Welsh rock outfit Catfish and The Bottlemen are currently in Australia this month as guests of The Kooks on a tour which kicked off last night. They’ll also play a couple of headline shows of their own in Sydney and Melbourne. You can catch those at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney this Monday 19th January and The Hi-Fi in Melbourne on Sunday 25th January. Tickets are available now. The band are supporting their debut album ‘The Balcony‘ which has seen them perform at over thirty international festivals including Reading & Leeds, Latitude and Governors Ball in NYC gaining a high reputation for their explosive live shows. You can purchase the album on iTunes [Here] or stream it on Spotify [Here]. This week in The Hotseat we caught up with singer Van to answer our questions. Expand this post for his answers, all their dates and a video clip for the single ‘Cocoon‘.
Name : Van McCann
Band : Catfish and The Bottlemen
Job In Band : Singer
Website Address : www.catfishandthebottlemen.com
Hometown : Llandudno
Hometown is best known for : Seagulls
Best venue in your hometown : There’s only one and it’s usually used for pantomimes!
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Stereophonics
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : We rented the cellar of this bar out once when we were about 17 and got the whole town in there, that was class. In a place called Fountains.
How did the band first come to exist? I met the Bass player Benji at school. Bob our drummer I met through a friend we were recording demos with. Turns out he lift next door my whole life and we both never knew. I met our guitarist Bondy through going to watch his old band. He was in a band called Detroit Social Club who I went to see a few times. I always remember telling my mates how good he was and then years later he ended up joining us.
How long has the band been going? We’ve been gigging since I was 14 so 8 years ish now. We were garbage for 7 of those years though so we’ve only been together 1 really haha.
Any particular story behind the name? My Mum and Dad ran off to Australia together with nothing to their name to get married. My 1st memory of music was watching this busker in Sydney called Catfish the Bottleman. He used to have a big washing line on which he’d play wine bottles like a drum kit, it was mad. It’s my 1st real memory of music, so we thought it was apt to call the band that. Apparantly some of our fans went and tracked him down wearing our t-shirts and told him about us. Hopefully we can find him when we are over.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Our debut album ‘The Balcony’ has just come out.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Our song ‘Cocoon’ got on FIFA15 the soccer game. Best moment of this bands career for me.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? My granddad was an Irish fiddle player and played live all the time at family parties and that. My Dad is a big Van Morrison and Bob Dylan fan. There was just music everywhere, so it was just always something present that I really knew I could have a crack at.
Any particular band/album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Every album The Streets have done. I love The Streets. I already told you about that. I’m really into his lyrics. I think he’s amazing.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Our first band name was The Prestige by the Magic Trick, and it was the exact same, but we just used to play covers really.
Most prized music-related item you own? We won a FIFA tournament off a load of bands, and we’ve got two trophies in the cottage we live in, so that’s my most prized possession because I guess that comes to music because it was against bands.
When you’re not doing band-related stuff, what are you usually found doing? When I’m not doing that, I’m playing FIFA, and I’m feeding all the dogs. Obviously.
The thing you look most forward to before your tour is? The tour itself is the thing I most look forward to. Playing gigs, I didn’t get that excited before because knowing that the gigs are coming up and all the ones in England have all been sold out like well in advance so you know that it’s going to be a good show every night.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is? Leaving my cottage because it’s just fucking heaven.
ON THE STAGE
When an offer, what’s one thing you must have on the rider? Cigarettes, I’ve smoked them since I was a bit back behind the Berkshires.
Favorite place you’ve toured and why? I think it’s got to be Australia because it’ll be like a 360 of my life and I’ve always wanted to do that, so I’m going to say Australia in advance. And that’s why.
Most memorable show you’ve played and why? We played BBC Awards. I don’t know that I can remember it because it was last week or that it was good. We played this massive arena and it was just madness. So that’s most memorable.
Got a favorite song to play live? A song called ‘Cocoon’ because the people, the crowd seem to just rip the roofs off when we play it, so that one because it just gets everyone losing their voices.
Any embarrassing moments on the stage come to mind? No, not really.
Any pre-show rituals? Me and Bondy, the guitar player go out and have a cigarette and talk about how the day’s been and that and then we go on. That simple. Don’t really do much.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Hardest aspect of touring in a band. I dunno. It’s all pretty easy. It’s all pretty easy to tour. You just get on. Not seeing your loved ones, I guess, is the only thing that gets on your nerves. But it’s pretty easy touring. We’re lucky enough to have a big – it’s like a big family so it’s just dad dad funny.
Last song you listened to? was a song by a guy called Benji Hughes called You Stood Me Up.
Last album you picked up? I bought 4 of that guy I was just saying. I bought 4 of his albums last week. He just put 4 albums out, so his album.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Benji, again. Because I just bought 4 of them. I’ve been nailing them this week.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go listen to right now? Benji Hughes. Nobody knows him yet, so check him out.
What’s in the cards for the next few months for the band? We’re coming over to Australia and Tokyo and Europe and America and then back to England for a sold out tour, which sold out like a couple weeks ago, which is just madness. So just loads and loads of touring, maybe another album, dunno. Yeah, it’s exciting.
You can pick any one album for the band to cover in full. What would it be and why? Our album, because we already know that.
You can pick any one band or artist to cover one of your albums in full. What would it be and why? Dr. Dre. Because I think we sound like each other. He’s got my same kind of vocal range.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? I wish I could see The Streets again live because when I first saw them live I didn’t know what was going on enough. I was too young to remember it really. I wasn’t into it as much as I am now so I’d like to see The Streets again live if that was possible.
One venue you’ve yet to play that you would love to? We played at, there’s a place called Death Institute in Manchester, and we’ve played it before a few times but we’ve never headlined it, and I always wanted to sell it out, so I’d love to sell it out one day. But it’s only a small venue and we’re playing a couple thousand bigger than that now, but it’s just the coolest venue I’ve ever been to so I’d love to go back and play that one day.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour. Which band would it be and why? The Streets. I’d like to play drums or something for The Streets because he’s the man.
A Headline tour overseas comes up. Tell us two bands you’d take along as your support band? A band called Little Comets from Newcastle. And that guy Benji I was telling you about. That’s it then.
Got any final words? Got a tour coming up in Australia with The Kooks, supporting The Kooks. Our album’s out, The Balcony is out now. And that’s us, that’s what we do. Albums and tour. There you go. Thank you very much for your time. Absolute pleasure, thank you for having me.
CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN – ‘The Balcony‘
Purchase on iTunes [Here] or stream on Spotify [Here].