joe Green – rhythm guitarist and Tommy). They wanted a drummer so got Sam in and then Sam knew me and Harry (Steele – kids) through school so we came along and here we are.
AH: You’ve recently signed to LAB Records. What attracted you to the label?
Young Kato: It is a really great label who know what they are doing. They are not all about pumping money into an artist/band which is very important, they actually care about the music itself and that stands for a lot. We were drawn to the label initially as we were big fans of Pegasus Bridge who sadly split up but there are a lot of great artists on the label and we like what they stand for.
AH: On July 23rd you’re releasing a self-titled EP, what can new fans expect from the EP?
Young Kato: I think new fans can expect quite a variety in the material on the EP but at the same time it is quite consistent in its upbeat, high energy sound.
AH: The EP was produced by Gordon Mills Jnr. (Placebo, Ed Sheeran) How much influence did he have in the recording of the EP?
Young Kato: We had a pretty clear idea of how we wanted the songs to sound before we went into the studio so in that sense we already knew what we wanted. Gordon helped us a lot though in translating that sound we had in our heads onto a physical recording. He understood the sound we wanted to go for and helped ensure that we got that sound down. He’s a great guy to work with.
AH: Before the EP a single called ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ is being released. What is the single about?
Young Kato: It is a youthful number about enjoying life and living it to the full.
AH: You’ve also made a video for the single. How the video come together?
Young Kato: We came up with the idea with the video director Dan and then we just went and did it. It is a happy upbeat video that I think fits with the vibe of the song. The idea of having actors and a dancer were suggested by Dan and we really liked it so just went ahead with it! The picture you might have for a music video called ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ would probably be some raucous house party but we didn’t really want to go down the obvious route, we wanted something a bit more interesting.
AH: You’re playing a few live dates over the summer. What is a typical Young Kato live show like?
Young Kato: Energy, good vibes and the odd stage invasion.
AH: Finally why should people listen to Young Kato?
Young Kato: Nobody should be forced to listen to Young Kato, there shouldn’t be a reason – just listen to us if you get it and if you like our music!
‘Young Kato’ EP by Young Kato is released on July 23rd through LAB Records.
Words by Sean Reid