Catfish and the Bottlemen are well and truly smashing boundaries. With their cut-throat rock n’ roll and fiery stage presence, they are sure to go far. Having just recently been signed to Communion Records, Catfish and the Bottlemen are on the brink of major success. 

2013 is proving to be a very exciting year for this four-piece, as they are currently headlining venues across the country and have a string of festival appearances still lined up for the rest of summer. Amongst all this madness, I was lucky enough to get this exclusive one-on-one interview with the band’s frontman, Van McCann. So, may I present to you, Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Hi Guys. Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. Can you all introduce yourselves and what roles you play in the band?

Helllllllooo, NOOOO THANK YOU FOR HAVING US! It’s just me I’m afraid and my names Van, I sing and have an awkward nose when you look at me side on.  

Describe Catfish and the Bottlemen in three words.

Wet, Bald and Turbulence.

As you’re currently on tour, where’s the best place you’ve played so far, any city that has stood out most to you?

We played over in Czech Republic for a festival the other week and that was amazing! They treated us like a Beatle or something it was really crazy but for me, I really love coming home. We played a show in Chester not too long ago and it felt like a real chapter for me and the band cause we’ve been playing this place since we were like 15, But this time round it had sold out twice over and people were going so wild the floor nearly went through! It made me really proud.

When you’re not gigging and touring, what’s your favourite thing to do in your downtime?

Writing I guess? I try to write when I have spare time. I make my girlfriend chicken dinosaurs sometimes too. I sometimes shave my puppy like a lion as well. Those 3, in different orders every time.

What’s been your favourite moment of your career to date?

We played a show in the Barfly, Camden a few weeks back and it was the morning of us signing our record deal with Communion. The show was sold out completely, and the time before we played there and there was about 12 people there. So, again it was a real turning point for us but I’d say that just cause we had two really cool things happen to us in one day. It was lovely that.

Can we be expecting your début album in the works soon?

YES SIR!!!!!! We’ve already written 5 albums worth of songs over the years and just stacked them up ready for this moment so we’re just in the process of sorting out what’s gonna make the cut. Sit tight though! Can’t wait for it.

That’s great news! Tell us about the songwriting process. Is it a collaborative effort?

I tend to write everything and paint a picture in my head first and then take it in to the lads and they get their brushes out. The weird thing is, cause we’ve been together so long and we know exactly how each other work, I don’t even say anything to them and they can just make the song sound and go exactly how I’ve envisioned it! I’m very lucky to have such a talented, handsome group of lads. Bluddy gawjiz dey R!

You have a great relationship with your fans, at gigs and through social media, which I for one, really appreciate. Do you feel it’s important to connect with them that way?

That’s very kind of you! I’m always happy to hear that when people notice it cause we really do try our best to make people like yourself feel that way. It’s SO SO SO important to us! After every gig we do our best to meet up with everyone for a drink because they’re the people that are making this band move! If it wasn’t for them, we’d be no-ones. We don’t want to be ‘rockstars’ and act too cool for it all. We just want to make people happy and give them something REAL to believe in! So thanks very much for saying that! That’s very lovely of you.

Talking about social networks, the age old question has to be asked, twitter or facebook?

Neither for me. I don’t use either personally but it’s nice for the fans to keep in touch with the band and visa versa. I do throw the odd tweet after gigs and that though. I have a good laugh on there when we’re on the way home. Again we reply to everyone cause we love em….. it’s normally with filthy photos of Bob. But none the less.

If you had to pick your favourite album of 2013. Who and what would that be?

I’ve not really listened to much new music really, but I got the new National album the other day? I’ve literally only started playing it but already I’m in love with the vibe and lyrics on it. It’s the first stuff I’ve ever heard from them weirdly, so I’m gonna say that in advance haha.

Speaking of your musical tastes. Who would be your dream line up at a gig of your choosing?

I’d just have Van Morrison headline and I’d make him play a 10 hour set and I’d book like a 12 capacity venue and just buy all the tickets and sit there naked, watching him and dribbling. He’s unreal.

If you had to pick only one song of yours to play and a cover. Which songs would you pick and why?

Tyrants probably cause it sounds like the end of the world and for a cover I’d play You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon because it’d be funny as fuck trying to see Blake play that bass solo.

Something that’s intrigued me for a while, as I’m sure it has many other people. Where does your band name, Catfish and the Bottlemen, originate from? What’s the story behind it?

It’s a long story really but to cut it short, I spent most of my early life over in Australia and my Mum and Dad used to just plonk me on the harbour whilst we’d have breakfast and I used to watch this Busker play drums on like half empty bottles of wine. He used to play Inspector Gadget and all sorts! He was really, really class man! Anyway, that was my first ever real memory of music. His name was Catfish the Bottleman, so it’s kind of me paying my respects to him really.

Are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?

YES!!!!! There’s a new band called Broken Hands, they are fucking UNREAL! like The Doors sleeping with The Black Keys! There’s a band from Morecambe called The Heartbreaks! They’re lovely! and these aren’t new but Little Comets are unbelievable. Probably the best song writers I’ll ever hear. Their lyrics are unreal!

Finally. Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you could let us all in on?

New single out in September and it’s miles better than Homesick! Loads more shows, which you’re more than welcome to come a long to anddddd an album next year! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!


A special thanks to Van McCann from Catfish and the Bottlemen for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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