Much rated UK foursome CAZIMI are set to release their stunning new EP, Signals, which arrives via AWAL on Friday 5th August. The EP is also proceeded by a video, Echo – https://youtu.be/xuTLl93Cs-E . With the band on the rise, we caught up with the guys to find about more:
What is the full band line-up, who sings and who plays which instrument?
“Ian Hedley: Guitar, Lead Vocals,
Jim McCulloch: Guitar, Vocals,
Kevin Melling: Bass, Vocals
Gary Binns: Drums, Vocals.”
How and when did the band form?
Ian: “The original line up which featured Ian, Jim and two departed members began in 2015. We did around 15 gigs a year over a two year period. Released a 3 song EP which is up there on the various platforms and notably supported The Animals (and friends). The bassist/singer left the band and whilst it was relatively easy to find a replacement for bass we struggled to get a good singer, hence Ian reluctantly took on those duties but is now thoroughly enjoying it. This was a slog then just as we were getting back into gear releasing an album in early 2020 Covid hit and like many others derailed us. But we’re back and getting out there having recently supported Imperial Wax (ex The Fall as you’ll know) and an upcoming gig with Punishment of Luxury amongst others.”
When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?
Ian “The heart was already there with me and Jim but when we got Gary and Kev in, who both take such pains to make sure the rhythm section is like a backbone of steel it became the finished article.”
Gary: “Looking to start playing again after hanging up the sticks in late 90’s. Spoke to Ian, did video audition, and learned all the songs during first lockdown. Met and rehearsed in between lockdowns and became part of the re-launched Cazimi.”
Who are your musical influences?
Ian: “I don’t really know who influences my songwriting. All I can tell you is who I love which is old school stuff like early Wire, Killing Joke, The Stranglers, Magazine, Banshees (circu Juju) as well as Gang of Four, Velvet Underground and early Antz. On reflection I think the common key, that has drawn me so close to most of these bands is the combination of strong melody but also dissonance sometimes juxtaposed, sometimes layered. Also I like Erik Satie for his lack of obvious melodic structure; specifically Gnossiennes rather than Gymnopedies (though the latter is also superb).
I’m a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind early AC/DC and Bowie up to and including Scary Monsters. I also love Leftfield, Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, Joanna Newsom and early Beth Orton though I’ve never attempted to write anything like that.
As for modern bands I’m really into Pip Blom, Sports Team, Wet Leg, The Mysterines, Yard Act to name a few. I’m listening to Burt Bacharach as I type this. Looking at my Shazam list these are the artists I’ve grabbed lately: Baxter Dury, Low Hummer, La Luz, Sun’s Signature, Unknown Mortal Orchestra.”
Gary: “Musical influences have widened and diversified over the years. I was brought up listening to Elvis, Johnny Cash and the Beatles but once I could buy my own albums I was captivated by Zeppelin and John Bonham in particular. Loved the power of Bonham’s playing but also the feel and subtly in moments. Zeppelin sustained my interest through the variety in the music and not being afraid to touch on all genres when writing. In the early 80’s I joined my first band (glam rock band – Sweet Trash) and was introduced to a different world of music (New York Dolls, Japan and the Clash). Through the 80’s enjoyed the darkness of Indie bands such as the Mission and Sisters of Mercy and the emerging Seattle grunge scene with bands such as Perl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. All these influences came together in the two albums I co-wrote in Forgodsake during the ealy 90’s.”
Where did the name of the band come from?
“You’ll find it used these days in Astrology, but we don’t subscribe to that. It derives from a Greek word and that’s what interested me in it. It means ‘in the heart’, which suits all of the band because we are all deeply passionate about music and in particular Cazimi.
If there is any god for me then it is the very real and finite god that is The Sun (not the newspaper) hence the symbol, we use nothing to do with Astrology. It’s also used playfully in the Danone style advert corner fold/reveal as a snide dig at ostensibly benevolent corporations, who are anything but benevolent and simply seek to absorb counter-culture or any current movements/trends pretend their onboard with it all then assimilate and regurgitate for the purpose of selling their product – money is their god.”
In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?
“An admirer remarked that he loved our stuff but couldn’t pin-point who we sounded like, which goes back to what I said above about bands I like but who aren’t necessarily an influence as I don’t hear them in my music. I think we have a unique sound unlike anyone, that’s really as much as I can say. I’ve heard various comparisons to other known bands who I’ve either never heard or don’t like. People seem to have a need to reference anything they hear to their realm of experience as some kind of way of trying to organise their thoughts and this can misdirect or be limiting. Judge for yourself.
Even though we’re an unknown band I like to think the quality of our music is somewhat ratified by the fact that we have followers with chops such as Tom Robinson, John Robb, Field Music, Barry Hyde amongst others. We’ve also been lucky enough to work with Pete Maher and of Penetration who mastered and helped arrange the single Echo respectively.”
If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?
“Heart felt lyrics expressed through emotionally delivered melodies and strong harmonies with effect layered guitars underpinned by a powerful and solid rhythm section.”
Where can we find your social media sites?
“If you go to our website www.cazimi.co.uk and scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to all of our online presence.
Our Spotify link is there also but is repeated here:
Spotify weblink: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0zxCI72BrlExy9jnFDKHjK