Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music, and the all-Maori bandKatchafire has become its foremost advocate today. A family affair fromday one in 1997, founder and lead guitarist Grenville Bell and sons Logan(lead vocals) and Jordan (drums) remain the core of the band. Transcendingtheir origins in a Hamilton garage as a cover band, Katchafire took theirMarley-inspired original music to the bars and clubs, building up a fan baseof thousands. Their exceptional debut album, the prophetically namedRevival, sold in excess of 45,000 copies (more than double platinum in NewZealand) and they scored massive hits with songs like Giddy Up, the nation'sbiggest selling single of 2002-3.
After building on that success at home with the platinum follow-up "SlowBurning", Katchafire took a major step forward when New Zealand foreignexchange students Introduced their Kiwi reggae vibes to the fertile soil ofthe Hawaiian Islands. Underground popularity soon exploded onto theairwaves, and by the summer of 2006 Katchafire was topping the sales chartsin the Aloha State and headlining at the 10,000 capacity Waikiki Shell. Theboys have been giving their passports a considerable workout ever since,from festival appearances all over Europe to increasingly successfulmainland U.S. excursions. They now draw huge crowds all over the Pacific,from Australia to Guam and Saipan.
On record, Katchafire reached a new level of musical depth and maturity on2007's "Say What You're Thinking". With jazz, pop, rock and even hip-hopinfluences enhancing a solid roots foundation, they scored their greatestAmerican chart success to date with a #6 showing on the Billboard Reggaechart. Katchafire is well-known for trading instruments among themselvesduring their marathon live shows. That versatility was demonstrated asnever before on the album, with no less than five band members contributingsongs and sharing lead vocal duties. The next few years found the boyssupporting this landmark release with an increasingly hectic tour schedule,featuring stops at the Big Day Out Festival at home, Raggamuffin tour ofAustralia, and new island conquests like Fiji. And each U.S. tour is biggerthan the last, with stops at SXSW, Reggae on the River, House of Blues andmany more.
In 2011 their long-awaited fourth album "On The Road Again" was released inthe US, a testament to their relentless work ethic and life spent on tour.Already platinum in Aotearoa, Katchafire's latest set a new high water markon the American charts: #3 Billboard Reggae, #42 Heatseekers, and #5 iTunesReggae. The CD also reached new heights in airplay, simultaneously landingthree songs in the Mediaguide Reggae Singles top 10 (#1 Feels LIke, #5 SweetAs and #8 Yr Dreaming). From the South Pacific to North America, Europe,Brazil and beyond, Katchafire continues to prove they are New Zealand'spremier ambassadors of roots reggae and hardest working band of any genre.