Ahead of the start of their festival run this summer that kicks off with Call of the Wild festival, we had the chance to chat to Ash Powell, drummer of the amazing Karma Effect. Check out the interview below!
What was it like forming as the Pandemic hit? Was it always the plan or did the band come about because of the state of the world?
We had spoken briefly about starting a new project at the start of 2020, but it wasn’t really anything serious – we were all incredibly busy individually with session work and touring with other artists so wouldn’t have really had the time to sit down and get it started properly. Ironically the pandemic came at a perfect time in that respect, because all of our other work came to a stop, it gave us the chance to discuss the project properly and really define the exact sort of music we wanted to write. The initial plan was for it to be a solo project for Henry, but after a few rehearsals it soon became clear that it was always going to be a band.
Having just finished a few dates in venues, how excited are you to hit the festival circuit? Looks like a busy summer for you!
We really can’t wait! We had a small taste of the UK Rock festival circuit last year when we played at places like Loverocks, Just Push Play and some others which were all amazing and they have just made us even more excited to be out on the festival circuit this summer. It’s all been quite overwhelming as well.
When we first got together as a band we were looking at the major UK rock festivals – Stonedead, Steelhouse, Call Of The Wild etc – and said ‘if we can land a spot on a couple of those festivals in the next four or five years then that’ll be great’, and now we’re playing them all in the same year! For us, festivals are massively important as a new band on the scene, we all went to festivals as kids and discovered some amazing bands and artists so now hope that we can be that band that people discover!
What would you say the scene is like at the minute? What’s it like being adopted into the NWOCR movement?
Again, it’s all been a bit overwhelming to be honest! We only played our first ever live show in the summer of 2021 at the brilliant Leo’s Red Lion, and since then the NWOCR fans and supporters have really taken us in and championed our music, which means the world to us. It’s a scene that is definitely on the rise that’s for sure, you just have to look at the chart positions of bands such as Stone Broken, Those Damn Crows, Scarlet Rebels etc to see that the UK Rock scene is still alive and kicking! We’ve also noticed that our fans and NWOCR fans in general are some of the nicest and most loyal fans in the country, it’s always great when you turn up to a show hundreds of miles from home and there are fans waiting to chat and wearing our merchandise – it’s incredibly humbling.
The crowdfunding looks to have gone well, are we close to hearing some new music from album number 2?
The crowdfunding campaign has been amazing in terms of generating the funds to allow us to create something special this time around. Our fans really have been incredible in helping us with this. We realised early on that the songs we were writing for album two were bigger and better than the first album, so we really wanted to channel that into the recording process, and the crowdfunder campaign has really allowed us to do this. It’s still early days in terms of when new music will be released, but we can confirm the recording process is finished now! Ideally, we want to have some new music out in to the world before the end of the year, but there are a lot of factors to consider, so we shall see…
What’s the writing process like for you guys? Anything specific that inspires you?
Our frontman Henry does the majority of the songwriting, sometimes that will be fully-finished songs or he may just have a riff or a chorus melody which we will then explore as a band and try to make it the best it can be. Henry has a little home-studio space where we can get together and demo ideas. That’s a huge difference to the first time around for album one, as we were writing during lockdown it meant that we couldn’t physically get together and rehearse or record demos – so the entire first record was written over Zoom!
In terms of inspiration, we all come from slightly different musical backgrounds so we try to bring everyone’s individual inspirations to the fore when we write, but as a band we make no secret of the fact that we love 70’s classic rock, so bands like Aerosmith, Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Eagles etc all mixed in with a slightly more modern twist that you see from bands such as The Black Crowes.
What’s the goal in say, the next 5 years? Any big venues you want to play or milestones you want to hit?
For us the goal has, and always will be the same – to give absolutely everything we can to making The Karma Effect the best it can possibly be. We started this band as a bit of a passion-project to fit around the other work we were doing at the time, but since then it’s completely taken on a life of its own and just continues to get bigger by the day. Specific goals would be to perform at some of the huge UK festivals such as Download, Reading/Leeds, Glastonbury etc. and also to hit the road as much as possible and play with some amazing bands. We hope to expand into Europe and we’d also love to go over the US at some point, but our Government makes both of those quite difficult, so we’ll see how things go.
If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Good question! We’re all massive G’n’R fans, so that would be pretty cool. ‘Appetite for Destruction’ is one of our favourite albums of all time, so to tour with pretty much the original line-up would be awesome. Also, Aerosmith just released dates for their ‘farewell’ tour with The Black Crowes supporting, so to open on that bill would just be mind-blowing. They’re two of our biggest influences when it comes to writing music, and if it’s the last chance we get to play with Aerosmith then it’s got to be that!