‘The Colossus' is the debut album from Cairo Knife Fight and it's about to be unleashed onto the world which will delight the forever expanding fan base both here in our own kiwi land, our neighbours across the ditch and around the world in places like Los Angeles, which is now home to Cairo Knife Fight.
In celebration of the album the duo are also set to play three NZ shows - starting at the Whammy Bar in Auckland tonight - Friday May 29, Dux Live in Christchurch on Saturday May 30 and finishing up at Bodega in Wellington on Sunday May 31.
When asked what the future holds for Cairo Knife Fight the unanimous response was to "Go home to LA and play up a storm until everyone knows who we are." I get the distinct feeling that if you make it in LA you kind of make it everywhere. Kind of like what it used to be like in New York when people like Frank Sinatra was topping the charts. A bit different here in Auckland, I guess, where if you make it Auckland... you make it in Auckland?
A good reason for ex-pat kiwi Nick Gaffaney to head away to the promise land of tinsel town. And what a good move it was because it put him in the direct pathway and collision with former Black Eye Peas guitarist and co-song writer, George Pajon Junior. Rumour has that George has his studio in Nick's back yard. Well a meeting was inevitable. Wal and I were able to catch up with Nick and George here in Auckland on the back of a very successful Australian tour, on the eve of their debut album release ‘The Colossus' and their New Zealand tour.
We loved the first single Rezlord which is on the new album and we loved the music video that came with it (pardon the pun) just as much. How much influence do you over your music videos?
We work with an incredibly talented production company, Red Yeti. Carl is always very creative and seems to get it right in terms of what we are what we are after. We've worked with them [Red Yeti] before and have always been happy with what they produce.
How about the girl?
Hannah is a very talented local performer that has been generous enough to appear not only in Rezlord, but also is the main feature in our latest video Reality Engine, which is a song about mental illness. She's an amazing lady who is super busy. In fact she's just finished a major dance gig in Australia. Yeah we like what she does and are very happy with the results. We've yet to meet her but we're still very pleased to have her.
Nick, there have been many famous music duos throughout the history of music. Groups such as Simon and Garfunkel, the Black Keys etc. Why the decision to become a two piece?
The tour budgets dictate a lot of the reasons for there just being the two of us. It's hard to make it work financially in today's scene with a full band. A lot of the time DJs are what people hiring and that's what they are prepared to pay for... one plane ticket, one room's accommodation etc. As a two piece we can cut down the cost of touring to being almost the same cost as a DJ. Sure we have a lot more band gear but we can still get by with one room and an extra plane ticket. The optimal thing for us as musicians to do is to tour. There's not a lot money in selling CDs now because of the internet so for us we need to tour. If we had 16 members in the band that would mean that we could only tour for 3 months and then the budget's gone. With just two members we can go the whole year which is what we like to do.
George, rumour has it that you joined Cairo Knife Fight to get away from The Black Eye Peas'. Is there any truth in that?
(Laughs) I started out with the Black Eye Peas back in 1998 and toured with them right to the end which was 2013. They're still my family and I will always have connections with them. I played with ‘Will' and helped out with the songs throughout that time and will always be in connection with them, but for me I was never into that type of music. I have never bought a hip hop song in my life. I have always been a rock n roll guy. Even heavier. I grew up listening to Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. So when I met Nick and got to know his music I knew it was the direction in music I wanted to head in. This is the music I have always enjoyed so it was time to make a change.
George, you've played with a long list of accomplished musicians like Carlos Santana and Sting to name but a few. These are pretty fussy, picky kind of guys. How did you get on?
Well Sting was the hardest most picky of all of them. We were learning a new song that he had written and when I heard it I hated it. He had like a hundred chords and I just wanted to cut it right back and make it stronger and give it more weight. So I told his manager, who is his best friend, what I thought and he agreed so we rewrote the piece. Later on Sting came in and listened to it and said, "What happened to my hook?" His best friend sat him down and said, "Gordon I think this sounds better and we should give it some time".
He used the Gordon word?! I bet that went down well. "Who's this Gordon Sumner character? I'm Sting"
Yeah... well he was his best friend. Anyway we played the new riff and he [Sting] ended up liking it. He actually invited us to stay over at his house. He told us later that we were very brave changing a Sting song but he was glad.
Nick what is in the future for Cairo Knife Fight?
Play as many gigs in LA as possible. We want LA to notice the band so we're going to go home and "Build some noise." There are no plans to go back into the studio just yet. We like it live and that's where we'll be for a while.
Thanks Nick and thanks George for speaking with us. All the very best for your New Zealand tour and we look forward to watching more of your videos. The second one looks even hotter that the first. Cheers.
Cairo Knife Fight
Friday 29th May: Whammy!, Auckland
Saturday 30th May: Dux Live, Christchurch
Sunday 31st May - Bodega, Wellington
Tickets on sale via Event Ticketing