Kaito...from Norwich they come to take your
pop cherry...or cherry pop, one of the two. We speak to Gemma, Dave and
Nikki, who is sadly unaware of the fascinating world of plant
First up, tell me a bit
about how you all met please...
Gemma - Dave and Nikki knew each other through mutual friends, and got
together in`96. I was in another band in which I played the guitar, and
knew of Kaito through the local Norwich music scene. I found out that they
needed a new bass player, and bought a bass and volunteered. I really
liked them 'cos they sounded like exactly the kind of band I really wanted
to be in. So I joined, then about a year later we needed a new drummer. I
knew Dee through friends from a few years back, and suggested that he
joined, cos I remembered he was a good drummer. So he joined in '97. The
rest is history.
Dave - I met Gemster's gaze
across a soft spring meadow of primrose and bluebells. The sun warmed our
souls, and as we skipped through the flowers towards each other the air
was sent into a rapture of visual and olfactory beauty. As the birds sang
their requiem we realised that rhythm was our medium and that we would
always have a special bond. She introduced me to the other two chancers
some time later, can't say I remember it too well. It was probably
Nikki - Dave and I met at a
Menswear gig. Gemma and I worked in the same Bar. Gemma went on one date
with D when she was about 16 (she stood him up so it kinda didn't happen),
but she knew he was a good drummer so.... sorted!
What or who does the band model itself on?
Gemma - We don't model ourselves on anything. The way I see it is that the
way we formed was just how it was - y'know, 4 people who could play
instruments who got together and wrote and played songs. I know the
industry wants bands to be in a certain `category` or whatever - and I
hate that - it's based too much on looks rather than the actual music
sometimes. We had problems
getting signed, 'cos labels would say, "We don't know what category you'd
go under", which was real annoying. I guess on stage we wear dark colours,
but that's so that we feel kind of more united on stage as a band, and it
makes us feel more into what we're doing. almost like a costume - we get
into a band mode` when we wear dark colours on stage. We probably all feel
a bit different about this kinda thing.
Dave - Nothing
consciously. I don't feel the need to imitate people in order to admire
Nikki - Ha! We don't model
ourselves on anyone. Independent of each other; we're all too anally into
our own thing to agree on whom to aspire to. HOWEVER!!!, the type of bands
we can agree on- the bands where each individual has an integral part of
piecing together that band's sound. I know what ya thinking!!! Doh! ya
just figured that out Miss- well done!! Nah, I mean each member has
something unique to offer like Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Jim Sclavunos
and Lee nutbar Renaldo. Bands like Sonic youth, The Velvet Underground,
Gang of Four, Liars have and are still pushing musical boundaries;
occasionally reinventing their sound, not being afraid to experiment.
That's encouraging! Bands that don't plan to fit into any particular
scene, but do music for the sake of themselves- if a scene develops from
this then so be it, good on 'em! But their reason for being in a band
together is to go their own ways first. That's POWER!
Is the plan to break through to the mainstream or to remain underground
Gemma - We can't plan that kind of thing. But I don't think we'd ever get
into the mainstream. I like where we're at right now. But we can't plan to
be in either scene. We'll just do what we do and see what happens I guess.
Dave - I understand what
you're saying, but if we should find ourselves facing mainstream success,
we will still be the same people making the music that we make. It will
just mean that we have had the good fortune to have a lot of people hear
it and like it.
Nikki - We have no plan-
have we ever had a plan????? If we'd gone out to seek commercial success
we would have died of frustration a long time ago. Different underground
bands tend to look for new fields to explore and we intend to carry this
on. If the masses catch up on us then good for them. We are however in a
band to give people a good time, regardless if they're underground or not
so we could go either way.
Can you name five things that you think about whilst playing live?
Gemma - "Oh god, they're pointing a camera at me", "am I singing in key?",
and I generally have a lot of conversations going on in my head.
Especially on old songs that I know really well. I am a bit of a day
dreamer. And I'm always worrying about stuff. Either that or thinking
about really weird things. Generally I feel a bit stupid. But it is good
Dave - Being in a boyband,
so I could just dance and smile and not sweat so much. Why did I drink so
much before we went on? Glad I don't have periods. Ouch! Did I leave the
Nikki - I fancy him! (ref.
To my gorgeous boyfriend). Dave, get outta my goddamn space! We sound
frickin' cool! Hey, I like her dancing! Take ya fingers out of ya ears Mr!
What's the best thing about being in Kaito?
Gemma - When people like the songs we play that I've helped to write. I
like playing gigs where the audience are really getting into it. Also when
we write a new song and I think it's good, I'm really happy that I feel as
though we can still do it, that we've still got it, and I look forward to
hearing it on record. And getting to travel and meet lots of people is a
real good thing.
Dave - We've travelled to so
many places that I may never have got to, and played with so many
inspirational bands. Plus, being the one who sits at the back, I get to
avoid recognition and therefore the screaming crowds of obsessive fans
that the others are constantly having to deal with.
Nikki - Ha- easy...touring
with some of the most inspiring and influential bands of today! Our pop
appeals to all sorts but we're still able to keep our artistic dignity-
cos we sooo good! We've been together sooo long we're sorted. We know our
musical direction, we have a mass of musical chemistry, we respect each
other, we are like a family- ha! And we're on a cool label! Hey! And D's
ginger- this keeps us amused!
And what's the worst?
Gemma - Having my photo taken and then looking at said photos! And other
people looking at the photo's.
Dave - The terrible feeling
of rejection at never having anyone say, "Hey, you're in Kaito!"
Nikki - There ain't nothin'!
Which football teams do
Gemma - I'm not into football at all, but I used to support Arsenal a few
years ago, just cos they win a lot. When I was little I was well into
football - Man United, but only cos my brother liked them and he was
impressionable on me. Now I have a Norwich City wristband. So that's a
good enough reason to like them, yeah?
Dave - Any that score goals
Nikki - Spurs.
How sick are you of the Elastica comparisons?
Gemma - We're not compared to them as much as you'd think. We're compared
to a lot of bands with girl singers. It's too easy isn't it? But to be
compared to Elastica is a big compliment!
Dave - There are far worse
bands to be compared to. But ours is a cake of many ingredients, and they
are only one of the raisins.
Nikki - Not sick of em.
They're a cool band. I love Wire too! Hee!
Invent a new fad for NME to write about in 2004.
Gemma - A Norwich scene. I think they should. There are some good bands
here you know! Can't be much more inventive than that I'm afraid. No
Dave - Music.
Nikki - Bands that sound
like Elastica, that sound like Wire.
Which bands are nearly as good as Kaito at the moment?
Gemma - There are bands that are as good if not better than us. If I
think bands aren't as good as us then I don't like them, so I'll just say
bands I like, and who aren't as big as they should be. Neals Children are
great. Magoo, The Walkmen, The Rogers Sisters, Mahjongg, Liars
(obviously), Erase Errata, and The Pastolas are a great Norwich band.
Dave - It's not something I
give any thought to. I don't like to make those kind of comparisons.
Nikki - 80's Matchbox B-line
Disaster. Whirlwind Heat. Numbers. Mommy and Daddy
And, finally, your
favourite pieces of plant machinery please?
Gemma - Hmm, well I saw this JCB thing once and it smelt of bacon. Good
enough reason for me to be a favourite! Strange question!
Dave - The combine
harvester, it is an ambition of mine to own one, with seats and windows
put in the back bit so I can drive it around like a bus.
Nikki - What the frick is
plant machinery ?????