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It only took four years for New Zealand five-piece Kora to release their anticipated sophomore album Light Years. The following interview sees Fran Kora discuss the band’s adventures in between albums and their upcoming tour of Australia in support of their new album Light Years.
On why it took so long to release Light Years, Fran explained, “It was just the timing really. We’ve got some other passions outside the band to follow through. Our drummer Brad (Kora) has an MMA gym that he’s really passionate about, so we’ve been doing some training, acting and filming; stuff like that. Four or five years doesn’t really seem long though.”
The first single Dream Life has been making its mark around Australia and New Zealand. Fran tells us where the idea originally came from: “All the boys are video game players. I called it the Pac-man song (laughs). It’s kind of left of field. The song is about looking back and following your dreams. It’s something that was fresh. We just listened to the music that was around and decided to release something that was completely different to the mainstream that is out at the moment. We were quite cheeky and it suited our personalities. It is definitely a dub sound. We were put under the reggae-dub genre for a long time, so it was our way of saying that this is what we really are.”
Light Years has branded its own genre. Kora have called the sound ‘Alien Funk’. We asked Fran how this came about: “Our manager came up with that. I said ‘It sounds like Alien Funk’, so we ran along with the idea. There were different views from the boys as well, like ‘Space Funk’. Basically, it just came down to astrology and the stars…how the universe has no limits. The process of making music has no limits. It was a clear way of giving up the reggae-dub banner that people think we are.”
Fran then went on to say that “our album is slightly out of the way. We just try and find our own voices in our own account. (We have) our own personality and make it a unique sound. When people listen to it they don’t say “It sounds like so and so”. For this album we just really locked ourselves away, so it’s not really influenced by anyone.”
Light Years was released on October 26 and is achieving great success in such a short amount of time. It is currently number one on the New Zealand iTunes charts, while their self-titled debut is sitting at number nine. He said, “It’s a big relief for the boys really; a lot of work was put into it. We hit number 2 on the (New Zealand official) charts as well. We just take it as it comes and are just happy to be recognised.” He then laughed about trying to knock Taylor Swift out of the top spot.
To a new generation of fans that were not around four years ago, Fran has a message by telling them that “a true way to see what we’re all about is to check out our live show. The live show has always been our most powerful thing. If they haven’t heard the first album, this one catches the way of our true voices and where we wanted to be. We did everything ourselves for the first album. This time around it is a lot more educated in the studio, while being true to our voices and personalities…so to our new fans, enjoy!
Kora are soon to make their return to the East Coast of Australia. They are playing three shows complete with an album launch. Fran is looking forward to the tour. “That’s always the luxury of doing the album. You can expect a high-energy show and tour. The boys know how to play and engage with an audience. The fans will feel like they’ve had a personal experience with the boys. Our other passions are MMA, kickboxing and video games, so we also have to try and train on the road.”
Light Years by Kora is out now.