Interview: Cousin Kula

We caught up with Bristol psych-pop maestros Cousin Kula mid-way through their latest UK tour to talk about their new music, their shared love for Syd Arthur and The Louisiana...

– Do you like being called psych-pop or do you think there’s a better way to describe your sound?
There’s never an easy way to describe a sound with one succinct label that feels totally encompassing, but psych-pop is the most comfortable label we’ve found to describe ourselves. 

– Your new track Jelly Love has just been released. What is your favourite flavour of Jelly?
Does anyone actually like eating jelly? Jim [the band’s drummer] does apparently. But he’s just realised it’s got gelatin in and he’s been veggie for a while… :-/

– What are you doing with your new releases that maybe you weren’t doing on your last EP OODLES?
OODLES is a picture of our sound as it evolved from our beginnings as a band up to the end of 2017. As we’ve progressed as a band our songwriting has continued to develop with each one we write. I think this definitely shines through with Jelly Love, and on all the releases yet to come in 2019.

– What was the first live show you ever saw?
Elliot [lead vocals & guitar] – Electric Six in Liverpool, on an AAA ticket as my Dad’s band were touring with them at the time. ‘I’ve got something to put in you!’ I was probably about 9, haha.

Doug [synths & saxophone] – John Mayer in Brixton – I bought a ticket off a tout (sorry ticketweb…) met some great people, and a young Bob Reynolds was on the tour shredding it up on sax as well.

Ollie [bass] – I’m almost proud of how inconsequential my first gig was. It was a band called Hellogoodbye. It was an under 18s night, and I remember the band spent quite a lot of time on stage talking about the size of their penises, which is pretty weird looking back. 

Jim – I grew up in north London so I went to loads of great gigs when I was younger. Me and some mates from Primary School went to see Linkin Park in 2003 at Wembley Arena with our mums. #rock

– We’ve heard pretty much the whole band are into Syd Arthur. What track of theirs would you recommend people try out?
 Their music appeals on every level – on the surface they’re creating these big brilliant songs, but look a little deeper and each is a beautiful nest of intricate jazzy psychedelia. Hard to pick one tune. Listen to their first album ‘On and On’. We had it on loop when we were at uni, didn’t foresee then that we’d have the pleasure of playing and hanging out with them a few years down the line! 

– You’re playing The Louisiana in Bristol which you’ve described as your spiritual home. What is it about that venue that makes it so important to you?
The band formed through Bristol’s fertile music scene, we love living in Bristol. The Louie has been kind to us too, and loud, it’s very loud in there! The place has hosted so many brilliant shows – in the past few years we’ve caught Idles (if you search ‘Idles Louisiana’ you’ll see a pic of Jordan with his shirt off at the front sweating out), Palm, Guadalupe Plata and Bad Sounds there.

Check out upcoming Cousin Kula shows on TicketWeb

Share post