Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: The Karma Killers

THE KARMA KILLERS. (Photo: Meredith Truax)
THE KARMA KILLERS. (Photo: Meredith Truax)

In the almost year since The Karma Killers signed to Island Records, the band has delivered their genre-blending sound, dubbed by them as “night pop,” around the country. And this Sunday, Oct. 4, they’re bringing it to The Pinch in Washington, D.C.

“Shows have been going pretty sweet,” said The Karma Killers frontman Micky James. “We’re back in the club circuit, which is really rad. We love that. It’s been going good.

“It’s kinda like we put this tour together ourselves, so we’re hitting new spots, new cities, meeting new kids, so I can’t complain. It’s great. It’s a lot of fun.” Before going on their own, self-organized run of shows, The Karma Killers were on the bill of the 21st Annual Vans Warped Tour. Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman said in Entertainment Weekly earlier this year that the group “has some really cool songs” and that it could be “happening for them by the end of the summer.”

Also, the group has had the song “Go Go,” an energetic romp over which James sings an ode to rock n’ roll written as a cento, was used on television in the reality series “Big Brother,” on ESPN and FOX Sports’ “Major League Soccer,” and in spots for FOX’s upcoming sitcom “Grandfathered” and legal comedy series “The Grinder.” And they’ve released videos for two other songs – “Domino” and “Coming of Age” – from their five-song debut EP, Strange Therapy, which was released in June.

But James, who spoke to the News-Press from Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville, tried to keep the group’s buzz over the past year in perspective, saying he wouldn’t call what’s been happening for them success, but “accomplishment.”

“It’s been fantastic. Signing to Island, the first tour and we put out an EP that we’ve worked on for so long,” James said. “And I feel like that was one of the biggest accomplishments because we’ve been working on that for years and that’s like developing ourselves.”

He said that working on what became Strange Therapy for so long made the group better songwriters, helped them find their sound, which is a unique blend of punk, new wave, soul, classic rock and even pop rap, and their identity as a group. “Before we didn’t have an identity, we were just trying to find it,” James said.

Arguably the biggest part of the group’s identity, their name, actually came about rather casually shortly after they formed. James said that the group’s guitarist/vocalist Billy Stevens came up with the name “Karma Killers” and James added a “The” to the name in order to “make it sound more official.”

And now, a few years later, The Karma Killers are touring, identity and sound in tow, to support the first record.

“It was the biggest relief, when we got to put that out finally,” James said. “Because it’s all about the music, so finally getting to release [an expression of] who we are and what we’ve been working on, that was exhilarating.”

The group has already begun working on their full-length debut, though James said that they are far off from a release date or even album title.

But the main focus for the group right now is their tour, on which they’ll support the U.K. group The Struts on a few dates, including on at The Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 21.

“It’s gonna be sick,” James said. “I think it’s gonna be a good package, a good bill. There’s gonna be a lot of rock n’ roll that night. It’s gonna be kick ass. I can’t wait.”

• For more information about The Karma Killers, visit thekarmakillers.com.