7 Oct 2017

Katchafire: still on fire after 20 years

From RNZ Music, 1:30 pm on 7 October 2017

It's twenty years since Katchafire began as a low-key Bob Marley covers band in Hamilton. These days the band command huge international audiences with their live sets full of uplifting, feel-good reggae music. 

Katchafire in December 2016

Photo: YouTube screenshot

"It has been a bit of a big year of celebrations for us actually. There’s been lots to celebrate."

Katchafire's lead singer, Logan Bell says his proudest achievement to date is having kept the band together for so long.

"A lot of bands have ups and downs and problems and split up for whatever reason, but we’ve been lucky enough to hold it together. I put some of that on our family vibe, our whanau vibe that we’ve got, which keeps us on track."

The band are looking forward to upcoming summer shows across New Zealand and have just wrapped up a whopping twenty dates in Australia – not just the big centres, but also smaller towns where they still draw good crowds.


Katchafire Photo: Supplied

"Yeah, not many people do that over [in Australia], especially Kiwi bands, not even the big guys. But you know, we like to stay busy.

"Thursday, Friday Saturday nights are the big ones, but I think even on Wednesdays we’re getting around the 200, 300 mark.

"We’ll take that. Especially when you’re in the country travelling around, there’s a lot of expenses you know, so it’s better to play a small show than nothing." 

The band have just released 'Addicted'from their new album, which is coming out just in time for the New Zealand summer.

"We had a couple of beers once we’d done that!"

There are two more singles coming out before the album, which is due at the start of 2018: "That’s our goal. For sure, we’re sticking to it!

"I’m really excited by the flavours and the feel and the different elements coming through on this next record. It feels like an extension of On The Road Again. We’re pushing the boundaries a little bit more.

"We sort of feel that we have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. We’re just doing us. And I hope that people like it."