Kassassin Street is a band definitely on the way up, having already gathered a very strong local following. Their brand of psychedelic pop-rock is a very likeable cocktail indeed, and judging by the reaction of the crowd at a special show at Worthing’s St Pauls Church, they continue to keep serving it up to the highest standard. I spoke to the boys from Portsmouth after they left the stage to find out more about Kassassin Street.
Great performance guys. You have such a confident sound onstage.
Thank you very much. We didn’t expect it to be anywhere near sold out. Colin and Julia Flynn who put on the show are absolute heroes. We were thinking it was going to be a 100 person rehearsal room, but playing in a church with laser was pretty awesome.
How did you meet?
Nathan and Ryan have the same Mum and Dad, often referred to as brothers. Andy and Tom were at college with us, and we’ve been best friends ever since. We have always been into the same music, so it just made sense to start a band together. We were spread all over England doing different degrees, but we always came together to jam.
Can you remember your first jam?
It was probably in one of our bedrooms. It was definitely a less formed sound, just guitars and drums. Seeing who can out do who, pausing every so often to play Mario Cart. We then started playing gigs and began building a local fan base. The sound has only evolved really in the last year or so.
What have been your main influences?
It varies quite a lot. From electronic EDM kind of stuff, all the way through to rock and the more experimental sounds. A late 80s/90s Shoegaze sound also. Anything that is a bit off kilter that we can dance to.
Are there any bands you have been recently listening to that you would recommend?
My latest find is a guy called Morgan Delft. He is absolutely awesome. We have also been listening to Public Service Broadcasting. We’ve seen them a couple of times before and they are always amazing. There newest album is such a cool concept.
What is the story behind the name Kassassin Street?
It’s a road name in Portsmouth that’s really close to our hearts. We were actually all conceived on Kassassin Street – no, that was joke. It was genuinely the street where Marilyn Cole, the first Playboy model to get fully naked lived. There is also an amazing venue just off that road called ‘Cellars at Eastney’ which we have spent a lot of time.
How is the music scene in Portsmouth?
It’s a really cool place sunny Southsea. There is some great music coming out, which is getting stronger every year. It’s a really friendly close knit community. Most of the bands are friends who go to each other gigs and help each other out.
Is there a particular format to your writing and recording music?
It starts on different laptops, but then we always come together with the ideas in the rehearsal room. Everything starts from there and then we like to gig our songs to see the reaction, and then revise them. We have an amazing mate up in London called Tristan Ivemy who’s produced for Frank Turner and also did our new single, and he has helped us out recording and made our sound a lot better.
What’s your new single called, and what is it about?
Our second single is called ‘To Be Young’ and it’s coming out on the 30th March. I don’t like giving the meaning away as it’s nice to a let song mean different things to different people. I’ve also had many songs ruined for me when I’ve learnt what they meant. The real reason is because, like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, we are all secretly having affaires with each other.
What have you got planned for the year?
We are playing Brighton on 2nd April at Bleach. Our first physical release, a limited edition vinyl EP, is out on Record Store Day (18th April). No plans for an album just yet, but we are getting loads of songs together and are always writing more, so it is definitely heading that way. Hopefully we will be doing lots of festivals over the summer, and then maybe we’ll try and focus on the album.