Rewind back to May of 2013 and Catfish and The Bottlemen were about to release their new single, ‘Homesick’. A lot has happened for these guys over the last 6 months and more good things to happen in the future with a Maida Vale Session on the way and support from the likes of Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and XFM.
Here is a Q&A I done with them at the start of summer…
How did you guys all meet and how many of you are in the band?
Me, Billy and Ben all went to school together, they were a few years older than me so they used to rough me up. They kind of raised me into the MAN I AM TODAY BABY! This is a bit weird but we just started playing, Billy taught me and Ben how to play and we were trying to find a drummer. Billy started seeing this older woman for a while and we thought nothing of it really. Turns out, this woman had a son who played drums. ENTER DOC BOB! How weird is that! Billy used to see the Dr’s mum!
How long have you been making music together?
Me and Billy started writing some terrible songs when we were about 15/16 but we’ve been as Catfish just over 2 years now!
Is there a story behind the name?
It’s a long story but the short end of it is, I spent like a lot of my baby Van life in Australia because my Mum and Dad ran off together like vagabonds and fell in love and all that stuff! Anyway, I remember we used to walk round the harbour and there was this busker there called Catfish the Bottlemen, he used to play Christmas songs on loads of hanging wine bottles! It was pretty insane! So yeah! I owe him a lot! Think that was one of the first pieces of music I’d ever heard or seen! MY HERO! X
What was your first ever gig like?
(laughs) It was pretty good actually looking back, I was only about 14 I think and we didn’t have a clue what we were doing at all. I’m pretty sure Ben used an old electric guitar he’d found and turned the bass up and the treble down to make it sound as much like a bass as possible and me and billy had two acoustic guitars running through amps to make them sound distorted and like electrics. I remember wearing a pretty shambolic hat too… it was horrible!!!
They’ve all been pretty funny to be honest! I remember when we first went over to Ireland and played in this place, I think it was called Temple Bar. The stage was really small and we’d just about crammed everything on and when I’d move around on it I could feel it bounce beneath me, so the more it bounced, the more I did it to make the lads laugh. By the last song when we were all getting into it the stage just collapsed through like we’d been swallowed into the earth like some mad force of nature! We just kind of laughed it off and tried to pass it off as the end of the show. My first ever guitar got destroyed in that moment! The great hole of 52.
Who are your musical influences?
I’ve personally never really looked further than the stuff I’ve been raised on, my Dads record collection. Stuff like Van Morrison and old Lennon/McCartney tapes, odd Dylan songs. Stuff like that. I really love the Streets though so in terms of inspiration I’m more of a lyrics kind of guy so I’d say Mike Skinner. But musically speaking if it was anyone it’d be Billy who’s influenced me most, He taught me how to play and write when I was just a bairn.
What’s on the cards for the rest of 2013?
The start of it thus far has been pretty mental, we’ve just signed to a new agency, management and label and we’ve just been in recording this new song HOMESICK that’s been floating around. That comes out June 17th and we go back on tour tomorrow which we can’t wait for because we’ve been going crazy not being out on the road! This year we just wanna work our asses off and get these new songs out to every person that’ll listen and any place that’ll have us. Just want to try and be as honest as possible, excite people live and make music that makes people feel happy and want to have sex in their cars… Like the good ol’ days.
And finally, any advice for upcoming bands and musicians?
I really don’t seem fit to give anyone advice at the minute as we’re the ones who are still trying to carve our way but FIND A GIRL YOU LOVE, WHO LOVES YOU BACK, GET HER, GO TO TGI FRIDAYS AND GET ONE OF THEIR STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKES, THEY’RE FUCKING UNREAL!
Catfish And The Bottlemen – ‘Pacifier’- Out on December 9th (Communion Records)