Thursday, 11 October 2012
We're Only Here For The Banter - DEATHCATS!!!
All hail DEATHCATS!!! a side project of James from Queen Jane, who are bringing fun, noise, scuzz and all out passion with their music and live shows. The band put out their first bunch of material recently, and have a whole raft of shows coming up. We chatted to James to get the low down on DEATHCATS!!!
Hello, how are you?
Hello Neil. I am good, thank you. We eventually decided to record some songs the other weekend. We recorded them at our friend, Josh’s house in one day. Very half arsed but very fun. We’re happy with how it’s sounding and other people seem to be stoked on them, so yeah, I’m good.
It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?
You could call it garage/surf/punk. I like to call it Post Surf or Catcore. It’s got lots of reverb and energy. It’s aggressive but in a positive, non threatening way. When writing DEATHCATS!!! material I’ve been influenced by early Beach Boys, Beach Fossils, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Spectrals and Japandroids. Non –musical influences include skateboarding, cats, 80s skateboarding culture, late 70s/early 80s american hardcore, goofyness, 50s Californian Surf culture, Spongebob Squarepants, my girlfriend, my friends and nostalgia. Basically just things that make me happy influence the music. No serious emotional stuff here. It’s all about having a laugh and not taking anything too serious.
What's your song writing process like?
I really don’t know. DEATHCATS!!! was started as a joke, a sort of side project. I messed about with some simple songs and they’d be written in about ten minutes. Before I knew it I’d have a full song. Right now we have about ten songs that we plan on recording so I’m not writing much until we work our way through them. Last week my girlfriend said it would be funny to write a song about climbing trees, so I did. It’s real fun to play. But aye, I come up with something I like. I try to keep it simple and take it to the other two and we whack it out.
What could we expect to see from a live show?
There is lots of energy. I really go for it when playing. In the other band I play in there is quite complex vocals and I have to hit pedals here and there etc. There are more riffs so I can’t jump about too much. With DEATHCATS!!! it’s all easy to play so I just throw myself about and contort and twist myself into mad shapes. We all spend most of our time in University or work so when we get thirty minutes to let loose we make the most of it. At the end of our last show I sort of jumped/collapsed off the kit and banged my head pretty badly. I felt rubbish for the rest of the day but it was worth it. So you can expect lots of movement, goofy screaming and head injuries. No leather jackets or Jesus And Mary Chain style standing about shit.
If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?
Our greatest achievement has been actually getting around to doing this. We talked about it for so long and never done anything about it. Once we played our first show we thought we might as well keep going. Also, we know that if Piers Morgan heard us he’d be disgusted and I’d die happy knowing I gave that useless man sore ears.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?
Playing a lot of shows, supporting bands and also putting on gigs with bands we like. We’re playing MILK on October 17th, supporting The Spills at Bloc on October 24th. Putting on our own Halloween show at Pivo Pivo with Captain Majestic, Halfrican and Killl Surrrf on November 1st and then supporting Hooded Fang on November 14th at Nice 'N' Sleazy's. We also plan on giving the EP to as many people as possible. I’m going to make some tie dye t-shirts, maybe some DEATHCATS!!! badges and balaclavas. You know, capitalise on our passion for fashion. Definitely record some more stuff and put that out for free on our own label.
Explain the name 'DEATHCATS!!!'? Is it proclaiming death to cats, or are you named after cats who bring death?
DEATHCATS!!! is not just a band. It’s a collective. Once you are a member it’s for life. Hence why in all press related photos our faces are covered as the identity of the individuals are not relevant. The individuals you see playing live are just members of the collective, who believe in the All Mighty Lord DEATHCAT, Lubocrantinus. But basically it’s a funny name that we liked. We knew we wanted it to be more than a band. We wanted to put on shows with bands we like and get our friends involved whether it’s making videos, helping with art work or whatever else. So DEATHCATS!!! is a gang. If you like garage music and jumping about then you’re more than welcome to join our gang. Also, we’d never proclaim death to cats or any animal. We love animals, especially cats!
At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?
I thought about this for a while and came to the conclusion that it’s great, well here in Glasgow. There is so much going on in Glasgow. One thing I find now with music though is that less people go to see a band or artist until they have had a good bit of hype on the internet. I think the internet has kind of killed the curiosity element of music. There are a lot of great bands no one knows about because said bands don’t bombard bloggers, radio presenters and promoters or record one single a year as they won’t bring out a proper record until they get signed, SPAM constantly on Facebook or film cliché music videos that act as more of an advert as opposed to a piece of art. So a lot of people don’t go to shows until they have heard a lot about the band but not actually went to hear the band. There is a guy who always goes to Milk and wears glasses and always has headphones around his neck. He always calls me the wrong name and he’s always usually quite drunk. But he is always at shows, regardless of what type of act is playing. People like him are an example of what is good about the community. But I think the internet has definitely killed the curiosity side of music. People don’t venture out to shows as much as they did as they can check out a band on Facebook. That band might not have the best recordings online but could be amazing live. On the other hand there are also lots of very amazing people out there such as Stephen from Flowers In the Dustbin, Fielding from Cry Parrot, Hannah and Aileen from Milk and people like yourself who run wee blogs with more energy and devotion than paid journalists and get nada out of it apart from self satisfaction. You are what creates this community.
What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?
Kill Surrrf, Halfrican, Baby Strange, Future Glue, Campfires In Winter, Secret Motorbikes, The 10:04s, Kick To Kill.
Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?
Piers Morgan getting paid to have an opinion on things, that’s a joke.
Check out more from DEATHCATS!!!