Ten years of hard graft

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Roots-reggae outfit Katchafire would like nothing better than to make it big – and after 10 years on the tour circuit there are signs their Kiwi work ethic might just get them there.

Singer-guitarist Logan Bell is counting the payoffs from the tireless slogging. Major overseas markets are “perking up”, he says ahead of a two-night stand at Revolver from tomorrow.

“We’ve had national distribution in America through Pacific Hawaiian, which has seen us play the circuit that a lot of the great reggae bands are on.

I think we’ve sold more albums in California alone than the rest of the world combined, so it’s definitely starting to take off.

“We’re starting to see that we’re on the same level as those bands that we grew up loving and who are at the pinnacle of the reggae game.”

The New Zealand music scene is buzzing at the moment, with bands across all genres keenly competitive on the world stage, Bell says.

He puts their success down to “intensity about the process, the music and the approach” – attributes that Katchafire have been refining over time.

“Our goal for the past 10 years has been the world, to take the Katchafire name and music to the people,” he says. “And the thing I’m most proud of is that the boys have managed to co-exist and find a balance.

“The downfall for a lot of good bands is that they let personal prob­­lems and egos separate individuals,
but we’re one big family and that’s the secret. It has spilled over into our songwriting process – we’re writing a lot more as a band instead of individuals bringing songs to the table.”

Katchafire will start work on their fourth album early in 2009.

Bell says they’re looking forward to being on home soil for the summer, with appearances at the Blue Lake Festival, Phat 09 and the Parihaka Peace Festival scheduled to follow a national tour.

“The guys get to take their families out … they can join us on the road and we become a bit of a travelling gypsy bandwagon.”

Katchafire play Revolver tomorrow and Saturday from 10pm