Reading four-piece Sundara Karma, which consists of vocalist Oscar Lulu, drummer Haydn Ashley, bassist Dom Cordell and guitarist Ally Baty, have been making waves this year; from playing Reading and Leeds festival this summer, to receiving critical acclaim for singles Loveblood and She Said. Vocalist Oscar chats to Ellie Kemp about their favourite Notts venue, tour antics and their highly anticipated debut album.
As a band, you’ve played Nottingham quite a few times – do any venues have a significance to you?
When we went on our first ever tour with Swim Deep, Rescue Rooms was the first show of that tour. It’s probably the most memorable venue of Nottingham for us. We met this Rastafarian called Lloyd here, and he got kicked out for drinking Haydn’s Old Speckled Hen – he wasn’t allowed the bottle! That was the tamest part of that evening.
Having been friends for a long time and having to spend a lot of time together on tour, do you ever get on each other’s nerves?
Yes and no – I’m sure we do get on each other’s nerves, but when we do, we know when to chill out. We can read each other pretty well. We’ve known each other since day one, really.
Who would you say is the most unreliable band member on tour?
Ally. He’s not the slowcoach – I’m the slowcoach with getting ready, big time. But Ally’s the last one to get up. He would rather get up as late as he can and blitz the shower, where as I would rather get up early so I can do everything really slow.
What was the inspiration behind your latest single She Said?
Well a big part of growing up for me has been going out and getting totally black out drunk and trying to have a flirt with whoever will have me – so inadvertently the inspiration was probably a few too many Snakebites.
What can you tell us about the music video for She Said?
It features the beautiful Suzi Leenaars and is directed by top bloke Rob Brandon. We wanted to do something that embodied the spirit of the song which is basically booze, insecurity, hangovers, euphoria etc. It’s worth a watch if you’ve got a minute.
Who were the artists you looked up to when you were growing up?
Jim Morrison. I remember being 15 or 16 and I went through a real hippie phase, and I was obsessed with Woodstock. I just wanted long hair and to live in California!
How would you describe your song writing process?
I do write when I feel inspired – I find it hard to write on routine. I can’t say I’m going to write for two hours everyday, at a given time. For me, I can’t turn it on like a tap – whereas some people can. I think the quieter moments are always the best place to get inspiration from.
Your debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect is released early next year – which tracks are you most proud of and why?
It’s hard to think of the track that I’m most proud of, I don’t know if I can really look at it like that. I become proud of a song when people come up to me after a show and say they had some sort of a connection with it, and the songs always vary.
How does it feel to get such a great response from fans and press with new material?
It’s lovely to know that there is so much kindness out there!
Sundara Karma play Rescue Rooms on 27 September. Tickets are £13 from alttickets.com