Interview: Molotov Jukebox's Natalia Tena – ‘It humbled us that people actually did help us reach our target’

Interview: Molotov Jukebox's Natalia Tena – ‘It humbled us that people actually did help us reach our target’

Natalia Tena / credit: Drew Cox

Affectionately named ‘Gyp-Step’ band prepare to unleash their second album, with a UK tour to follow

A band notorious for their high-octane live sets, Molotov Jukebox blend samba rhythms, Latino instrumentation and gypsy-punk riffs to form a sound that is dynamic and full of flavour. Following a tour of South America and two successful PledgeMusic campaigns, the six-piece band is back with their second release, Tropical Gypsy, an album that effectively builds on the energy and passion of their debut Carnival Flower.

‘We were trying to focus our sound and find our genre so we locked that down first.’ explains frontwoman and accordion player Natalia Tena, who is also known for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. ‘Anytime we started deviating on musical tangents during the creative process, we would look to the title as a fixed mark, which is really an attempt at fusing the tropical hemisphere and Balkan Eastern rhythms and themes together.’

The band’s latest PledgeMusic campaign enables fans to get more involved in innovative and creative ways. One such example involves Tena and violinist Sam Apley visiting the homes of dedicated supporters to cook lasagne. ‘I reckon it helps fans that pledge connect with you as humans while being directly responsible for the album getting made. It's a sexy symbiotic relationship and it humbled us with both albums that people actually did help us reach our target and believed that we could deliver the aural goods.’

Molotov Jukebox will soon be taking to the road to celebrate the release of the new album. ‘I literally cannot wait to start this tour!’ says Tena. ‘The closer it gets, the more it's a strange combination of insomnia inducing terror and manic joyous excitement, like you’re a child desperate for Christmas but worried Santa might turn out to be psychopath.’

Molotov Jukebox play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Thu 28 Apr; Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Fri 29 Apr.

Molotov Jukebox

Six-piece fronted by Natalia Tena, better known as Tonks in the Harry Potter films and for her starring role in the T In The Park-set film You Instead, who play samba, ska, swing and 'gyp-step', a genre of their own devising.

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