Well, you’ve read the title and yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The first cartoon band in Malta. ‘The Kite’ project is a 6 member cartoon band, with an EP in the making and 6 great artists and musicians behind it.
“The Kite project is a venture which works on the premise that with the right amount of forethought and planning, the Maltese artist can launch his ideas to the public and invite them to join in on the creative journey, thus setting in motion a funding pattern and creative process.”
The complete band has already performed together. In November 2012, they played a tribute to Kate Bush in a President’s Award Scheme show, where HRH Prince Edward was guest of honor. The band line up includes:
Janice Ellul (genn): Part of an acoustic duo with Annemarie (Mayo), guitarist coordinator for Strummin’ & solo guitarist with the choir.
Annemarie (Mayo): Part of an acoustic duo with Janice Ellul (genn). A full time architect with a love for both art and music. She is the singer, lyricist and cartoon designer of this project.
Lesnich Vassallo: Main drummer for Strummin’ the last 3 years, played with various local bands – most notably Scarlet Sally with Joseph Axiak and Luke Grech (both part of this project)
Joseph Axiak: Winner of 2 battle of the bands with Relikc, part of the music scene for the past 14 years – playing various instruments, writing and teaching. Also member of Scarlet Sally.
Luke Grech: Nicknamed the ‘multi-instrumentalist’, there isn’t one instrument he cannot play, band member of Scarlet Sally and the owner of a Record Studio, in which he works both as a performer and a producer.
Cheyenne Belle Xuereb: Part of the Enkor choir band, she is a pianist and a bassist. Also founder of band ‘FictionSpin’
How did you come up with this idea? I mean it must probably be the first of it’s kind in Malta, what exactly led you to this kind of decision? Was it something sudden or was it a long term plan?
Though the idea started off as a simple desire to contribute to the local music scene, the cartoon band was born out of a long conversation Annemarie Mayo had with Luke Grech on their way to the Gozo ferry. We wanted to throw as many of our talents into one basket. Annemarie has been drawing for as long as she can remember and Luke has come a long way in terms of recording and mixing – he now boasts a fully fledged recording studio complete with a British analog mixer.
On your facebook event you wrote “YOU help decide which songs will make it to the album.” In which way exactly?
We will be recording 4 songs for the EP. We’ve written more songs than we actually need, and the upcoming gig will serve as a means of filtering. We will be encouraging feedback during the gig, and this will eventually translate into which of our songs make it to the album.
The six 2D animated characters, could you tell us more about them? I mean they deserve an introduction too, right? What are their roles?
The cartoons are loosely based on the band members (and you must say loosely, when your drummer has resurfaced as a hedgehog). Joseph moonlights as a funk DJ, hence the motown look and afro. People always wonder how tiny Cheyenne can hold up her bass so she is portrayed with massive hands. Janice is the tomboy with a passion for all things Disney (true story) and so on. Storylines sometimes emerge from funny stories shared between the band or with friends. We are even considering writing in a few new characters based on our friends.
Their role in the project is to slowly introduce the band members to the general public – in this way, the audience is able to join us on our journey. We also post photographs from the recording sessions as well as related links. A good dollop of humour is paramount.
When will your first EP be released?
We’re hoping for March 2014 though some singles may be released earlier.
What are your biggest musical influences in ‘The Kite Project’?
Florence + the Machine, the White Stripes
What’s ‘art’ to you?
Its a wonderful means of expression of we are lucky to be using two of its forms with this project i.e. musical and graphical.
What are your next ambitions / plans?
We are planning to attend the mastering sessions at Abbey Road Studios in November. We will also perform at a venue in London during our stay… watch this space!
If you had to send a message to anyone who might get interested in your work or is reading this article, what would it be?
Please join us on the 25th of August at Coach & Horses, 9pm onwards… The Kite Project needs you too!
Thank you for your time, and best of luck!