Interview A quick Reading Festival catch-up with Sundara Karma

We chat to the band before their Radio 1 stage slot and their Safe & Sound show tomorrow (28th August).

Just before Sundara Karma took to the stage of Reading’s Radio 1 tent for a triumphant homecoming show this weekend (more on that here!), we sat down with the four-piece to find out what they’ve been up to!

Alongside playing a ton of festivals this year, the group are busy writing new material that’ll follow their 2017 debut ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ and March’s sophomore album ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’. While keeping all the finer details on the sly right now, the guys are conscious that whatever they do next will be environmentally sound and are hoping to raise awareness of what is happening around us at the moment.

This also comes in the lead up to their show with us and War Child UK tomorrow (28th August). Speaking earlier about the importance of working with War Child for the gig, the band said: “It’s very easy to disengage from the horror in this world but it is our moral duty to confront that right now there are children being denied a right to live and a future to look forward to. War Child are doing an outstanding job in raising awareness for the vulnerable and aiding those in need of help. We’re looking forward to the playing this show immensely and adding our voice to the cause.”

Grab the last remaining tickets for tomorrow’s show here, and read our catch up with the guys below!

"You’ve got to use your platform to spread a positive message instead of the shit you see on mainstream media."

Hi Sundara Karma! How are we all?

Oscar: Very good thank you! We had Leeds on Friday which was a great success. It was a lot of fun. A mental, wild crowd with lots of flares.

Haydn: It was like the last day of school!

What else have you guys been up to recently?

Oscar: We’ve just been playing festivals to be honest with you. It hasn’t been particularly mental to be honest, apart from Glastonbury. Glastonbury was very fun. We were there all weekend actually. Luckily we were playing on the Friday so we got to enjoy the actual festival and just like it is for Reading & Leeds it was scorching! But that’s climate change for you.

Music wise, what have you been working on?

Oscar: Writing new stuff! We definitely want to get something out in the first quarter of next year. Whether or not that’s an album we’ll see. We’re just writing and recording now.

What exciting things can you tell me about it?

Dom: We’re going to self-produce it!

Oscar: Well, we’re thinking about it. I don’t know what we can say! I think you’ll have to wait to be honest with you. And I’m saying that because I can’t put it into words, it’s that conceptual. [Laughs] Nothing’s really finished, but there are some songs there! There’s definitely a hit in there.

Obviously you’ve been touring the second album, how’s it all been going?

Oscar: Fun! We did the UK, but we haven’t done a tour outside of the UK. Next year I think we’re going to make our way over to Europe and to America and Asia. But it’s been fun. It’s really nice to have these new songs in the set, it makes it feel a bit fresher. It just feels really nice and people seem to like it!

What else does 2020 have in store for you guys?

Ally: We want to be more active I guess, but in a different way.

Oscar: A lot more running! More yoga. A lot more New Age shit. Bathe in the Earth.

Ally: The aim next year is to think about the planet more than ourselves. We actually used refillable water bottles on our tour and we saved, like, 100 bottles a day! Because people just half drink them and throw them away.

Oscar: I don’t know if we could justify putting music out next year and not be environmentally conscious. I don’t know how bands can do it. It is the last chance now. I think that’s what comes first. We’ve got to educate ourselves a lot more, I think, and see how touring would work. The blueprint of what has worked in the past has to change for everyone. I’m sure there’s a way of doing it where you can remain carbon neutral. More bands should be talking about it.

Haydn: And not everyone wants to do it! It’s nice to see a band like The 1975 talking about it.

Oscar: And actually following up the sentiment as well.

Dom: You’ve got to use your platform to spread a positive message instead of the shit you see on mainstream media. You need a fresh voice, and if it’s someone that you respect and admire, you tend to listen, rather than politicians or your parents. If it’s someone that you look up to, you might make more of an effort to then research it.

Tags: Sundara Karma, Reading & Leeds, Festivals, Features, Interviews

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