10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright of Young Kato

By on Wednesday, 11th December 2013 at 12:00 pm

Young Kato have had one hell of a year, and we’re not just saying that because they placed at lucky number #7 on the TGTF 10 for 2014 readers’ poll. No, they’ve been very busy lads, so busy that I was very pleased I was able to pin down leader singer Tommy Wright during this busy time and long enough to answer some questions for me. I find out more about their hometown of Cheltenham and how they got started, their connection to Made in Chelsea and what I’m allowed to know about their debut album.

We don’t know a whole lot about you guys. Can you tell us how you all got together? Did you know each other from living in the same town, going to the same school, etc.?
Young Kato was formed in late 2011. We were brought together through the step brother link in the band – Sam (drums) and Jack (lead guitar). I went to school with Jack and Joe Green (guitar), and Sam went to school with Harry (keyboards) and Joe Lever (bass). We all played instruments and had a huge passion for music, so it made sense to get together and make some noise.

Tell us about Cheltenham. We don’t know much about it besides it having a racecourse where Wychwood Festival takes place at the start of the summer.
Cheltenham is known for a few things and music tends to not be one of them. There’s no real scene in Cheltenham so there’s no real specific sound bellowing out of here, but if you look hard enough there are some real gems hidden away across the musical spectrum.

A lot has been made about how young you guys are. What are the pros and cons of being so young in this business? (In comparison, I’m old-ish…)
I think there are only positives for us being as young as we are doing what we are doing. Our sound is youthful and vibrant and we make the most of gigs, etc., enjoying the experiences as you’d expect of six 19/20 year old lads. However, behind all of that, we are very aware of what is going on around us and there’s no naivety in this band. We know what we want and we’re making sure that our debut album sounds perfect along with everything that goes alongside it visually.

I saw you live, performing Saturday night at this year’s Great Escape, directly before the 1975. What were your highlights of the 2013 festival season? What is the crowd reaction these days when Young Kato takes the stage?
The Great Escape festival was a cool experience for us, it was our second gig of the day and we definitely felt we had won the crowd over. It was a pleasure to share the stage with 3 great bands: China Rats, The 1975 and Tribes.

Over the summer we played a few amazing ‘small’ festivals: Barn on the Farm, Y Not and X&Y to name a few. We hope to play every festival possible in 2014. We are always perfecting our live craft whenever we can, making sure that whoever is watching can appreciate every aspect of our music. One of the best reviews we ever had appeared recently after our latest tour in November, where the reviewer came along expecting to hate us (because of the Made In Chelsea connection). As the review read on, he said he was completely and utterly was won over. Job done.

One of the most exciting things to happen to you this year was to be featured on the E4 reality drama Made in Chelsea, and then you played a sold-out show related to the franchise. Tell us about this?
We got a call from the Music producer of the show asking if we’d be up for being on the show. We’d already been played in the background a bit on Made in Chelsea and it had been giving us such great exposure. The show prides itself on showcasing the best new music out there, alongside some incredible established bands. Throughout the rest of 2013, we have been building the foundations of an amazing fan base, touring in the summer and releasing more music. We were asked to headline a gig that would be streamed on 4OD called ‘Played in Chelsea’ for the show. The venue was called ‘Under the Bridge’ at Chelsea FC’s ground. I’ve been a huge Chelsea fan all my life, so it was a great excuse to get to the bridge.


So word on the street is your debut album will be released on BMG/Chrysalis next year. What can you tell us about it? Have you decided on a title yet?
The album is completely finished and now we’re focusing on the artwork and everything to go round it. The album is sounding absolutely perfect and the producer we worked with – Dan Grech (Tom Odell, The Vaccines, Lana Del Rey) – really has bought the best out of us. Unlike previous recording sessions, we didn’t walk into the studio and record what we played live. We completely stripped every song apart and put a lot of thought into it all, therefore allowing all 11 songs to flourish. The album isn’t a concept album, neither a vehicle for singles; to us, it’s just 11 strong songs showcasing what we do. We have the title name in the bag… I just can’t tell you yet.

Young Kato Great Escape live

You’ve got an epic, epic hairdo. What is your secret for such good-looking hair? (See photo above for proof.)
Thanks, haha. There is nothing special that I do to create this. I literally wake up, shower and go. There’s the obligatory trip to the barbers to get grade 0.5 on the sides once a month as well.

What exciting things are you all up to this holiday season?
As a band we hate being quiet, we want to be kept busy every second of the day so we’ve scheduled some sessions over the Christmas period. One session in particular we’re performing is a weird version of’ Drink Dance Play’, with 4 old school Casio keyboards for SBTV. We’ve also just released a cover we made for a compilation album. We recorded the cover in 1 day, running back and forth between the two studios in Shoreditch. We chose to cover Boy Meets Girls’ ‘Waiting for a Star to Fall’, as the criteria was ‘Eighties love’. It’s a complete ’80s guilty pleasure, go check it out. Other than this, we will have to take it easy before the New Year kicks in, maybe get a bit of writing in and start a bit for the next album. 2013 has been amazing for us and we’re very grateful, but we’re not stopping now.

Thanks very much to Tommy for answering all my questions! And stay tuned, folks, we have his answers to the TGTF Quickfire Questions for you tomorrow.

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5 Responses

12:02 pm
11th December 2013

10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright @TommyWright_YK of Young Kato @YOUNGKATO on their debut album and Made in Chelsea http://t.co/L6e8qfJIa5

12:18 pm
11th December 2013

RT @tgtf: 10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright @TommyWright_YK of Young Kato @YOUNGKATO on their debut album and Made in Chelsea http://t.co…

1:16 pm
11th December 2013

RT @tgtf: 10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright @TommyWright_YK of Young Kato @YOUNGKATO on their debut album and Made in Chelsea http://t.co…

4:06 pm
11th December 2013

RT @tgtf: 10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright @TommyWright_YK of Young Kato @YOUNGKATO on their debut album and Made in Chelsea http://t.co…

10:26 pm
11th December 2013

RT @tgtf: 10 for 2014 Interview: Tommy Wright @TommyWright_YK of Young Kato @YOUNGKATO on their debut album and Made in Chelsea http://t.co…

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