The KOSHER guys answered Tony Cummings' questions
Tony: The 'White Lies' album has stunned everybody who's heard it at Cross Rhythms. Give us Kosher's history.
Mike Spear: Kosher is the long-term vision of vocalist/lyricist Mo Sullivan (previously of Zero Defect). The 'Kosher project' has been in the pipeline for the last two and a half years, and has the backing of corporate company Gottalife. The key to Kosher is the diverse musical backgrounds of the band members. Mo, the founder of the band, is an excellent songwriter and rock guitarist. When he and Andrzei Legierski (ex- Release/Phil Lewis band) got together over two years ago, Andrzei was heavily-ly into funk style bass playing. Rusty (aka Steve Russell of Gethsemane Rose/Bleach fame) then appeared on the scene with an unusual blend of rock and hip hop style drumming, and turned the band's musical style on its head. At that time Kosher were in discussion with a record company but the band decided to forge ahead with its new direction. Then in November 1999 I joined the band. I'd just left 3rd Day Rising, and was still well and truly trapped in that old '"80s metal" vibe. It soon became apparent that I needed to change. I have had to adapt my guitar style significantly. Within Kosher rhythm is now important and guitar solos are few and far between. It's been a tough but far more enjoyable journey. Mo has made similar changes, sacrificing his guitar playing in order to focus entirely on being the front-man of the band. (Although don't rule out the odd appearance of a guitar around his neck during our live set).
Tony: Do you consider yourself a "secular" band? Your Christian faith is clearly there if you look for it in the lyrics but they would also make a lot of sense to non-Christians.
Mo Sullivan: We should remove the word secular from the Christian Dictionary for the sake of the lost. Our religious clichés more often than not keep people at arms length from the truth. At the end of the day we're just a band!
Tony: Trying to classify your style has defeated us. What are your influences? How would you describe your music?
Mo: It's good to know that we are hard to classify, our goal is to always be innovative with our music, and not to be "pigeon holed" into one particular area. Part of the reason for the "unusual" sound is that we use 7-string guitars and 5-string basses (de-tuned of course), and as we mentioned before we all have very different musical backgrounds. As you can tell from our sound, our influences are varied and include Rage Against The Machine, The Deftones, Cypress Hill, Dub War (now Skindred - Benji and Jeff are personal friends and very much helped to change the course of Mo's musical direction in the earlier stages of Kosher).
Tony: What are your plans and vision for the future?
Mo: Our vision, first and foremost is, to take this vibe across the world with a message of life. To take it to ears and places where the lost reside, labelled generation X, judged as junkies, drop outs and no-hopers, and to take it to them in a form they can relate to. To take the message of truth to a level that normal channels of evangelism fail as they don't know how to relate to a dying world. Gottalife are currently working on a major record deal. We will be starting to tour in the not too distant future.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.