Catfish & The Bottlemen Interview


Thursday 13th March 2014

Catfish And The Bottlemen's new single "Kathleen" is out April 14th on Communion/Island Records, and it's certainly worth a listen! Listed as Track of the Day on Radio One, have a listen/watch the lyric video below.

A big fan of the band here at Subculture, Catfish and the Bottlemen were included in the best new Britrock music This Feeling Playlist, and frontman Van has now answered the below questions for Fred Perry Subculture. 

When did you meet and decide to make music together?

I was best friends with Billy's (our guitarist) little brother, who is now our tour manager. Billy then taught me and his best friend Benji to play guitar.

We met Bob in A&E! My other best buddy of all time Larry (who is our stage tech), got ran over by a van and got rushed to hospital and whilst I was waiting for him, and I met Bob! He explained to me that he was an insane drummer and that he had a certain part of his kit lodged into a certain part of his... kit so to speak.

How did you decide on the name Catfish and the Bottlemen?

It's a long story really but, I spent the first few years of my life in Australia, just travelling around with my Mum and Dad like some kind of mad chimp. My first memory of music was seeing this busker play on the harbour called 'Catfish the Bottleman'. I used to watch him every morning and when it came to naming the band, I thought it was a nice tip of the cap to that fine man! 

How would you describe your sound?

I'd say it sounds like a 20oz Fillet Steak tastes, if you get me? 

Who did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to Van Morrison. There was a few other people milling about but it was pretty much just Van Morrison. My Dad named me after him. He was and still is my hero. Billy grew up listening to Elvis and Dire Straits, people like that. This is the music we still listen to and get influence by day to day.

What influences you, other than music?

Being 21, Girls, escapism, Travelling, My Mum and Dad when they're drunk, our bass player's ex girlfriends, my ex girlfriends, Our drummer's current girlfriends, Our guitar player's lack of girlfriends, Ewan McGregor in Big Fish, our roadie Larry and his tendency to disappear for months on end.

What new music are you listening to at the moment?

To be honest, there's nothing much "new" i'm really listening to. The last album I bought was a Kinks one. There's a few songs that i've liked but i've not been really ''into'' anyone really for ages. I do really love that newest National record though, 'Trouble Will Find Me.' I think the words on that are incredible! And Kanye's last album!

Do you associate with any subcultures?

I play football. Does that count as a subculture? It's every Thursday night and it's £2.50! Curry Club in weatherspoons is kind of a subculture? The whole band are a part of that if you count that one!

What's been the best show you've played recently and why?

It was honestly every show on our last headline tour. It was completely sold out and the first time we've ever done our own thing like that really. It was class, absolutely class! Every gig had a different highlight and it's too hard to say one. So every gig on our last headline tour. It was the most fun we've ever had as this band.

Who are your biggest style Icons?

Ewan McGregor, Robin Van Persie and Tramps. I like to mix it up between the three.

If you could have any artist cover you, dead or alive who would it be?

I'm assuming you mean cover me as in warfare? That'd have to be Bruce Springsteen. Not only cause he has a song called 'Cover Me' and that he's the double of my Dad but, he's an absolute machine of a man!


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