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INTERVIEW: Catgod

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

(Robin) A bit sticky… we’re currently in the car on our way to the Isles of Scilly for a family canoeing/music-making holiday. Visiting our grandma for a few days and have bought along some busking equipment so we can play in the wilderness!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Keep My Promises”?

(Robin) So it has been a work in progress for the past year or so – we’ve made quite a few recorded versions and played it live for a while! It feels like a lot of work went into it but now we’re feeling very happy with how it sounds. When we first tried recording the track it was pieced together in more a bedroom production way – all the parts being recorded separately. After having recorded it live at a local Oxford venue called The Cellar we realised we needed to re-record the song in our studio in more of a live way. It was quite quick to lay everything down after we realised this, and we had lots of little sparkles we could sub in from our previous versions too which was handy.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

(Robin) With the words I started off experimenting with a literary technique (I can’t remember the name of) which involves using slight variations of the same word within the verse. I chose to make them in pairs for both verses – each verse has three pairs of the words. For example in the first verse the pairs of similar words are ‘truth’ and ‘true’, ‘take’ and ‘taken’, ‘giving’ and ‘give’. We thought it would be cool if each pair had a corresponding sound within the music which goes off when the word is sung. So we chopped up and sampled some of Cat’s scat and used that. This is what she plays live on her SPD in the first verse.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

(Cat) We haven’t yet released any music videos for our music. Feels like we’ve been so busy gigging and recording over the last year. We’re looking forward to starting work on some visuals for this track and another track from the EP. Hope to have it out in the summer!

The single comes off your new EP Heartbeat In My Hand – what’s the story behind the title?

(Robin) The title track is from an album of love songs I gave my girlfriend for her 21st birthday. The idea for which started when I noticed a pulse in my hand when I was running. I had been thinking of how I can forget or take for granted the good things in life and sometimes the people close to me; and how I couldn’t do without them. Hence the line “You’re the closest but I’ve never noticed”.

How was the recording and writing process?

(Paddy) Every tune was approached a bit differently. Sometimes Robin would throw out a small motif or idea which we’d take and play with- it’s always a fun process. We record all our tracks in our home shed studio which backs onto a lake with Lilly pads. It’s a pretty special place to get ideas. There’s no distractions.

What role does Oxford play in your music?

(Cat) Being close to natural and architectural beauty inspires us a lot. Oxford feels like a dreamy, mysterious place to me and I believe that translates into our sound. There’s a really connected music scene too and local bands are always supporting and promoting each others gigs. It’s such a luxury to ask performers you look up to to play on a track or step in and perform with you at a gig. (Robin) I guess Oxford is home for us – where lots of our relationships have been born and lived out. Loving relationships are a big influence lyrically on this EP.

You’re known for playing with different genres – how do you balance them together?

(Cat) It’s taken a while for our musical style to find its identity. At the start of this project we wanted to play around with different genres (and collaborate with lots of different musicians) to see what fitted and also for the fun of experimenting- it’s my first band so I’ve been finding out how my voice works and building my own. But the more we’ve gigged the more confident we become as a core band and songs have slowly developed from our initial genre biased ideas. Having Paddy Bolton on keys has really defined our style and he’s wicked to work with too.

Any plans to hit the road?

Looking forward to Ronnie Scott’s on June 5th and Notting Hill Arts Club on the 14th of July and not forgetting our EP launch in 23rd of June.Also hitting up a few festivals over the summer period including Cornbury (Saturday 14th) and organising a tour in the south of England for September time. We’ve tried to gig mostly around Oxford this year as Cat is training to become an early years teacher. She graduates in September.

What else is happening next in Catgod’s world?

Hoping to start the ball rolling on some music vids and collaborating with Iman Mahdy on some more artwork. Stay tuned, it’s going to be exciting.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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