Drummers, with the exception of a few backline frontmen, rarely get enough love. Katchafire’s Jordan Bell likes to live a little differently. His family band, originally started by father Grenville Bell and alongside brother Logan Bell, has since grown to be a staple of New Zealand and roots reggae music altogether.
Jordan Bell goes centerstage, singing in new single “Circle Back”.
With Logan mainly on vocals, Jordan holds his own from time to time, evident in the band’s most recent release “Circle Back” before they embarked on their Summer Roadie tour. Yes, you heard us right. Katchafire, based in NZ, is one of the lucky few bands out there able to perform freely and fanatically, like COVID-19 never existed. With the rest of the world eager to catch up, Top Shelf Music was excited to chat with Jordan about his new single and what’s next for Katchafire.
You’re a drummer and a songwriter! “Circle Back” is just one of several songs you’ve written for the band. How does it feel to switch up the dynamic?
- JB: It’s great for us, as well as the fans. It allows us to give the audience a variety of songs written by more then one songwriter, adding more colour to the albums and concerts, and when we are on tour, it allows the boys to do more shows in one week without losing voices or burning out.
The song breaks away from your traditional island sound. Did you have any R&B influences?
- Yes, we are influenced by so many genres and styles and it comes through in our writing. We have always tried to put our own spin on traditional aotearoa roots, mixed in with a lot of influencers from Metallica and Chick Korea to Tupac — the list goes on. We love adding a variety of flavours, but also having that classic Katchafire sound throughout the albums.
Considering this is the first single since your 2018 ‘Legacy’ album, is another album on the horizon?
- Yes, although we are back touring now in New Zealand, so recording has slowed a little. But, we are definitely releasing this year, for sure — stay tuned, family!
In the midst of a global pandemic, how does it feel to be one of the few musical acts able to tour?
- It’s definitely a privilege and an honour to be the only place with music festivals… Flying the flag and repping the messages of love, unity and all things positive is a blessing.
What else can we expect from Katchafire, now in the New Year?
- More songs from our new album and I’d love to do some live streaming concerts to our fans all around the world, so they can be part of the experience.
- Watch this space, ‘Fire family. Much love much respect to one and all!