Guest Blog: ‘Taking On Karma’ by Catch Fire’s Ash Wain

For the past few years, we’ve been keeping an eye on Catch Fire. Since forming, the Nottingham-based band have gradually grown away from their pop-punk roots to a sonically impressive alt-rock band with a deep, emotional core.

Their debut album, ‘Karma Owes Me a Lifetime of Happiness’, marks another leap in the quartet’s songwriting. Over the course of eleven songs, they question the notion of Karma with the effects of depression and mental wellbeing threaded throughout.

In the latest instalment of our series of guest blogs, Catch Fire drummer Ash Wain discusses how the concept came together and how the concept of Karma served as the catalyst for ‘KOMALOH”s lyrical spine.


We wrote ‘Karma Owes Me a Lifetime of Happiness’ (KOMALOH) over the course of a year. Myself and Miles (Kent – vocals) got together near enough every day, commencing July 2017 (just a couple of months after we released ‘A Love That I Still Miss’), and put pen to paper. At this point we weren’t really writing for anything, we just wanted to see what we’d come up with. It wasn’t until Rude (Records) proposed a full-length opportunity months down the line, that we really got going. When they asked us if we wanted to do a full-length, we were a little bit apprehensive as to whether it would be worth it, as we’re still very much a young band trying to establish ourselves, but then we thought and thought about it and just eventually reached a point and said: “Let’s just f*cking do it.”

I wanted to make sure it was something special, however. You only get one debut album, and I didn’t want that thing to happen where we look back on it in years to come and be bored or dissatisfied with it. I wanted it to have longevity, and the only way to do that for me, was to make it personal and hefty. The subject matter had to be unique, and a little bit challenging. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to make the record about, and I’m glad the guys let me take the reins with the lyrics, as it allowed me to get a lot of stuff off my chest.

Karma is something I’ve never been able to buy into. From a very young age, you are told that what goes around, comes around, or that people always get what they deserve. As you grow older though, you start to see the world in a different light, and the more you know about something, the worse it appears. Ignorance is bliss, right? For the most part, we see a lot of the people we love suffering. Whether that be mental illness, physical illness, or just “bad luck”, which brings me onto my next point. How can luck and Karma coexist? The random nature of “luck” completely contradicts the notion of Karma, that of which suggests that something is watching over us and deciding who gets to win the lottery, or who gets a terminal illness.

The record isn’t specifically about anything that’s happened to me. It’s more about me from the outside, looking in on other people. My mother is a firm believer of Karma, there’s a lyric about her on ‘Hostage’. I think it’s nice, and If it makes somebody more comfortable and happy with their own lives then I’m all for that. It’s just something I don’t buy.

“It’s a safety net for those who fear death.”

‘Karma Owes Me A Lifetime Of Happiness’ by Catch Fire is out now on Rude Records.

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