I recently got the chance to sit down with one of my very favorite indie bands, Ko_Plune and discuss their beginnings, their influences, and their brand new release, “Auditory Atlas”.
Check out the interview with the entire band below!
N: Where did your band’s name come from?
Carl: “Nowhere really, we just wanted a band name that didn’t really link us to any particular sound, style or genre. Those kind of band names have always been my favourite.”
Jack: “Carl and I had been practicing before we were a full band and decided we needed to come up with a name. After a brainstorm, we came up with Ko_Plune, something meaningless but memorable, but stylized with an underscore to join the two words.”
N: How did you begin making music together?
Carl: “Jack, Courtney and I met whilst we were studying at Bournemouth University and mainly formed the band with the idea of creating an EP together since I was planning on moving to Cambridge to study at another university. We wanted to make something that we could look back on as a sort of testament to us all studying and playing music together.”
Jack: “What Carl said, but we later added Guy to the entourage, and became the Ko_Plune we are today.”
Guy: “I saw a video the band posted on a Southampton musician forum and sent them a message asking if they wanted to play with my then band. Before we had the chance, my band broke up and I ended up joining Ko_Plune.”
N: What’s the best show you’ve ever been to?
Carl: “It would have to be a combination of shows since it changes from year to year with bands that we’ve played shows with and other bands I’ve payed to see. It would most likely be The Fall of Troy at Cardiff around the time when their “Manipulator” album was released. The last bands that I saw and could recommend were Fickle Friends and Mutemath. Also check out Ricky Fits from Bristol; an awesome two piece with a juggernaut sound.”
Courtney: “My best gig so far has to be the last one we had in Brighton in February. It was the first time we played our new single ‘Cheesecake’. It went down really great and the reception was fantastic.”
Jack: “I’ve enjoyed most of the bands I’ve seen, but the gig that has really stuck with me is when Syd Arthur played in Southampton. I hadn’t heard of them before, was recommended to see them on the day by my one of my tutors, and left the gig in amazement and began buying all of their music.”
Guy: “Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park. Royal Blood opened which was insane because they were fairly new at the time. It was crazy to see them get so much sound from such a small, simple set up. Then, Miles Kane came on and absolutely stole the show. He is the best frontman I’ve ever seen. Tame Impala brought it down with some cool psychedelic tunes before Arctic Monkeys came on which resulted in my friends and I almost being killed in a crowd of 40,000 people.”
N: What are you listening to right now?
Carl: “Mainly the music of Joe Joe Hisaishi, Mutemath’s new album Vitals, Wes Montgomery, Hiatus Kaiyote and Jazz Standards since that’s what I’m working on guitar wise. Dredg as well, I’m always listening to that band.”
Courtney: “My usual, Band of Skulls, New Desert Blues and Them Crooked Vultures and Paolo Nutini.”
Jack: “I am constantly listening to music all of the time, and so many different bands, but the bands with the highest plays in my list are definitely Chon, RX Bandits and Coldrain, all bands that I would highly recommend listening to, with all three being vastly different.”
Guy: “Chon – a math rock, instrumental band. Last Dinosaurs who are a super chilled out Australian indie band and a few heavier acts like Arctic Monkeys and Paramore.”
N: What would you say were your biggest musical influences on this EP?
Carl: “It’s a combination of lots of different styles of music for the EP, I wanted each song to be different. The main influences are Circa Survive, Nobuo Uematsu, Joe Hisaishi, The Mars Volta, The Fall Of Troy, Facing New York, Thrice, The Dear Hunter, Edison Glass, Incubus, At The Drive-In, Three Trapped Tigers, Dillinger Escape Plan, Glassjaw, Dredg, Yvette Young, Bloc Party, Manchester Orchestra, Tokyo Police Club and The Smiths.”
Courtney: “My inspiration for lyrics for the EP mostly came from one of my biggest idols, Florence Welch. I love how expressive she is with her vocals and i tried to incorporate that in my lyrics.”
Jack: “Apart from the bands I mentioned that ‘I was listening to right now’, more of my influences are Night Verses, The Red Paintings and Circa Survive.”
Guy: “Ilan Rubin of The New Regime, Nine Inch Nails and Paramore, Last Dinosaurs, The Kooks, Alt-J, Peace, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, Luke Holland, Nathan Camarena.”
N: Have you played any shows in America? If not, where would you like to play?
Carl: “Not yet. It’s something we definitely will do as a lot of my friends bands are out there such as Covet and Halfsleep, so Texas and California are definitely places I want to play.”
Courtney: “One day we will get there! I’d just love to play in all the major cities, LA, California etc. and as Carl said I’d like to play with Halfsleep and Covet. after seeing them play in London it’s all I can think about when America is mentioned.”
Jack: “We were asked to play in America at the beginning of our band hood, but they didn’t realize we were from the UK, and not Southampton, New York. But nevertheless, it’s on our list of to do’s, and happy to play anywhere really, America is a big place.”
Guy: “I’d like to play in LA and NYC.”
N: What was the biggest challenge in the writing and recording process?
Carl: “The main difficulty was just getting everyone into the studio since we are all juggling part time jobs and university.”
Courtney: “The writing process for the lyrics was definitely a challenge. Carl’s guitar parts can be extremely complex and trying to find space for my vocals can be difficult at times. But after repeatedly listening to the songs it can just come to me.”
Jack: “I found that the hardest part of the recording process was all of the engineering, and the sheer amount of hours that we put in to it, particularly an awful lot of hours of just Carl and myself. We did so many takes as we’re perfectionists, and wanted to do everything properly and correct, but it was worth it in the end, as we’ve made something we’re all proud of.”
Guy: “Doing everything ourselves was the biggest challenge. The whole album was produced by us and our friends at Lost Focus. We engineered the entire thing, mixed it, mastered it, promoted it, produced it.”
N: What is the underlying concept or thread of “Auditory Atlas”?
Carl: “It’s based on the concept of 5 songs that are completely different from each other but are unified like different continents and cities.”
Courtney: “It’s based on the concept of a listening map, with all the different styles and genres from one song to the next we just thought it was kind of like a varied Ko_Plune playlist.”
Jack: “Every song has it’s own place on the EP, even though they are all different, just like every island on a map is different, and still has it’s own place in the world.”
N: What would you like to say to anyone listening to you for the first time?
Carl: “I’d just tell them that we change genres a lot.”
Guy: “Hope you enjoy it and there is probably a song you like in there since it is so diverse. Also, share share share!!”
Listen to Ko_Plune below and get their EP, “Auditory Atlas” by clicking HERE!
*Photo credit to Luke Bateman
*EP Cover Art by Beth Warne