On the 13th of February, I had the pleasure of conducting my first interview with Reading indie popsters, Sundara
Karma. The guys had ventured up north to play an electric set, featuring balloons and enough glitter to cover
Yorkshire, surrounding the release of their new album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’. I caught up with
Oscar, Ally, Haydn and Dom to talk about the album and how they all found the Northern weather.
How do you find the North?
Oscar: Actually quite beautiful, we did a lot of sightseeing, a lot of culture, we saw Antony Gormley’s Another Place, all thanks to our photographer, Amber’s idea. And we drove through, don’t know where it was but…
Haydn: The Peak District!
Oscar: ….And we saw snow and that was cool.
You’ve just been on tour with Two Door Cinema Club, did you find it a nice break from all the album
release and all the press?
Oscar: Yeah, its always really good fun, still quite intense.
Dom: Yeah still intense, but the best part of the Two Door tour was probably the catering. It was kinda the thing I was most excited about every day because it was so good!
What would you say your essential tour items are?
Oscar: Probably Berocca, that always helps, even though I haven’t got any. Moisturiser and I have a sliver shampoo to keep my highlights looking fresh and if I forget that it ends up looking bronzed, bit manky.
Are the visuals aesthetics of the band really important to you? Is that something you think of
Oscar: My great aunty she used to be in a rock and roll band back in the day and she actually sang on a cruise with Hot Chocolate for a bit. And she said that people tend to listen with their eyes. Which is kinda true. So I think if you can draw someone in with an image, as long as the musics still adequate and the quality is there.
Because you’ve just released your new album, even after the release, would you say you’re always in a
writing frame of mind or do you let it go once you’ve released an album?
Oscar: Yeahh, I mean this album has been done for ages so we’ve definitely moved on. Before we’d put it out I’d listen to it quite a bit and now I just don’t listen to it at all.
Have you got a lot of songs that you’ve wrote beforehand that you might release in future. Are you
always writing or?
Oscar: Yeah try to, I’ve just been discovering Garage band on the iphone which is cool cause I guess you can just do it anywhere now.
Whats your favourite song from the album?
Dom: Its different for everyone really
Haydn: My favourite today is ‘Deep Relief’. It changes everyday.
Oscar: I think mine today is ‘Be Nobody’, ‘Happy Family’.
Ally: It’s ‘Olympia’ today
Oscar: What was it yesterday?
Ally: ‘Watching From Great Heights’
Dom: That was my favourite yesterday.
Whats your go to karaoke song?
Oscar: We nearly did karaoke last night, we were actually at the doors of it but they were shut. Frank from Blaenavon was going to sing Man in the Mirror and Bars our sound guy was going to sing Slipknot.
Haydn: I think I was ordered to do Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl which I was not opposed to in anyway.
Oscar: Ally’s is Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al, that just makes sense.
Dom: I don’t know what mine would be
Obviously you played Tramlines last year, what did you reckon to Tramlines and maybe coming back?
Oscar: Yeah Tramlines was pretty good, it was our favourite show ever in Sheffield I think we’ve only ever played The Leadmill in Sheffield.
Dom: It’s always good in Sheffield lots of up’s and down’s in Sheffield. (Too many hills)
How supportive were each of your parents? Do they still think that you’ll go back to your normal job?
Oscar: I think we’ve been very lucky that we’ve all got pretty supportive parents who are all quite into it. We never went to uni, it can be a big thing for parents they definitely let us drop the ball there for a bit. They were going to give us one year and if it doesn’t work then you’ll have to go to uni.
Dom: Quite interesting my parents faces when I was like yeah I wanna be in a rock band, I don’t wanna go to uni, I really wanna live life. My dad said “Thats not how life works son!”
You’ve been together since you were 14, is that the whole band or just certain members?
Oscar: Some of us have known each other longer but the whole band has been together since we were 14.
Whats the song that reminds you of home?
Oscar: In relation to the four of us its got to be ‘Aeroplanes’ by B.O.B. There was another one from our Majorca trip when were 15.
Ally: That was that Tribes album.
Oscar: There was another one from when we were in the club almost like ‘We Speak No Americano’. If we wanted to soundtrack that trip then maybe we go more ‘Joshua Tree’
What do reckon to your fans and had any odd experiences or been sent anything odd?
Ally: No, nothing too weird, someone did a really nice drawing the other day.
Oscar: Yeah it was a crazy life like drawing.
Is it surreal that you think yourselves to be normal people and fans are sending you drawings and
asking for pictures?
Oscar: Yeah, it’s a strange culture, I’d do the same to the people that I have a connection with and that they represent something. And that explains the whole ‘selfie’ thing of wanting to connect with the person your having the picture with.
What bands inspired you when you were starting out has it changed or do you think with new music it’s
Oscar: Yes it’s massively changed, for me the first ever band picture I had on my bedroom wall when I was 3 was Westlife, hopefully matured since then. We all bonded over The Doors, Pink Floyd.
What new music and bands do you support?
Oscar: Well every band that we are touring with at the moment, are all good mates, Palm Honey are from Reading we’ve known them for years.
Whats the plans for the rest of the year, Any festivals planned?
Haydn: Yeah we’ve got a few, we’re going to America to play South by South-west (SXSW) in Texas, where every single bar in Austin is turned into a venue.
Dom: We’re playing Truck festival which is local for us.
Oscar: 110 Above, hard to remember them all of the top of your head.
The band are currently on tour in the US and return to the UK to play ‘Dot to Dot’ festival in Manchester on Friday 26th of May.
All tour dates can be found on Sundara Karma’s website.
(Pic by Anna Maria Lopez www.annamarialopez.com)