Signing Story: The Karma Killers

© Meredith Truax Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.14.35 AM

From their home base in New Jersey, The Karma Killers wave the flag of classic rock, new wave, punk and power pop with a vengeance. The band began in 2012 and blossomed initially from the strong lyrical verve and musical prowess of frontman Micky James. He aligned with mutual friends Mango and drummer Josh Grigsby and found they had good chemistry and similar career goals.

“A few months in, we flew to L.A. to record an EP with our own money,” says James. “It flopped and sucked. We kept playing around New York City doing the club scene, but it’s not like we expected it would be. We decided to lock ourselves in a room and just kept writing songs.”

“It was a good year and a half of trying to establish and capture the band’s sound.”

One of those songs was a tune called “I’m Okay,” for which they shot a video. That caught the attention of Dirty Canvas Music co-owner Shep Goodman. Goodman had befriended James a few years before when the young guitarist/lead vocalist was starting out. “Shep and his partner Aaron Accetta dug our song and a couple months later we started writing with them,” continues James. “In October we eventually jumped in the studio and started making the EP. It was a good year and a half of trying to establish and capture the band’s sound. At the end of the day Shep and Aaron nailed it and we’re super proud of it.”

The debut EP James speaks of is called Strange Therapy and was released worldwide by Dirty Canvas/Island Records on June 9. This release coincides with the band’s appearance on the 21st annual Vans Warped Tour, which takes them across the United States through the end of August.

“Shep had a built-in connection with Island through his previous work with Universal,” says James. “There might have been some other label interest, but I really don’t care. A lot of our favorite bands were on Island, like The Cranberries and The Bravery. So, it was really ironic that it all worked out like it did.”

– Eric A. Harabadian