Headline Act: Karman Line

Karmin Line are a new act, both “on us” and “in general”. Here’s an overview of another band that you really should be listening to. And in perfect time for their new single / video coming out. What a coincidence!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re from a few different places actually. We’re all based in Dubai, but we come from the UK, Serbia, France Egypt and South Africa.

How did you meet?

Tristan and Frank grew up together in Egypt, Tristan moved to Dubai in 2016 where he met Greg and Frank followed soon after. Petar and Danny join the line up in 2020, although all of us were already friends through the local music scene, playing in different bands.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band was formed in 2020, during the pandemic. We spent a good 2 years crafting and recording the album and are only now really focusing on the gig scene and getting it in front of crowds.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

A lot of our first album is written on the theme of Albert II, the monkey NASA sent to space in 1949. The ‘Karman Line’ by definition is ‘an attempt to define the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. This was the boundary that Albert II crossed, making him the first mammal in space. We were called something different before but once the album started to take shape, we thought re-naming our band after this would be pretty fitting. And we generally just preferred it.

What are your influences?

Never an easy question to answer… It’d be fair to say our influences span anywhere from Thin Lizzy to Led Zeppelin, to the early days of Kings of Leon.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

It’s hard rock, though at times quite soulful. Steady grooves with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way. A lot of ‘stank face’ moments. In essence, we’re probably not that different from other new and emerging rock bands. Though I’d say our circumstances have certainly been different. Pushing rock music in a city where the scene isn’t as big or as happening as in other cities comes with its challenges. It makes it a lot more difficult to break through. There are so many great bands out here, we want to put the UAE’s rock scene on the map.

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Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

I don’t want to answer on behalf of the whole band but, if I had to, I’d say our lyrics are very inspired by the day-to-day. Everyday struggles, thoughts and musings through to recounting real events. There is no singular focus and I think that’s what makes the writing process that much more exciting.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We like to think of our shows as pretty high-energy. We play loud rock music and I think people get exactly what they come for when they come to see us. We’ve done a handful of shows in the UAE in the lead-up to our album launch but we plan to a lot more once the record drops in May.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

I once saw the bassist of a band use a large dead fish from the supermarket as a prop on stage. He finished the last song of the set on the ground, slamming the fish onto the strings of his bass guitar. Fish guts flying everywhere.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

We use a mix of different things really. When we were recording our album, we tracked some songs using our Gibson Les Pauls and other on Fender Strats for the different tonalities. Can’t remember exactly what kit we tracked on now but I think it was Pearl.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Well, we just released the video for our first track off the album, “King of the Day”. Go check that out on YouTube and let us know what you think. You can find the track on Spotify too.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

We’ve got quite a lot planned for the next 6 months. We’ve got our album launch in May and a few other shows lined up around the same time. We’re filming a live stripped-back version of our album at A.R. Rahman’s studio here in Dubai over summer along with another couple of music videos to support this record. A lot to look forward too.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

There are so many bands we’d love to support, out of the many awesome modern rock bands, probably Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Rival Sons or even The Struts. In May, we’re being supported by a band called Salt Tooth; another Dubai-based rock group with a gnarly sound. So, probably them for support.

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You can pre-save the new album Like A Machine now! It’s out on May 5th.

If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!

Karman Line: instagram | spotify | youtube

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