Purveyors of: Learning to laugh with yourself, singing your favourite song at the top of your lungs.
File Next to: Future Peers, early Sea Beau, Moscow Apartment
Kadeema are unabashedly themselves. They are fun, honest, and able to amusingly write about the complex systems of ourselves and life at the moment. If you are feeling the pressures of the world, take a step back, remember to not take yourself so seriously, and listen to “Good Lies” or “Gotta Get It.”
The Toronto duo released their debut EP, Napoleon Tornapart back in June. Of course, releasing a body of work during a pandemic has its ups and downs. Wavelength’s Emma BV had a chance to ask both Tal and Jim of Kadeema a few questions on their development, the world today, and everything else in between.
Can you tell me about the significance of using the Hebrew word “forward” as your band name?
Tal: The significance of the word “forward” was more of an afterthought, to be honest. In one of our name-search brainstorm sessions, the name of my hometown “Kadima” came up and everyone thought it sounded cool (NOT MY IDEA). I was really weirded out by the idea at first, but since everyone else was into that name I figured let’s go with it and see how people respond. And to my utter surprise, it’s been very well-received. So I just asked that we change the spelling to Kadeema. That said, creating this band and this new musical endeavor is really our way of moving forward so, I guess it works.
What instrument of yours holds the most sentimental value?
Tal : I have an incredible guitar made by Bunting Guitars in Israel. The model is called “Spiro” and it is probably my favourite guitar ever. It’s not vintage, it’s only two years old, so no “History” with that one. That said, there are many factors that make it very special to me. First and foremost, it’s an Israeli guitar brand, with a workshop 45 minutes away from Kadima. It was handmade to custom specs that the two luthiers (Yaniv and Guy) and I discussed together.
They even created a new special finish based on my model, which they now offer as an option. I couldn’t say enough good things about this guitar, it’s my go to #1 pick anytime. The only downside is that now I need another one for backup, but that’s a great problem to have.
How has Kadeema adapted the release process during the pandemic?
Jim : The pandemic made for a different sort of challenge when releasing music. We had to think outside the box and come up with creative engaging promos with our team. We had a lot of fun and found that sometimes the dumbest ideas were the ones we decided to go with. Still absolutely dreaming of a release tour, it’s just a bit delayed.
“True honesty is perceived as aggressive behaviour.” How has the digital world affected the way that we communicate, understand, and possibly judge each other? Is there a way out?
Tal : We have obviously become a lot less nuanced. It seems like we’re judging people based on a very narrow vision we have of them and it’s not healthy for us as a society. We all make mistakes, we all are human, and sometimes the digital communication format makes us forget that there’s another person on the other end of that comment thread. You don’t know what kind of issues people are battling with. You don’t know what kind of a day they had.
Jim and I are no saints by any means, but we always make an active effort to be kind, friendly and welcoming to whoever we come across. We don’t see ourselves as special in that way, we just enjoy being like that more than being the opposite way. We also won’t say things to people online, that we wouldn’t say to their face in person. And that also feels great. The way out? Definitely don’t come to us for any official answers. Our only pro tip for life in the digital world would be that there are enough hateful, close-minded assholes out there. Don’t act like one yourself, even if it seems okay from behind the safety of a wifi connection.
In an interview with Michael McDonnel, Jim described the preference for consuming a body of work in its full form, the album. How has digital consumption of music affected the way that you yourselves consume music?
Jim : Digital music has made it easier to access, consume and take more chances on a band’s work. You can most certainly reach more ears with it upon each release. It’s a good thing and a bad thing though, because sometimes you take less time learning/digging into new tunes from bands. I find the selection too overwhelming at times. Always love a good vinyl though and will always prefer an album or full body of work over singles.
Are there changes you have made as Kadeema that is a result of your experiences as Ascot Royals?
Tal : I think the biggest change we made as Kadeema vs. Ascot Royals has been to put everything out on the table. Our vision, our personalities, our character. In the past, we were maybe a little afraid of being our complete and honest selves at times. When that happens, it tends to dilute the integrity of a project or a song or hell, even a social media post. We feel very good about how we present ourselves these days, because it’s very effortless, as all we really do is (for good or bad) is be ourselves with our audience, team and everyone else involved. You either like it or you don’t, we’re cool with both.
Given your touring experiences, what pieces of equipment have you acquired in maintaining a strong performance with each show?
Tal : Can’t say enough good things about the Behringer X32 RACK digital mixer. We bought it for our in ear monitoring system and it’s the best purchase we ever made, a real game-changer. You can pre-set all your different setups and mixes and be up and running in 10 minutes with minor adjustments made every night.
What full-albums have been bringing you joy these days?
Jim: I’ve been really enjoying an artist from the UK called Willie J Healey lately. I find his work very enjoyable, tongue and cheek at times. Has a nice mood to it, same feeling almost like when a Wes Anderson movie plays out.
You can catch Kadeema Sunday, September 27th for our cross-border online show with Down Time from Denver, Colorado. Catch it all 7-9pm EDT on Facebook live!