• SALUTE: Did you grow up in Horsham Kat? What was it like for you growing up there?

We’ve always been in Horsham. It’s close to Brighton and London so it’s really convenient. It’s a nice place to live. Five or ten years ago there was a really active music scene and now it has completely died. There’s no dedicated venue or anything

There was a guy who ran the Horsham Live Music Association who unfortunately died quite suddenly and there were some issues with the council shutting down venues.

Kat Ward and Kieren Johnstone are Boxtape

  • SALUTE: So how did you get into music? How did you get started making music?

We did have a couple of music shops in Horsham before. I used to go to Brighton and London for gigs and my musical inspiration just grew from there. I remember seeing bands like Paradise Lost, The Cooper Temple Clause.

I started playing music from the age of six. I started making up my own stuff very early on because I enjoyed that more than practicing other people’s songs. By the time I was 10 or 11 I was writing more structured songs. Then Kieren and I started the band when we were 15.

  • SALUTE: When did you write your first song?

I was in a prog metal band when I first started writing songs. I can’t actually remember the first song I wrote.

  • SALUTE: How’s it been since ‘This is how we stop the war’ came out? How do you feel at the moment about what’s happening at the moment in terms of international conflict?

Our last release, this is how we stop the war, the week that Donald Trump was elected President in America, the internet was going mad with people like ‘wtf’ is going on? Then one of the artists that we really like, Amanda Palmer, did a really long post on Facebook. She was basically saying how everyone was losing their **** over Trump and that this wasn’t the time to be divided and fractured, this was the time to make positive art. That really resonated with me at the time. Also, Damien Keyes put up a video just after the election saying we needed to do things that were good for us rather than taking to the internet to complain.

  • SALUTE: Ok cool, it was amazing to see what you can do with a 1 string guitar as well!

Actually, it was a two string cigar box guitar that doesn’t even have a proper fretboard. We managed to make a drum beat, bass line, and melody all from those two strings.

  • SALUTE: What gear do you use for production?

We have a big ol’ PC running ProTools, a couple of really good microphones, some studio monitors. The set up now is a fairly decent home studio. Kieren does a lot of the production and programming. I’ll do the main ideas and songwriting and then he adds to that and then we produce it together.

  • SALUTE: How has it been over the summer for you guys?

It’s been pretty difficult really making a music video every week and then gigging every other week, we’ve had to really be really disciplined with writing and recording and editing.

  • SALUTE: So how did you meet and get together as a band? How long have you been together?

We met when we were in school and we’ve been working together for about 15 years. We have quite different creative processes but it works really well when it comes together. We have are a really well organised duo now – we spend a lot of time charting our weeks and doing our work on music.

  • SALUTE: What do you think of the SALUTE initiative and competition?

I saw it on Facebook and I remember that it was the last few weeks to register for the competition. When I read about it on the website I really liked it and wanted to give it a shot.


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