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Cazals - Future Fresh

Author: Matt Unicomb
Monday, 13 October 2008

An indie rock outfit signed to one of the word’s most renowned electronic labels is sure to attract a few raised eyebrows. 3D’s Matt Unicomb finds out what it’s like from Cazals’ Daniel Gallagher.

French record label Kitsuné’s trend-setting Kitsuné Maison Compilation series has reached legendary status, as have many of the artists in the Kitsuné catalogue. So when an indie rock group signs to a label with such a keen interest in the promotion and support of electronic music, heads are sure to turn. Enter Cazals.

After rising to the top of London’s rock scene with little label support, Cazals have done everything from touring with Daft Punk to playing shows with Digitalism and Bloody Beetroots, and making cameo appearances in cult British comedy Nathan Barley. This would not have been possible without the Kitsuné signing.

“You get put on the front page of their MySpace, and all of a sudden a million kids in France are your friends,” Daniel Gallagher, Cazals’ guitarist, says of the perks that come with being signed to a world-famous dance label. “We then did some shows with Daft Punk, and suddenly we had all these cool Kitsuné people as fans.

“It’s weird how popular they are around the world. There’s people whose music taste is based around what Kitsuné put on their compilations.”

The path Cazals have taken has not been typical. After signing to a London indie label and releasing a handful of singles, all while being repeatedly labelled as Britain’s ‘next big thing’, Cazals seemed to have the world at their feet.

“We were signed to a label called 1234 Records,” he explains. “We signed to them at the end of 2004. We then released a single in July 2005, and everything seemed to be taking off then. In England we were getting loads and loads of press – the kind of stuff where everyone thinks you’re going to be very big. There were mobile phone companies ringing us up asking us if we wanted a free phone – crap like that.”

Those good vibes did not last. Their label went bust, and the five-piece would have to be content with a year’s worth of constant gigging, with little promise of a record deal. However, all was not lost. In the early months of 2007, Kitsuné approached them with a record deal in hand after including a Cazals track on the acclaimed Kitsuné Maison Compilation 2. Since then, the group has toured the world with some of the most well renowned electro artists.

The most difficult thing, one would assume, about being signed and touring with an electronic-focused label, is trying to crack the ‘dance only’ mentality of the Kitsuné fan base. “When we were opening for Daft Punk, I was really nervous wondering how we were going to go,” Gallagher reflects. “We were opening for, what I believe to be, one of the best live shows in the world. We walk up there like six lads going, ‘Errrr, here’s our songs’. They were all brilliant to us. The lighting engineer went, ‘don’t worry about it – I’m just gonna give you some sick lights.’ Luckily we were in Japan where they’re just crazy anyway.”

Cazals have had a look into the Kitsuné camp in a way that very few do, and many would kill for. As the one-time home to the likes of Crystal Castles, Boys Noize, Bloc Party and Digitalism, the label’s head office is basically a fan-boy’s shrine to electro.

“The coolest thing – I hope they don’t read this – [is] in the Kitsuné office downstairs, they have all the Daft Punk tour stuff. Martin [Cazals’ bassist] and I went downstairs and opened this suitcase, and there were the Daft Punk suits and helmets and everything – it was like ‘You’re fucking kidding me!’”

WHO: Cazals
WHAT: What of Our Future out through Kitsuné / etcetc / Universal
WHEN: Out now
MORE: myspace.com/cazals

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