The dawn of another year is upon us. And with it unravels a whole spectrum of opportunities to chase and stories to weave up. As we take our first step, let us look back three years and consider one of the biggest bands in the country at the moment. In this year’s first feature interview, we conversed with Rash. They tell us the story of their musical journey, three years on.
Speaking for the band, lead Guitarist Max gives us an exclusive on their marketing strategy, lessons learned and a behind the scenes look at the creative process.
So first and foremost, having been in the scene for about three years now, how would you describe the experience of being in a band and watching each other grow? what has the Kenyan rock scene taught you if at all about the realities of the music.industry?
Of course the experience is awesome. It’s our dream, and I believe most people dream of being in a band, especially a successful rock band. These three years have shown us not only our growth, but also, it has shown us that the band is able to hold together through tough times. There is a bond that has become into some sort of “brotherhood” among us members, and we can feel that it is spreading even to the fans.
In terms of skills, there is no doubt that the skills have improved, and it really gives us hopes of taking our music to the next level.
In this short and long while of three years, we have learned that being on the same page is what bonds a band together, therefore it is really important. Also, we have learned that it is harder than we thought when it comes to getting “economic rewards”. We have barely recovered a small part of what we have invested in this band. That’s why it is key to be on the same page, and to leave money ambitions aside for a while.
2. Since Rash has been.in studio tell us a bit about how your style has developed from.the time you released ‘darkness and witchcraft’ to releasing ‘sons of.robots’?
If I told you that the song “Sons of Robots” has been there even from before we created the concept for Darkness and Witchcraft, would you believe me? Rock or burst… Yes, We had come up with a list of about 7 songs of our own (5 of them already released) of which Darkness and Witchcraft was the 6th song that we had composed. What I mean is that the style of the band has been as broad as to include both styles of songs since the very beginning. It’s just that we released the songs in different order, always depending on the marketing strategy that we are using at that time.
3. Talking about recording are you guys more focused on recording and promoting an.album or just making a good single and doing a video?
This is a good question, because you got us. In the dynamics of today’s music industry, we have come to realize that it is better for us to release singles with videos than albums. I mean, the moment you release an album while your face is not on billboards, and neither your voice is played 24/7 on radio and TV, two reactions are most likely to happen from the listener.
Fan’s reaction number 1: “Oh, hey, I heard your album and I think it is amazing! The most bad-ass tracks that I believe are really dope are song number 3, and I think song number 10, or 11″… I’m not sure, I can’t remember…” What I mean by this is that people would barely distinguish and appreciate the songs.
Fan’s reaction number 2: “Oh, hey, I heard your album and I think it is amazing! When are you releasing your next album?” As in, the moment you release your album, people will want another album by next month. Besides, if your album fails to make it to the top, You find yourself basically with no content until you record again and release another album. Since income unfortunately does not come from selling CD’s, it is better to stay consistent with singles, and it’s better if you can back them with a music video. Sometimes, I wish things were like back then, when people were able to buy the full album from a band and the band would directly or indirectly benefit with some income. Unfortunately, those days are long gone for bands that are beginning their careers.
4. You have done a couple of non-rock.shows. How has that helped your growth as a band to.expand the reach of.your.music. how are those.shows different from kawaida rock shows.
4- The non-rock shows we rocked have helped in many ways. It has helped to spread the RASH to other people who didn’t know about us. It’s also helped as a sign of consistency to our fans. Most importantly, it has helped as a myth-breaker. People who have been to our shows have realized that it is possible to rock anyone, and that our music is far beyond the existing stereotypical misconception of rock music as “the music of the devil”. We have increased our support through such shows. Such shows are really unpredictable to be honest. Everyone before the show suggests soft rock, or genres that are far from what we play. However, we tell them “yes, yes…”, then we go to the stage and deliver what we have always delivered in all shows. Sometimes, the client is not right. Sometimes, the client hast to let it be rock.
All in all, although Rock shows are much more fun, and we really feel the difference, and the support from the rock heads (or RASH heads), we also think that non-rock shows are also a good platform.