Karate: Back at it. Still at it.
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John Paul Chirdon of Said Sew Recordings sat down with the band Karate at the infamous Bar in New Haven CT.
John Paul is a cofounder of Said Sew Recordings and Tweed Magazine contributor. Karate is Geoff Farina, Jeff Goddard, and Gavin McCarthy.
To start it off, this is something like your third or fourth show in the US after a long break?
Farina: Something like that. I think it's our sixth. We took some time off and played in Europe over the summer but haven't played much here.
What did that time mean for the group?
Farina: A break, definitely. I think it was mostly probably my doing because I really needed a break. The way that it happened was we had just played a lot after we did Some Boots, and I think we all kind of got exhausted and it's just kind of hard in a lot of ways to play everywhere and do everything that we get asked to do. It puts a lot of strain on personal lives and things like that. I think we all just needed a break and I actually got pretty sick towards the end of it so I needed it health-wise. So just to make it work it was good to take the time off. It wasn't even a year. I think it was 9 months or so. We started practicing around January or February of this year so it wasn't super long.
Goddard: Well, we recorded the record at the very tail end of that, so we already had the material sort of working so just before we had sort of stopped, we had recorded. I think that was a good point to end on, at least, for the year so when we came back and started playing, we had something to work with right away.
That was something I was wondering about. You guys recorded the record--was it right after touring Some Boots? Did you start writing that material right when you were back and settled in?
Farina: I started writing it about 2 years ago or so. I don't remember exactly how the schedule went. I honestly don't remember exactly how that worked. I know I worked on writing that material specifically 6 months or a year before we started playing it. And then we got together and started rehearsing it and playing it, and then that went on for about six months. I think, generally, that's how it works.
Goddard: I think Jeff had about half of the songs when we were touring in Europe for the Some Boots trip for the winter in about March/April. Then, when we finished touring in the beginning of May, we decided we were going to stop playing shows to record at the end of that summer. And we spent the rest of that summer working out songs because a lot of it we had never played live--maybe two or three of the songs.
You talk about having songs during this tour or that. Would you say in the background of the band, the dynamic of writing the songs is from a singer/songwriter then enter the other two song-writers situation? Does a lot of material jumpstart on your personal time and is thus reinterpreted when the three of you come together?
McCarthy: I don't know about reinterpreted. Interpreted, definitely. I think we sort of try and hear what Geoff is trying to get at and do what's appropriate and also put our stamp on it where we can. But yeah, I think reinterpreting is a little strong.
Farina: I think that a lot of what I write for Gavin and Jeff is literally for them, like I know what they are going to do and they have a lot of things that I think they do really well that a lot of other people don't or can't do or something. You know, just learning from our history, it's easy for me to do something that I know is going to fit them really well or they are goin
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