The Katinas Set To Release New Album, Love Chapter, In Time For Valentine's Day
For Contemporary Christian group The Katinas, growing up in a large family (the band is comprised of five brothers, including one set of twins) was likely filled with plenty of disagreements and misunderstandings. When it comes to making music, though, the process is relatively smooth.
"We've been doing this for such a long time, we all kind of know our roles," says John Katina, one of the group's lead singers, along with youngest brother Jesse.
Sam Katina, the keyboard player and oldest brother, typically works on the instrumental direction of each song with James, who is John's twin and the bass player for The Katinas. Lyrics and vocal ideas/arrangements are typically a group effort.
"We've all figured out our sound and who we are - and it helps that we all love whatever that is," adds John.
The Katinas' latest project is Love Chapter, set for digital release on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. The album is full of covers of some of the group members' favorite love songs, and it arrives just in time for Valentine's Day. While The Katinas are known for their faith-based fare, this project ventures into the mainstream with covers from popular secular artists, including Boyz II Men and Bill Withers.
"Even though we are known more for Christian, inspirational, worship music, we also write a lot of songs about what we've been through on this journey over the last 25 years," says John. "So fast-forward to where we are now - we're all husbands, we're all fathers - and we wanted to do a record that reflected our relationship with our wives."
So is it sacrilegious for a Christian group to record a whole album full of non-Christian songs? Not if you're The Katinas. Fans familiar with the group and their backstory will see Love Chapter as incredibly authentic representation of the brothers' love of positive, uplifting music from all genres.
"My parents are from the Samoan islands, and our childhood was spent there," explains John. "There was one Top 40 [radio] station that we listened to, and they played everything from Kenny Rogers, to Diana Ross, to Chicago. My dad was a musician, and he taught us that good music is good music, no matter what the style is."
Love Chapter is, indeed, a great representation of the brothers' varying tastes, featuring everything from Kool & The Gang's "Cherish the Love" to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. John notes that the album took an entire year to record, with most of that time spent whittling an initial list of 50-60 songs down to the eleven that made the final cut.
But while listeners will likely recognize most of the songs on Love Chapter, The Katinas were meticulous in working with producers to put their own unique spin on each track.
The group especially shines on the uber-popular "You Are So Beautiful," written by Billy Preston and Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and made popular by Joe Cocker's 1974 version. On Love Chapter, The Katinas offer a jazzy, a cappella rendition that shows the depth and skill in each brother's voice.
"Lo'u Sei Oriana" is another standout. The song, a Samoan standard, is sung in the islands' native language and provides listeners with a glimpse into the rich Katina heritage.
All in all, Love Chapter is a solid offering. And aside from serving as an audible homage to some of their favorite songs and artists, the album satisfies one of The Katinas' more pressing desires.
"The branding of our brand has been that, no matter what we're a part of, we want our music to touch and reach families," says John. "These are love songs that, obviously, our generation will be familiar with, but I think that it would be great to introduce some of these good songs to a younger generation."