Kuato brings intricate sounds to life on stage

An evening of complex, instrumental delights awaits you tonight at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on St. George Street. Taking the stage will be Halifax bands Kuato and Instruments along with Moncton band Quote Unquote On Hiatus.

Kuato describes its music as “weaving together intricate movements, emotive melodies and subtle timbres of haunting aggression.”

Formed circa 2008, drummer Josh Pothier and guitarist Adam Toth were initially co-workers before they were bandmates. The duo started practising with just guitar and drums, with bassist Devin Peck joining the band roughly eight months later.

“We played a couple of smaller low-key shows as a trio to see how things would work out live,” Pothier says. “At one of those shows, our second guitarist Scott (Mallory) saw us and knew we were on the hunt for another guitarist. We incorporated him shortly after.”

With influences of Mogwai and Tortoise looming in the background of the group’s new three-song Winter EP, Pothier says that playing exclusively instrumental music is no more challenging to the foursome than if they were to play music set to vocals. But one must wonder if the group having so many textures in its music poses a problem when translating the songs in concert or when the group heads into the studio.

“Aside from the expected mishaps of broken guitar strings and dropped drum sticks, it is really not that challenging,” he says. “We tend to rehearse a lot before we go into the studio because honestly, it takes time and money to sit there and re-do stuff and we have neither time nor money. I am proud of the fact that we can walk into a studio for a five-hour session and bang out 30 minutes of music without much effort.

“There ends up being little things here and there that aren’t perfect but I kind of think that the imperfections are sort of endearing. It is sort of like each song is a glass ball that has little chips and cracks but still maintains its shape.”

The tracks on Winter were recorded last month at Echo Chamber Studio in Halifax by James O’ Toole who had mixed the group’s last recording.

“We like working with James because he has a special sort of way of interpreting our music. He tends to bring out things in our recordings that I couldn’t even tell were there. He is the kind of guy who uses the mixing board as an instrument, and I think it ends up being very cohesive to what we are trying to accomplish as a band.”

Article published in February 25, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript