Cats and Cats and Cats
Chris Tapley 25/10/2009
On the back of their just finished UK tour and with a brand new AA single Oh Boy released on October 19th I caught a few words with Cats and Cats and Cats to find out a bit more about the single as well as their forthcoming debut album.
For anyone who doesn't know could you bring us up to date on the beginnings of the band, how did you first together?
The band was first mentioned in a smoky bar in Staines' Latin quarter (most dangerous place in rural Surrey) in 2005 when Tom "Shady" Baker and Ben "The Ben" George were accosted by a man known only as The Mexican*. The room fell silent as the bare chested giant reached for his pocket, a gasp sounded from the mostly introspective crowd, but to their surprise he pulled out a pair of maracas and asked in a posh Kentish accent "Will you do the honour of joining me in a musical showdown?" Well, how could they resist? A year to the day later the trio woke up in a Tequila filled haze on the floor of a pet shop, the shop owner was stuck in a loop and repeating the words "cats" and "and" forever. Eve "club mate" Morrison was trying to buy a new chameleon but couldn't get the shop keeper to tell her where they were. Jamie "crescendo" Stafford butted in with the words "what's going on?"
You have a new AA single, Oh Boy Parts 1+2, out this month, could you tell us a little bit about that? Is there any kind of theme linking the two songs?
Yeah these two songs actually started out as very different pieces but slowly over the writing of the album the lyrics and in some ways the music got so intertwined that we couldn't resist releasing them like this. The two boys in question are brothers each with a differing affliction and way of dealing with it. I won't say too much but they crop up a lot on the album and some things might be explained and others not.
There's a Maybeshewill remix on there as well, who you're also touring with, how did this come about?
We've been mates with MSW for a very long time, they put us on during our first ever tour and then these things happened in order: we asked them to headline our last all dayer; they said yes; we asked if they'd like to put our single out on their label Robot Needs Home; they said yes; we realised we were booking tours at the same time; they said "come on tour with us you prunks" and we said yes.
How has the tour been going?
It's been ace, great crowds, megajokez, ghosts and irn bru and vodka. I think us and MSW have complimented each other's sound as we're in the same posty mathy rocky bed but at either ends like a failed relationship you just can't give up. I think my favourite night has been Manchester, ours friends in Deaf to Van Gogh's Ear put us on and it was a great night despite the race riots going on outside!
You're working on your debut album now right? How's it progressing?
We're at the mastering stages, no one actually understands what happens at the mastering stages. We're really pleased with how it's sounding so far though and can't wait to have it finished!
You've released a few e.p's and a split already, do you feel more confident with the recording of the album now than you might have done before those releases?
Definitely, I think there were quite a few phases we went through that, although I'm still proud of them, we needed to get out of our system before we could get to where we are now. Basically I'm saying that it was the right time to attempt the album, any sooner and it would've come out as an 80 minute drone opera, any later and we'd be dead.
The record is being produced by Tom Woodhead of Forward Russia, how did that come about?
Tom got in contact when he saw our advert in a lonely hearts column, it read "five cats looking to find a decent record producer, preferably already in a well good band". He turned out to be well romantic and a fine catch for the mixing desk.
What's your songwriting process like, does everyone chip in ideas or do you have one band member who does the majority of writing then everyone else helps to flesh it out a bit?
I, the Ben, do the songwriting as such. I say as such, as from when I bring a song to the rehearsal room to when it leaves it is often unrecognisable, such is the power of four people who really know how to argue a point.
Do you know when the album will be released?
The new AA single Oh Boy Parts 1&2 is out now.