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Interview: Channel Cairo

Channel Cairo are like a box of magic tricks – full of surprises, always exciting, and they never disappoint. To coincide with the launch of their debut single, we caught up with lead singer/keyboard player Josh Bowyer for a quick chat about his kidnapping in Cairo at age 9, the theatre, and future incarnations.

PlanetNotion: Think it’s fair to say your back story is an odd one, how do you think the events that your nine your old self witnessed influenced your whole life?

Josh Bowyer: I guess it puts things into perspective when you think of the different ways things could have played out, but I think most importantly, it’s given me a band name which is something I’ll always treasure my captors for.

PN: Do you think it was very much fate that brought you together, what with you drummer, James Gardiner’s link to Howard Carter?

JB: I don’t believe in fate, no. I have a strong suspicion that James may have been stalking me for some time before we first met.

PN: If there could have been any other name for the band, what would it have been?

JB: People say a name can make or break a band but I don’t believe that. You could waste a lifetime studying the semiotics of successful band names but it’s just pop astrology. You can’t control the way people will add meaning to a name, you just have to choose and stick by it. We chose Channel Cairo because it just felt neutral and honest, but in truth it could have been any name; we didn’t dwell on it.

PN: Considering you all seem so influenced by the culture of the Middle East, and with your links there, there seems to be no link to the music of that continent. It almost seems British, charming, full in sound. Why do you think that is?

JB: There are links but we like to keep them very subtle. We want to stay true to our roots and that can only be within a quintessentially British sound. For now anyway.

PN: Do you think you’ll ever play in Cairo?

JB: The dream is definitely there, we’ve started to gather a following in Cairo which was quite a shock as we haven’t released anything yet. Maybe a name can make a band after all.

PN: Your tunes almost seem theatrical as tentative harmonies whirl into big choruses. Was this romanticised feeling always something you wanted to capture?

JB: Definitely. I love the romantic period. All of our songs begin with a romanticised perspective on a scene which we use as a guiding light and begin to build and experiment around. It can often begin to take us in a theatrical direction but we don’t fight it.

PN: Seeing as your seminal track ‘Elephant Room’ seemed to find itself re-jigged eight times, what can we expect for future incarnations of the music variety from Channel Cairo?

JB: We have a big repertoire and we chose our debut carefully. There are definitely some very Cairan elements to ‘Elephant Room’ that are portentous of things to come but, there will be some big surprises along the way.

Channel Ciaro release their eagerly awaited debut single “Elephant Room” on August 29th. For info on the band look here.

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