Liam Gallagher loves them yet they only formed a year ago with the help of fate and a well-placed online ad. Kassoma are the fresh young things reinventing rocknroll with their cut-the-crap mission to play good music without the gimmicks. And now the nice boys of rock have partnered up with Gallagher’s Pretty Green brand, playing their tunes in his stores and looking damn good while doing it. Gabriella Swerling chats fashion and music with Manchester’s resident cool cats…
Hotly-tipped to be the next big thing, Kassoma are doing beautiful things to rock music. The boys are injecting a bit of energy into a scene overflowing with twerking Beliebers in a bid to retain true rock spirit and are, obviously, revitalising it with natural Mancunian gusto.
For Kassoma, music and fashion are inextricably linked. Born and bred throughout Greater Manchester the band are well aware of their musical heritage citing Elbow, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis as major influences. But then, through gulps of beer, the cheeky foursome namedrop Katy Perry, throw in a Coldplay here and chuck in a Bruno Mars there. Kassoma don’t play by the rules. And it’s their attitude to genre-busting eclecticism that influences their sound. Rocknroll doesn’t have to equate to shagging, shooting up and premature death at the magic age of 27. Whatever happened to good people playing good music? That’s where Kassoma come in. And sure, they wear leather jackets, but by God they’ve earned them.
Drummer Isaac has a way with words. The talented musician has already been making waves in the music world setting up for Plan B, but it’s his vernacular that embodies Kassoma’s spirit. Their raison d’etre.
“All we want to do is play music when the crowd are up, dancing and ‘avin it.”
And the secret to Kassoma’s flourishing following is as simple as that. This comes from a musician suffering from bruises all over his thighs from bashing them with his drumsticks during their tour. True artistic sacrifice. Maverick Isaac confides that the band’s mission is to write music “for the people” and to never stop playing. It’s their cheeky gusto for life, ear for a tune and brotherly banter that makes Kassoma and their music so likeable. But why shouldn’t they look the part as well?
Singer and guitarist James explains: “For me, music and fashion go hand-in-hand. Look at The Beatles, The Sex Pistols. And even Arcade Fire at this year’s Glasto. Image and music are one. I love playing Pretty Green because I love that style. I feel like our sound reflects the brand. But it’s also brilliant for me on a personal level as Oasis, Liam and Noel have been my biggest music inspirations.”
Former model and guitarist Mike chips in, explaining that his taste in fashion is similar to his taste in music. A connoisseur of offbeat vibes and off-the-cuff style, he is leather jackets incarnate. “In terms of fashion I’ve always been into the rock and grunge scene, so my sense of style has never been drawn from the high street. But then again, I do like to keep up with stuff.”
Their songwriting is a collaborative process with their influences range from rock, metal, funk, indie and soul to drum and bass and chart pop. As Mike tells me, he “wouldn’t listen to any of the shite” that dominates Isaac’s playlists. To which Isaac just shrugs and returns the compliment. But together, Kassoma’s eclectic tastes cover the spectrum and enable them to cover classic and chart gems ranging from The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition to Bruno Mars’s Treasure.
Bass guitarist Nathan has perhaps the most modest of sartorial ambitions out of Kassoma. “I like what I like,” he shrugs. “But I do love buying clothes. I could easily spend hundreds on jackets and jeans but I’m happy to shell out £2.50 on plain t-shirts at Primarni. I love a bargain!”
“But then again, if I was a millionaire I’d probably spend £100 on one sock.”
Kassoma’s cult following has grown organically through social media and their new EP promises fans a fresh, upbeat take on rocknroll. Their influences ranging from soul to metal are traceable throughout each track. But this is a band best experienced live. Up, dancing and ‘avin it.
For more information about Kassoma and their upcoming gigs, see here: http://www.kassoma.com/#!gigs/