‘Something for Kate’- Twenty Years and Still Going Strong
PETER MCALPINE – JULY 5, 2014
It’s twenty years since Paul Dempsey established the band ‘Something for Kate’ in Melbourne. These days the three- piece comprises of singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Dempsey, bass player, Stephanie Ashworth and drummer, Clint Hyndman. Since the band was established Paul says time has gone “way too quickly.” The band have released six studio albums over 20 years including Beautiful Sharks (1999), The Official Fiction(2003) and Leave Your Soul to Science (2012). Two albums have reached the coveted ARIA number one spot.
Asked about the previous albums, Paul says Beautiful Sharks was written in Dublin and takes its name from the single off the album of the same name. It is about “appreciating the beauty and at the same time drawn to something that is threatening.”
Fast forward to 2003 when the band produced the politically charged The Official Fiction, in reference to the George Bush presidency. The band were watching the ‘Iraq War’ unfold while we were writing the album in the United States. The band were sitting in the studio recording The Official Fiction, the television on watching the first US soldiers arriving in Iraq. Paul wears his political heart on his sleeve.
“We were watching the Bush administration sell the Iraq War to the UN (United Nations). When that didn’t work they just went ahead with it anyway with their so called coalition of the willing.”
Being six foot six Paul Dempsey has meant the lead singer always cut an imposing figure. He likes Fender ‘Jazz Masters’ guitars because they are very long and fit his large frame. Despite being twenty years touring on and off, the band never gets sick of touring. “As far as I am concerned, the reason you start and is to get up and play. It always strikes me as odd to hear bands complaining about the thing that bands are supposed to do. I would play every night of the year if I could. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
A career highlight included touring with David Bowie. “He was amazing. To get off stage, grab a drink and then settle in and watch David Bowie for two hours. It was pretty cool.” However they missed out on meeting with Bruce Springsteen when recording The Official Fiction. They did not go due to running out of time to finish the album. “We didn’t go and we have never forgiven ourselves” (laughing).
One of the band’s biggest singles over the years was Electricity.Paul admits he was never good at picking hit singles
“There’s probably five other songs on the record that I thought might have been more appealing so you just never know. When it comes to choosing singles I’m the first person to admit that I make the wrong decisions.”
The songwriting has never changed over the years. “The motivation to write a song is a certain feeling. Or it may be a story or event you are trying to get across. It’s about honing your craft.”
Something for Kate have a sound that can be described as tight sounding and with deep lyrics. Paul is always taken aback when he hears such references.
“I am always flattered when people tell us that we are such a tight band. The three of us often get off stage and (say) we’ve got to this better, we’ve got to do that better.”
Asked, in light of the Beatles fiftieth anniversary tour of Australia, Paul reveals that despite the fact he’s never owned a Beatles record and will “cop no end of abuse for it” he says his favorite Beatle was George Harrsion.
“John and Paul were always in the spotlight but George had his own thing going on.”
‘Something For Kate’ are currently touring nationally.