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Interview with Greg Brown from KARMAN LINE
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
GB: Can’t answer on behalf of the whole band but, personally, I don’t think there was any exact moment of realisation. Though, I remember seeing Jimi Hendrix on TV as a kid and thinking ‘that looks like a lot of fun’. Must have been Woodstock or something.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
GB: I’m lucky enough to be able to work as a creative both in and out of music. When it's not writing music, it's writing ads for TV and Radio. If it’s not lyrics, it’s copy for billboards. Being a creative for a living definitely influences and even aids the creative process when it comes to music.
How long has your band been around?
GB: We formed this band during the pandemic. We couldn’t really go out looking for gigs because there weren’t really any happening so we put all our energy into writing and recording our album. Two and a half years later, we’re finally getting the show on the road.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
GB: We’re all based in Dubai, UAE. The cool thing about this place is that it's such a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. Each member of our band is from a different country and each brings their own cultural influences to the table. I think that in that sense, it probably influences our music.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
GB: A lot of our first album is written on the theme of Albert II, the monkey NASA sent to space in 1949. The ‘Karman Line’ by definition is ‘an attempt to define the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. This was the boundary that Albert II crossed, making him the first mammal in space. We were called something different before but once the album started to take shape, we thought re-naming our band after this would be pretty fitting. And we generally just preferred it.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
GB: Again, difficult to answer on behalf of the whole band but, for me, that would probably be headlining the Rock in Goa festival back in 2014 with a band called Daisygrim.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
GB: Once upon a time, there was a venue in Dubai called The Music Room. Unfortunately, its closed down now. But that was the best venue to play in the city. No matter what night of the week. In terms of where we’d want to play, there are loads of places that come to mind. Roundhouse, The Roxy, and The Viper Room to name a few.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
GB: Tough question…There are so many bands we’d love to share the bill with. Out of the many awesome modern rock bands, probably the likes of Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Rival Sons or even The Struts.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
GB: As Journey would say… Don’t stop believing.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
GB: Street lights, people waoaaaaaahhh
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
GB: The song that means the most to me is one called ‘Bridges of Neptune’. Not only is it our album opener, it also represents taking control of one's own narrative and cutting yourself loose from the situations that don’t align you with how you want to live your life.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
GB: We have fun playing all the songs, to be honest. The album is only out in May so people haven’t really had a chance to become properly acquainted with all the tracks yet. But I think I already know which ones are going to stand out.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
GB: I’d say our music is very inspired by the day-to-day. Everyday struggles, thoughts and musings through to recounting real events. There is no singular focus and I think that’s what makes the writing process that much more exciting.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
GB: Again, no specifics really. A lot of our songs seem to sway towards grabbing life by the balls and doing what you’ve got to do to get by in this world.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
GB: Full-on brawls. Usually, its first to draw blood wins the argument. Kidding, I mean we’re generally pretty diplomatic about every decision and all try not to take anything personally. Music is meant to be fun at the end of the day; why waste time arguing?
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
GB: We’ve got quite a lot planned for the next 6 months. We’ve got our album launch in May and a few other shows lined up around the same time. We’re filming a live stripped-back version of our album at A.R. Rahman’s studio here in Dubai over the summer along with another couple of music videos to support this record. Definitely a lot to look forward to. Keep in touch at - www.instagram.com/Karmanlinetheband