DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Kobadelta | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists that we have right here in the north east. This time, Alex and Dom from Kobadelta tell us about not selling out, their exciting upcoming schedule and their many diverse influences.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

Dom: We are Kobadelta, a group of friends and merry men from Gateshead.

What inspired you to first start making music?

Alex: I think if you love music enough then it’s a natural progression to want to start a band. I don’t think we started with any particular aims or with any particular kick to inspire us to do this, we’re all just mates who wanted to make music together and long may it stay that way!

Kobadelta started as me and Dom writing and playing songs acoustically, and whenever we’ve needed to add to the band over the years we’ve always preferred to get a mate who’s never touched their allocated instrument in their life rather than a randomer who we don’t know. That’s been the same for Chris picking up the drums, Jon joining on bass and getting Jordi in on synths and keys, and we’ve somehow managed to bumble along and get where we are now.”

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Dom: For me I’d say Simon and Garfunkel, Tupac, Patti Smith, The Old Testament and H.G Wells. As a lyricist I’m influenced not only by musicians, but by storytelling as a whole. History and experience influence my writing more than anything. I feel like I write what comes naturally to me without adhering to the filters of modern pop.

Alex: Musically I think we all agree on bands like Black Sabbath, Queens Of The Stone Age, big hitters like them that I suppose give us our heavier edge. Guitar-wise I think The Stooges, The Black Angels and BRMC are definitely big influences on me, plus Humbug-era Arctic Monkeys. I do still like them now, but I definitely preferred them before the quiffs, when they were hanging out in the desert with Josh Homme and out of their comfort zone for once.

How would you describe your sound?

Alex: It’s on the psych-rock spectrum, but the heavier, darker end. More of a bad trip than spaced-out sun kissed psychedelic bliss, which I think is people’s first pre-conception when buzz words like “psych” are dragged out.

Dom: Our music is very much an amalgamation of all our tastes. We’d rather try to define our own genre as opposed to conforming to a pre-determined one.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

Alex: That’s a weird one, cos as far as a local “scene” goes it’s really fucking diverse around here! So in terms of our sound – playing dark, heavy psych-rock tunes – we probably shouldn’t fit in, but we do, and we try to be involved with the gigging scene around here as much as we can. I’d say the bands are more united by their easy going nature, DIY attitude and wanting to help each other out and just have a laugh along the way – rather than just by genre. I’ve been playing in bands in Newcastle for about ten years now since I was a teenager and this is easily the strongest I’ve seen the local scene, and we’re definitely enjoying it now more than ever. It’s exciting and a good fucking laugh at the same time!

Dom: In terms of our sound though, I feel we fit nicely alongside other so-called psych bands out there, but personally I feel the lyrical delivery in our songs allows us to occupy our own little niche within that.

“We’d rather try to define our own genre as opposed to conforming to a pre-determined one”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Kobadelta?

Dom: We like to create a real connection with our audiences, I love singing to new and bemused faces, spitting lyrics with my arms aloft and a face etched with passion. I don’t take myself too seriously on stage though, I see any time in between songs as chance to interact with the crowd on a completely informal level. I feel it gives balance to the serious nature of our songs.

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

Alex: North East-wise we’re playing a rare acoustic set at Corbridge Festival on Saturday 11th July, then playing Darlington for the first time on Sunday 26th July at Avalon – that one is looking like a cracking one, it’s called ‘Sunday Service’ and is curated by Goy Boy McIlroy’s David Saunders, and we’ll be playing alongside bands like Avalanche Party, Cellar Door and Second Sun. Then we’re supporting Kingsley Chapman and The Murder at the launch of their debut single Lovers at The Cluny 2 on Thursday 6th August which I’m expecting to be an epic gig after the tracks I’ve heard of his so far.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

Alex: I dunno, we don’t tend to really look back at “achievements.” I think we’re just proud of how far we’ve progressed the band in the last four years or so from starting from scratch. It is always good to be appreciated nationally though, and in terms of what you’d class as traditional band achievements from recognised establishments, I think getting ourselves a feature and a photo in NME and generally just airplay on the likes of BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio has been decent! But in general we’re more just proud of the EPs we’ve put out recently and any gigs where we know we’ve really played mint and done ourselves justice.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Alex: Nothing major really, just the same old challenges that I’d say the majority of local bands at our level face, probably money and working. Obviously all our gear, recording and travelling all cost money, and the reality is that you’ll never make anywhere near enough to cover that, but that’s not why do it. Work is another one, juggling gigs, practices and recording between the 5 of us can be a nightmare at times, but we manage it. It’s all good!

Dom: For me I’d say building up our fan base without “selling out” or being tempted to conform to whatever’s the latest “cool new sound everyone’s talking about.” Our main challenge is staying true to the good thing we’ve got going on, and developing that naturally.

What else have you got planned for the future?

Alex: Well, we’re kind of on a mini-break cos I’m having a baby this month! But we’re back in July with that acoustic Corbridge Festival gig, then slowly but surely we’ll be getting back into proper gigging again. We play Northbound Festival in Cumbria on Friday 7th August alongside the likes of Public Service Broadcasting and our good mates Bernaccia, and we’re having a trip down to Leeds to play Verve Bar on Friday 4th September, so it’ll be good to spread our wings out of the area once again. We’re still writing as we go though, so hopefully later in the year there’ll be new material. We’ll see though, as ever we’re just taking things as they come!

Kobadelta’s latest EP Open Visions is out now. You can download new single Blame It All On Me for free.

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