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- Posted on Mar 3rd 2010 1:17PM by Steven Horowitz
British punk rock combo Kasms makes a lot of noise. The band is known for the intensity of its live shows and its ability to involve the audience. Spinner caught up with Gemma Fleet (bass, vocals) and Rory Brattwell (drums, guitar) in advance of the four-piece's trip to SXSW.
Describe your sound.
Gemma Fleet: Bass-y.
Rory Brattwell: We're an alternative punk band that flirts dangerously with melody, with equal measures of energy and melancholy.
How did your band form?
RB: We used to tell people that we formed when we had a drunken fight at a bus stop, but the boring truth is that we've known each other since we were young. The other three are probably my oldest friends. How very sycophantic! I'd love to say we met in a hospital emergency room or something like that.
What are your musical influences?
RB: A lot of people tarred us with the goth brush when we formed, but our influences and sound have a lot more to do with underground American punk and post-hardcore. There are obviously British classics such as This Heat and Death in June, but most of our influences are American.
How did you come up with your band name?
GF: A black figure appeared at the end of my bed one night and whispered, "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom, behold -- thy name be Kasms."
What's your biggest vice?
GF: The Internet.
RB: Fried chicken.
What's in your festival survival kit?
GF: Ray Mears.
RB: Yeah we're bringing British survival expert Ray Mears with us. Hopefully we can live off the land while we're there. It's cost us a lot to get to Texas, so whatever it is, it's going to have to be cheap. Do they have cans of baked beans in the USA? Glamorous stuff!
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
GF: I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If you like it, you like it.
RB: Any '90s Eurodance or drum-and-bass when I'm drunk always goes down all right.
Beatles or Stones?
GF: In a fight? In a bowling contest? Mortality rates? Stones would beat beetles in paper-scissor-stone match, if beetles were allowed ... which they are not.
RB: We're not really bothered about either of them. Most British bands are obsessed with being retro and rehashing the '60s, but if I had to choose someone from around that era, it'd either be Roy Orbison or Captain Beefheart. If you had me in a headlock, I'd say the Stones, for sure.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
GF: On tour I am really boring. I climbed a tree once, but it was a really easy one.
RB: On the last night of our tour, a drunken Nathan from the Gossip decided it was his last chance to try and make out with Gemma and Rachel from our band, and drunkenly got into our van and came back to our hotel room. He was walking around in his underpants and was wandering around drawing on the walls with his rubber heels. We stayed up drinking with him, and this bizarre mating ritual continued until eventually he passed out head-first in the baby crib in the corner. I don't know if it's crazy, but it was funny.
Texas barbecue and beer vs. London pub grub and ale?
GF: I need to sample it first, but I can imagine anything I eat will be better than British food. Sorry, Britain!.
RB: I love the pub, but sun, barbecue and beer is always going to win.
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