Hailing from Spalding deep in the heart of the fens Kamikaze Hotshot are a four piece self styled punk and roll band that write great songs, love throwing in a cover or three live and never say no to a beer. Gary Trueman caught up with Benji (vocals), Curtis (gu itar) and Steve (drums) in a local pub. Missing bass player Jim sent girlfriend Arlene along to represent the four string department.
Your first album Zero was made on a shoestring so do you think it’s important to go to an expensive studio to get your music recorded?
Benji: “When you’re starting you can’t afford to go to big companies and get it done. We did ours with Jim (bass) and a microphone in his spare bedroom. It came out relatively well.”
Has it sold well?
Benji: “Well at least one person bought it”
I hear you have material for more than one album to come?
Benji: “You’ve been reading my post online. We’ve got about fifteen or twenty songs on the go at the minute”
Steve: “We’ve got a load more that haven’t been finished”
Presumably you’re playing this new material live?
Benji: We’ll be playing a few more live. We did two the last time we played Spalding and the same two at The Axe And Cleaver in Boston as well. We’ll do a few more soon once we’ve got the practice in.”
You’re noted for mixing your own material with a blend of covers. With so much new material are you going to drop the covers?
Benji: “We just mix and match. People want what they want so if they shout for it we’ll play it. If they fancy a cover we’ll play a cover but we’ll keep to our true selves”
Curtis: “I think you should pay tribute tyo the bands that made you start playing so there’ll always be covers there”
You said about the bands that made you start playing. There’s been a distinctive move in mood within Kamikaze Hotshot from punk and poll to more rock. Is this deliberate or just the way the flow has taken you?
Steve: “ Jim, who wrote most of the original songs for the album, he was more into his rock sort of style music. The only problem was that it kept coming out as punk songs. I think we’re getting away from that now, I think we’re more a bit of everything now.
Curtis: “Ska, rockabilly all sorts of stuff, I even write funky tunes and things to see where we could fit that in”
You’ve got a leaner sound now with one guitarist instead of two. How’s that working out for you?
Steve: “Ah, he was crying on the phone earlier (points to Benji), he’s just bought a guitar amp so we’re going to have two guitars again”
So Benji will be on rhythm guitar?
Benji: “Eventually if he lets me (points to Curtis), guitarists are a bit you know, one man show.”
Curtis: “I’m a bit particular about the sound”
You’ve got one particular song called ‘Lesbian’ that could be taken the wrong way which I think if it was explained what it’s about maybe people would understand it a little bit.
Curtis: “The riff I wrote about ten years ago and it was originally called Lesbian 4000 and had really weird lyrics. Then I rewrote the lyrics from the viewpoint of what if a guy fell in love with a lesbian and couldn’t get her because she loves girls. It’s as simple as that. No offence intended.”
You’ve been gigging a lot recently which has made you a very tight outfit and you’ve been getting some decent reviews. Are you hoping this is the year you start getting in to the festivals?
Steve: “Yeah definitely. We’re playing the rock and bike festival this year.”
Benji: “We could do with someone big noticing us so we can get on. That’s the main goal at the end of it all. That’s why we’ve got this guitarist, he’s OK at best, we can tolerate him.”
Bass player Jim isn’t here but his girlfriend is so she can be his spokeswoman.
Arlene: “That asshole, I love him though”
Who writes what, do you have a dedicated song writer and lyricist?
Steve: “Basically we get everything down on guitar”
Curtis: “I get an idea, get my phone out and record it, then do something with it later. If I write lyrics it’ll tend to be funny style, Lesbian, Sexy Transexual, things like that. It’s what I write best. I don’t write serious songs, I’m not good at that. I don’t take myself too seriously”
Benji: “It tends to be that we just put forward what we’ve got. I’ll put forward a few tracks and I help with the lyrics. Sexy Mama I wrote with Jim, Incandecent I wrote with Scott when he was the guitarist. Everyone has an input really.”
Steve: “Even I wrote a song. We haven’t actually played it yet.”
What’s the most bizarre or funny thing to happen to Kamikaze Hotshot?
Benji: “It has to be about Dave an ex member. He disappeared in Nottingham and we had to leave to get to Scarborough. He turned up and he’d been in a casino all night, got talking a girl, saw one of his mates outside an ditched her. He ended up on the guy’s sofa.”
Steve: “We’re crap if that’s the best we can do”
What cover would you like to see Kamikaze play that they haven’t done yet and why?
Benji: “Barbie Girl, so he can do the high bit (points to Curtis). It’s already been covered by some heavy metal bands so I’m not sure we can.”
Steve: “Stone Gods, Don’t Drink The Water because it’s a fucking awesome song.”
Benji: “Jim wants to do Swimwear by Hey Hello.”
Arlene: “Something from Biffy Clyro would be pretty good”
Curtis: “To be honest one of my favourite bands is ACDC so it would have to be an ACDC song. Gone Shooting, that’s completely different again from what we’re doing so it’d be a curve ball and that’s what I like.”
Steve: “I think it’s your round mate”
Kamikaze Hotshot’s debut album ‘Zero’ is out now and available at gigs or can be ordered from the band at: https://www.facebook.com/kamikazehotshot/app_150178545006427