We saw Instant Karma play recently when they supported fellow Exeter band The Sherpas (full review HERE), we were instantly drawn to their music, it seemed so polished and rounded and just fitted in with the overall vibe of the evening, imagine our surprise when we were told that this was only their 3rd gig as a band....
We caught up with the guys and had a good chat about cheese, lie-ins and Fisher Price kids durmasts, here's how we got on....
We know very little about you other than you’re an Exeter based band, can you tell us a bit more about yourselves and your music?
We have been eagerly songwriting, shaping and performing our music to the finest detail by trying to create something that simultaneously owes a debt to the song craftsman of past such as McCartney/Lennon and taking influence from the synthesized sounds of modern electronic music.
How did you settle on the name ‘Instant Karma’?
Names are a nightmare, we went through the process of so many names and Alex (singer/keys) had listened to John Lennon’s song Instant Karma and the message resonated.
When and how did you form as a band?
We started in 2015 through a local jam night which we all attended and had an immediate connection.
We saw you recently when you supported The Sherpas at the Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre, being an Exeter band, which other venues do you like to play and why?
Firehouse is a great venue with a great vibe and even better crowd and we’re extremely looking forward to playing on the 27th of June which will be our 4th gig and first with our new drummer Ben.
You describe yourselves as ‘Synthesised indie with guile and aggression’, how did you settle on this description?
What are your views about the use of smartphones and video recording equipment at gigs?
It shows you have to be on form every night because it all counts.
Do you all share the same tastes in music?
No but that’s why we feel everyone brings in their own personality to the band.
You recently launched your first recording ‘Tangled Web’, where did you record the track?
We recorded it ourselves and was produced and mixed by Ben Green (guitar) in his bedroom.
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
If we were to put all of you in a UFC fighting cage, who would be the last man standing?
Ben Conibear - the drummer as he’s an absolute barbarian whos more ripped than an old pair of lion tamer’s levi’s
If money was no object, what would be your ‘dream’ musical instruments to own?
Alex: Original Wurlitzer electric piano
Dan: American Jazz bass & Ampeg SVT
Ben Conibear: Fisher price kids kit.
Ben Green: Left handed Jazzmaster
Are you planning any music festivals this year?
Beautiful Days in Ottery, it’s going to be stomping.
Tell me about the first ever gig you attended as a paying customer
Alex: Wheatus when he was ten at the Great Hall in Exeter
Dan: Muse in 2003 at Westpoint during the Absolution tour.
Ben Conibear: Pans People
Ben Green: Supergrass at Exeter Lemongrove
If you were to liken the band to a fictional character, who or what would it be and why?
The Avengers, because Ben Conibear is Hulk like.
What was the first ever CD/record that you bought?
Alex: Wheatus – Teenage Dirt Bag
Ben Green: Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood
Dan: Spice Girls first album of cassette
Ben Conibear: Chris de Burgh - Crusader
What are your plans for the remainder of 2015?
Record an E.P and play beautiful days with a wicked set!
Not entirely satisfied that the guys had been through enough, we strapped them into their seats and hit the 'warp speed' button on the random quick-fire question generator and stood well back, here's what happened....
Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones?
Breaking Bad. We can learn a lot from Walter White on how to run a business.
Beach or Pool?
With our beach bods in would be a dammed shame if we weren’t to flaunt them.
Springwatch or Baywatch?
Slush Puppie or Smoothie?
Smoothie’s have much more variety and opportunity to experiment with. You could blend a whole roast dinner if you wanted to!
Camembert or Stilton?
Ben G: Camembert. Alex likes stilton on a burger. I don’t.
Lie in or early riser?
Lie in, gigs are tiring!
Al Pacino or Robert de Niro?
They both make horrible films now, but De Niro’s Scorsese period are some of the best films ever made.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, there’s an inner Wookie in all of us…We’re not even sure what that means.
James Brown or James Blunt?
Does anyone say James Blunt? Our bassist “The Prof” saw James Brown live and ironically was vomiting during “I feel Good” from London fast food.
London or Bristol?
Bristol, see above.
PS4 or XBoxOne?
Neither go out and make music with friends, take a walk, look at the sky and meet real people.
Night out or Night in?
If we’re playing a night out! If we’re not there is no reason to get out of bed.
Cider or Lager?
We drink more coffee between us than is humanly possible, a lager can straighten our caffeine come down out after a gig.
Beards or No Beards?
Can we have moustaches? For the simple fact of Tom Selleck, we shouldn’t have to say anymore.
God or Google?
One is all seeing and all-knowing and the other is God. Neither as both collect private data without our permission.
We'd like to thank the guys for taking the time to sit through our questions, we hope they enjoyed answering them as much as we did watching their show, we look forward to seeing them tear the stage apart at the Beautiful Days Festival later on this year. Please spare a few moments to check out their social media pages, they're listed below, just point and click.
Interview by Steve Muscutt