Catfish and the Bottlemen is a name that is becoming synonymous with killer, heavy hitting singles, with everything that they release being pure gold. From last year’s début Homesick, to Rango and current single, Kathleen, named as Zane Lowe’s Single of the Week this week. This band are hotting up the airwaves and we can’t can’t enough of them, as we all wait in eager anticipation for their début LP to drop later this year, Catfish are returning to the road for another UK tour in May and they’ll be gracing many festival stages across the summer, so lots to look forward to and plenty of chances to get your Catfish fix.
I caught up with the band’s frontman, Van McCann, to discuss everything from their début album, new single Kathleen, their recent UK tour and much, much more.
Since I caught up with you last so much has changed for you, obviously the main one being that you’re a lot busier now, congratulations on all your success. It’s been great to see you progress from strength to strength. What has the past 8 months felt like to you?
Thank you! It’s been fun man! We’ve just been grafting on these songs for the album and touring loads really? It’s just been great seeing shows fill up and getting to meet the people who are filling those rooms.
You recently toured with Little Comets, how was that tour for you?
It was the funniest two weeks of my life. They’re just a class set of lads! I don’t remember stopping laughing. They just taught us loads of new shit about making music and we just spent the whole month abusing each other!
Being a fan of the band yourselves and you often say that they are a big inspiration to you, it must have been a real “pinch me” moment when you got that call?
It was lovely like! It was really good to be able to play and try and win a crowd that didn’t really know you every night, then come off and get to listen to them tear it up every night!
You just wrapped up your UK headline tour. How was the tour? Any highlights, favourite cities?
It was insane! It was our first “real” headline tour and it was all sold out! It was a mad feeling! I couldn’t highlight a city to be honest, everywhere was class. My highlights have been meeting everyone. That’s my favourite part of being in a band, meeting the people who come see you afterwards.
What do you get up to during the day before a show and do you have any pre-show rituals?
We wake up, soundcheck, have dinner and then me and our roadie Larry snog each other until show time.
We share a lot of love in common for the band, Broken Hands, who I know you’ve become good friends with. So saying that surely a joint tour or something along those lines should be on the cards in future?
I love Broken Hands! There singer Dale is my idol! I met him back in Sheffield and I’ve loved him ever since. Maybe??? Me and Dale have been writing a few parts for songs together of late, it’d be nice to work together soon. We send each other some decent naked photos.
You hear all the time from blogs and music websites who we tip for greatness in the coming year, so I wanted to turn the tables a little and ask you, who do you tip to be huge or at least break through into mainstream consciousness in 2014?
There’s a band called The Preatures who I like from Australia. I’ve only heard two songs, but they’re really cool. I don’t know about huge but the two songs I’ve heard are great and the lead singer is beautiful and captivating, I think people will get her.
How’s the album coming along? I heard you had around 70 songs to choose from, was it hard to pick the tracks that made the cut?
It was tough but it was a really good problem to have to be honest. Because we’ve gigged so much over this last two years, we’ve had the opportunity to let fans tell us what to put on the album. So bar one or two, they pretty much picked themselves.
You just unveiled your latest single, Kathleen. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept of the track and how it came to fruition?
The song is about being madly infatuated with someone when you don’t want to be. It’s about being wrapped around someone’s finger and doing anything they want and when they want it. You being unable to do anything about it cause you absolutely adore them and you don’t quite know why?
Something that always intrigues me when listening to your music is the lyrics. What are you thinking about when writing songs and where do you get your inspiration from?
Girls, mainly. They’re like scruffy love songs. I write true stories, whether they’ve happened to me, or one of the other lads, or someone I know. They’re just songs about a provincial town and a love life. Sex and cups of tea. Tomato soup and Matrix Reloaded.
You have released a lot of material on vinyl as of late. Do you feel it’s important to do this nowadays with the recent resurgence in love for vinyl? Do you listen to a lot of vinyl yourself?
Yeah, I love vinyls like. I don’t really think it’s to important, music is music really I guess, but me myself, I love reading on a huge 12″ all the words and seeing where it was recorded and who played what, you know? It adds to it for me.
You’ve had to be very persistent and put the work in to get to where you are today, all traits you should be congratulated on, and arguably all traits that you need to have to succeed these days. What advice would you give to new bands just starting out?
That’s very sweet of you, thank you! I’m not really anyone to give advice really as I’m still acquiring it from other people but, one thing I’ve learned is don’t get a mixed grill from Weatherspoons…. ALWAYS get the curry.
What’s been your proudest moment to date?
Selling these last headline shows out and watching our Larry re-string a guitar.
What do you feel that being in Catfish and the Bottlemen has taught you?
It has taught me to NEVER EAT THE MIXED GRILL IN WEATHERS, ALWAYS GET THE CURRY!
A special thanks to Catfish and the Bottlemen for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.