Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.
“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”
Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.
“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”
“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”
Centre Straight Atom (featured video)
As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.
“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”
“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”
Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.