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Kathryn & The Overbytes Q&A

Darwin, Australia band Kathryn & The Overbytes have recently released their debut EP 'Hindsight Is 2020', an engaging mix of modern alternative rock and poppy punk sounds. Kathryn filled some time while the Northern Territories are in lockdown by answering a few questions for BBMATB on the band, the EP and their plans for 2021 amongst other things.

Kathryn & The Overbytes on 'Hindsight Is 2020' were Kathryn Ezzy (Vocals and Bass), Tyson Lowe (Guitar), Corey Rusu (Guitar) and Josh Spurr (Drums). Tyson has recently left to be replaced by Jarrod Hovland on bass with Kathryn moving to guitar.

'Hindsight Is 2020' is available on all the major digital streaming sites as is single 'Please Tell Me'. There are also Youtube videos for 'Please Tell Me' and 'Toilet Paper Riot'.

Hi Kathryn, Guys, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, for those readers who might not be familiar with Kathryn and the Overbytes, could you give a short history of the band? K&TO formed in mid 2019 and we played our first gig in December 2019. The band consists of Kathryn, Corey, Joshua, Tyson and we just added a new member, Jarrod, because Tyson will be moving interstate soon. We are from Darwin, Australia and a few of us live what we would call a "rural" lifestyle, i.e. most of us do not consider ourselves townies. The band had many gigs booked for 2020 but we all know how that went. When the band couldn't play live we performed online via streaming festivals and worked on recording. The band released their first single in March 2021 and released their first EP June 2021. All the recording was done by Tyson and Kathryn and the mixing was done remotely by Yarn from the MixArtist.

And who would you say were the main influences on Kathryn and the Overbytes? This one is hard to define. Kathryn's influences are quite varied as she studied classical piano and has a broad taste in music. Her major influences were probably bands like Relient K, Evanescence and Avril though. Tyson's sound was influenced by hair rock/metal of the 80's, Van Halen, and 2000's pop/punk. Corey's sound was influenced by metal and Limp Bizkit. Josh also has a very varied taste ranging from jazz to math rock to disco to psychedelic synth/rock. Kathryn writes all of the songs and each player brings their influence into the mix.

You've just released your debut EP 'Hindsight is 2020'. Is the title taken from the well-known phrase or does it also reflect the year we've all just been through? The answer is both. The whole EP title is a big play on words. Reflecting on the year past, two of the songs were written as a result of events from last year ('Toilet Paper Riot' and 'Coming For You'). The other songs were written by Kathryn a long time ago and the title applies to them in the sense that these songs are sort of sung in reflection of her past. Also, everything that went wrong in the process of recording and producing the EP we could just say "well, hindsight is 2020" and move on because by that stage of the process it was too late to change things. So the title essentially ties everything together.

Where did you record the EP? And how did you come to be involved with Yarn from Mixartist who mixed the EP? Tyson and I recorded the EP in our spare rooms/bed rooms and whatever spaces we had access to. We never stepped into a recording studio to produce this EP.

How we started working with Yarn is a pretty funny story I think. I (Kathryn) was determined to do a little tour of Queensland as I was supposed to go to Queensland any way for another event. In my dogged attempt to organise this I joined a bunch of community music Facebook pages for people in areas of Queensland. It was on one of these groups that Yarn put out a call that he was offering free test mixes if the tracks could be gotten to him by a certain date. I checked out some of his work and liked his philosophy to mixing and so I thought, "what's to lose?". I worked my butt off to record and edit everything just in time and got the tracks to him. I was blown away by the test mix when it came back and decided to work with him even though he is on the other side of the country. He mixes for people around the world (he specialises in reggae of all things and heaps of people in Jamaica get him to mix their stuff) so he has a very streamlined and professional approach to mixing and it was a breeze to work with him.

Do you have a favourite track from the EP and if so why? 'Please Tell Me' is still my favourite even though we released it as a single back in March. But 'Perfect Nightmare' is a close second as the simple arrangement of piano and vocals capture the rawness of the song.

Where can people pick the EP up from? And do you have any of the 30 or so limited edition CDs left? Any plans to release a larger run of CDs or even vinyl editions? People can easily access the EP via all the major streaming platforms. We have CDs left and only printed a few more for keepsake than anything because most people stream music these days. We probably won't print anymore CDs or Vinyls of this EP.

What is the writing process in Kathryn and the Overbytes - Does somebody come in with a song already prepared or is there a more 'jamming' process involved in writing the songs? Kathryn writes all the songs and her songs mostly come from a place of inner turmoil and anxiety (that is often the result of close relationships with people). Corey contributed to some of the lyrics of 'Toilet Paper Riot' though.

Is there any news on a possible replacement for Tyson who left the band recently? Kathryn would normally play bass in the band but Jarrod will replace Kathryn on bass and Kathryn will take up the lead guitar position.

Is there a good music scene in the Northern Territories? If bands want to get heard across Australia, can they do that from Darwin and the surrounding areas or do they have to move to Sydney or Melbourne? And any bands from the Northern Territories who you would recommend to readers? There is a really good and supportive music scene in Darwin. Darwin often punches above its weight in terms of the quality of music Darwin bands produce. However, there are not many venues to perform original music in Darwin, most places that have live music here are pubs and they want covers played to keep the punters drinking. Hence, it is hard for Darwin bands to gain a following by just playing locally. Bands from here often move "down south" (to one of the bigger cities) to build their following but we are not planning on doing that as most of the band members are very much tied to the Territory. I would recommend two bands actually, Danger Den (they are a pop/punk sounding band and just released their first single) and Panic Bruss (they have a very 80's synth vybe them and have a few tracks on Youtube).

And finally what plans for Kathryn and the Overbytes for the remainder of 2021 and beyond? We have applied to play at Big Sound Music Festival in September in Queensland which we hope to get into. We are mainly focusing on playing locally for the rest of the year though. We also have plans to make a music video for each track on the EP (currently I am working on a video for 'Toilet Paper Riot' as it is very relevant right this minute as we are on lockdown in Darwin and panic buying saw a resurgence in the past few weeks). The band plans on recording a few more singles later in the year as well.

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