Katchafire: Pacific Coast Reggae Comes To House Of Blues Anaheim


Katchafire plays the House of Blues Anaheim on Jan 8

Formed in 1997 as a covers band with a name inspired by The Wailers’ debut album Catch a Fire, to their current status as troubadours of Pacific spirit, Katchafire have refined their craft with their latest offering – a testament to organic Aotearoa reggae.

Katchafire are no strangers to success, they are truly ‘World Famous in New Zealand’ with a double platinum debut album Revival, a platinum follow up Slow Burning, 2003’s highest selling single ‘Giddy Up’ and the critically acclaimed 2007 release Say What You’re Thinking. They are also revered throughout the Pacific and are part of the staple diet in the Californian reggae scene.

Recorded at the familiar hunting grounds of Revolver Studios in Waiuku, Katchafire consists of father, Grenville Bell (guitar), Haani Totorewa (keyboards, vocals) Tere Ngarua (bass guitar), Logan Bell (guitar, lead vocals), Jordan Bell (drums), Jamey Ferguson (keyboards, sax, lead vocals) and Leon Davey (vocals, percussion). The album is a finely tuned result of brothers with a constant vibe and consciousness of their travels: both physical and spiritual. Logan Bell offers some insight to OC Concert Guide on how the process worked this time round.

OCCG: I understand that Katchafire consists of a father and two sons besides the other band members. How long have you been playing together as a family and before Katchafire?
LB: Dad played when we were kids – till I (Logan) was about 8 – then mum made him get a real job. Then when Jordan and I were about 18 we started studying music and we all started a reggae band – with dad, which was the start of Katchafire. That was 20 yrs. ago

OCCG: When writing new songs, is it usually one of you doing that or does the band contribute?
LB: We all write separately – one of us has a whole idea, but sometime combinations also – we have a lot of songwriters in the band, and singers:)

OCCG: What’s the story behind the name “Katchafire”?
LB: Pulled it out of a hat!!

OCCG: Your music is obviously influenced by reggae. are you ever influenced by other music genres?
LB: Yes!! Like Hip-Hop, R-n-B, Funk, Jazz, anything sexy.

OCCG: Got any crazy adventure stories about something that happened while on tour?
LB: Oh man, we got stranded in Saipan die to wrong advice from us consulate in NZ – so many things!!! It’s been years – anyway we ended up having the governor’s daughter help us via Facebook!! We had dinner with them

OCCG: Favorite city to play in the US?
LB: Favorite in the world? San Fran!!! Amsterdam :))

OCCG: When you’re on tour, what do you miss most about New Zealand, your home?
LB: My kids!!!

OCCG: What’s going on with Katchafire after this tour?
LB: Staying in New Zealand for a while and get this album finished finally. Then off to Europe in July, lots of new stuff on the horizon, collaborations and things:))