Karma Kreeps
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Karma Kreeps

Brampton, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Brampton, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock




"Karma Kreeps - Birds Of A Different Feather"

It is rather early in the odyssey of Toronto area quartet Karma Kreeps though its members are each young veterans of the Toronto area scene. They have rehearsed a great deal but have only played six shows together over the three and a half months of the project's infancy. They are also in the process of cutting nine songs and selecting the best tracks out of that for the release of an EP.

It was timely to catch up with them at a coffee shop near Toronto's El Mocambo one brisk Canadian February evening before their attendance at a show their friends were playing at the legendary venue. "We like to talk" acknowledges Mike though Chris and Jimmy appear to like it a bit more than he does. They answer every question I have and a few I don't ask.

The exchange of energy between musicians in a hot band that has just begun crafting new material is seldom documented properly at its beginning by journalists. The best thing to do is generally to offer up a few open-ended questions, just let them talk and tell you where they are musically and how they got there.

Lead guitarist Chris Amaral and bassist Mike Sigler were in a Brampton (Northwest of Toronto) area band called EyetokE together rocking a metal/punk groove. Katee Lee, the singer/rhythm guitarist was in Moerae's Fate, a multi-award winning power trio I had written about just before it had changed its name from Dame. EyetokE and Moerae's Fate split up around the same time and the three friends began jamming together informally before electing to form a group together.

"It fits. We're startin' over" Says Katee. "We almost have too many ideas" says Chris of the chemistry that has melded them musically. 'Constant flow' agrees drummer Jimmy Marini speaking of the creative process they have going.

Jimmy, late of The Mad Souls Band, came along a bit later with his hammer-fisted approach. According to the others, he has left behind what looks like a mulch pile everywhere they have rehearsed (twice a week) shattering drumheads and sticks."Our tones are definitely classical. Mike likes the big fat Seventies sound on bass. Jimmy likes deep Seventies drums" says Chris. "I just love fuzz personally...anything that's loud", he adds.

They have a consistent sound which they can work from, and a solid working relationship with each other. Now they just need to get the word out. Whilst they partly self-identify their sound as 'alternative' they also use 'grunge/progressive' which I find to be a more accurate lead in tracing the sound they have and where it is going.

"We have funk, we have grunge, we have psychedelic, we have progressive...we throw it all into one mix" says Jimmy "I like to call it 'sponge-rock'" muses Chris "Because we absorb a little bit of everything and then when we give it a squeeze it all comes out at the same time."

While far from narcissistic this a band that wants to put on a visual show to go with their music. They are looking at using light organs and backdrops to give what they offer a more complete visual presentation.

Laid-back they are nevertheless outspoken in calling out corporate record labels on what passes for developing bands these days "All it comes down to is that the labels are dressing these people up like a bunch of clowns to make money off of 'em. Nobody is really doing anything of their own accord anymore!" says Chris. "We're goin' indie fer sure! No one is touchin' our tunes", he adds.

If that seems a bit cynical keep in mind that like a lot of musicians they watched the 2011 Grammy Awards broadcast and noted with some astonishment that awards for Metal & Hard Rock were not presented on the broadcast. Will they ever show the Metal and Hard Rock winners live on the Grammys again? I'm asking but it isn't just me.

Also a record label exec recently flat out told this band "There is no industry for female-fronted bands anymore", an interesting take that a number of my female friends in bands would be sure to take issue with. An entire industry is implicitly telling countless bands like them that theirs are dead sounds. Arguably this means that they have an autonomy where they otherwise might not.

The state of hard rock and metal these days is one these musicians have considerable concern about. Jimmy in particular makes a point of saying that too many rock fans are downloading music illegally rather than buying the CDs."If you're gonna complain, don't go home and download an album" says Jimmy in light of criticisms about what music is like today. "Lars Ulrich probably has Limewire" jokes Chris.

Katee, ever perky and sporting magenta highlights in her jet-black hair, smiles sweetly at Mike when he talks about their agreed upon route of seeking slots at benefit concerts, competitions and festivals in order to network and build upon their fanbase. "It takes time" he concludes. "Now we gotta tough it out" says Chris. With each of them individually respected locally, theirs is still far from an easy path.

Nominated for three Toronto Independent Music awards (Best Alternative Band, Best Song & Best Performing Artist), they will be performing at the same show.

'Tin Foil Cap', their first widely available music is an example of pure, sugar-sweet rock 'n' roll with a guitar sound that has kind of a Tony Iommi feel to it. The structure reminds me of Elastica and Veruca Salt.




- UBER ROCK MAGAZINE Written by Jason Daniel Baker


Still working on that hot first release.



Chris Amaral – lead guitar
Katee Lee – lead vocals, bass, guitar
Jimmy Marini - drums, percussion, vocals
Mike Sigler – bass, guitar

Chris Amaral
• Formerly of Eyetoke.
• 9 years song writing, performance and recording experience
• placing first in 2009 Break Your Band

Katee Lee
• Formerly of Dame and Moeraes Fate.
• 7 years song writing, performance and recording experience
• co-writing/produced by Haydain Neale(jacksoul)
• opening up for Styx in front of 30K fans at the 2010 New Years Eve Bash in Niagara Falls
• “Band of The Year/Song Of the Year” at the 2008 Toronto Independent Music Awards

Jimmy Marini
• Formerly of Mad Soul.
• 12 years song writing, performance and recording experience
• most viewed on Youtube 1998 in Canada

Mike Sigler
• Formerly of Eyetoke.
• 9 years song writing, performance and recording experience
• placing first in 2009 Break Your Band

• Dec 2010 Karma Kreeps formed
• Feb 2011 Nominated for 5 - 2011 Toronto Independent Music Awards
• Mar 2011Finalist in Trek For Teens, finals at Dundas Sq
• Mar 2011 Completion of studio recorded EP, awaiting mastering
• Mar 2011 Interview with UK Magazine, UBERROCK
• Apr 14 2011 BSIDE Radio appearance www.radiocaledon.com 830pm
• May 14 2011 Trek For Teens finals, Dundas Square, (Yonge & Dundas Toronto)
• Jun 2011 (exact tba) Toronto Independent Music Awards Ceremony, Phoenix Concert Theatre