Young Kato are a band who first came to our attention when they were selected for a cameo gig in TV series Made in Chelsea. Since then, they’ve been busy putting together their debut album and have just announced their first headline tour of 2014, which kicks off in Oxford on April 22nd and ends in Bath on May 2nd. This follows their own London Highbury Garage show on March 27th and a nationwide tour supporting You Me At Six. We caught up with them to discuss tour preparations, bands of brothers, failed marriages and the return of rock & roll.

Young Kato

You guys are about to embark on your biggest headline tour- how important is the live experience to you as a band?

To us, the live experience is ridiculously important. It’s something we take seriously, but at the same time it’s balanced with all 6 of us having a laugh.

In today’s music industry, how important is the live show for music acts in general?

Live shows are still important in today’s industry. Anyone who attends a live show will feel a greater connection to the musician. Fans appreciate live shows more than shit quality YouTube videos, that’s for sure.

What do you hope to achieve with this tour, having already had your music broadcast to households all across Britain?

We’ve seen over the last few tours that we have a great little fan base. Our aim is to give everyone who comes an amazing experience, so that they come back again and again and hopefully we can just carry on building from that.

6 members is a lot for one band – how does that dynamic work/ what challenges does it pose, if any?

It is great having quite a lot of people in the band really, though we don’t really know any different – we are all just a group of mates having a laugh though!

What is the balance of writing/playing/composing?

We have a main songwriter in the band in Joe Green. He builds the foundations to the songs and we all bring forward our respective parts. After the music is there, Green and I will write all lyrics, top lines, melodies etc.

You’ve half-joked about the band having started as a result of failed marriages (with Jack and Sam being stepbrothers.) To what extent do you feel hardship can encourage you to be more creative and does your music/songwriting tend to come from that place?

Haha yeah we have joked about that before! I guess stuff that happens definitely informs what you write about and can encourage creativity.

Young Kato

You are billed as “youthful, colourful, vibrant”,  with the ‘dark side’ having been dismissed, at least until ‘a few albums down the road.’ Is this a conscious effort to make feel-good music?

Our sound certainly fits in the brackets of ‘youthful, colourful, vibrant’ and we have songs that celebrate this. However we do have some mature ‘darker’ songs in us already too. Our debut album shows light and dark, and a balance that may surprise you.

You’ve been working with producer Dan Grech-Marguerat – who has previously worked his magic on the likes of Beck, The Vaccines, Howling Bells, Radiohead and Lana Del Rey – how much is this shaping the sound of your album?

Dan has a great ear for pop music, and we’ve completely embraced this in our album. We put a lot of thought into our album, we’ve taken every song apart and rebuilt it to be better. Dan for me is one of the best producers in the world at the moment and it was a pleasure working with him.

How has your process changed/evolved since signing a record deal?

We’ve certainly taken this a lot more seriously that’s for sure. Our label are very supportive and just allow us to just carry on as we were, 6 mates in a band playing songs.

You got your first big break when you were featured on Made in Chelsea – how important is pop culture to your process? Do you feel a pressure to please a certain fanbase having had a taste of this success with the more mainstream crowd?

All we really want to do with this band is to showcase it to as many people as possible. If they love it and get it then perfect and if they don’t, that’s fine, there’s something out there for everyone. We feel that we can appeal to a wide audience, so there’s no pressure to us accepting any sort of opportunity to do that.

Jack has said “we’re not always going to be the band that were on Made In Chelsea.” Have there been any downsides to the MIC experience (feeling fenced it, labelled etc.) or has it been a totally positive career move?

There’s no denying that the MIC experience has helped us greatly in our careers. It was a completely positive experience, we’ve got a great foundation of a fan base and it put us on people’s radars… what more could an up and coming band want?

At the BRITs the other week, Alex Turner gave a speech about the grand return of rock & roll and this is a change that British Indie bands seem to be at the centre of bringing about. Is this a movement you guys feel you are a part of?

I definitely agree that there are some great bands around at the moment doing great things and hopefully we can become a part of that!

Young Kato

Young Kato release their debut single ‘Help Yourself’ on March 24th, headlining Highbury Garage on March 27th.

For gig and tour dates, see: http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/young-kato/