Band Name: Cat Black
Band Members: Billy Skinner: vox, Le Grubb: bass guitar, Dave Preston: guitar, Tony Coote: drums, Ed Jalil: guitar/backing vox.
Discography: 2014 – Single: ‘Hung Up’
How long have you been active for and how did you get together?
We have know each other for a while as friends, the line up of the band has changed a few times, this current line up has been together for a year now, we used to have Lewis from Little Barrie playing bass with us and also had Oscar from Hidden Charms on drums, both have their obligations with other bands and needed to concentrate on those. We are well happy with our line up now though, so things are moving faster than ever. We had a few previous incarnations but due to line up changes it was difficult to play and rehearse – so its been about 18 months now.
What influences do the band members have in common?
We all share a passion for late 60s rock‘n’roll, Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet period and Exile on Main St. We love bands like the Flamin’ Groovies, Stooges, Cream and so on. So bands that swing like Free, Delaney and Bonnie etc.. Were all just classic rock fans I guess.
Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?
Well if you love soulful rock‘n’roll you’d proberly like Maker, Hidden Charm, also Unkle Acid And The Dead Beats are from our way too.
What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?
Good, we have been going to 60s nights for a while now, we love the music man, we go to Moustrap and Crossfire when we can. London has always had a good underground scene. Were a central London band, so there is a lot of stuff going on here. Great clubs and a very vibrant scene. I think this is a good time for vintage fashion, music and culture in general.
How would you describe the style you play?
Loose, soulful, garage rock‘n’roll! Its committed rock‘n’roll with a sense of melody and swing to it. Its kinda heavy at times, but in a subtle way that makes you really want to boogie.
What are your live shows like?
Well we tend to go all in, were not into crowds that don’t feel involved with the show, London folk are a tough bunch to play to at times, not like in Europe, but we love a challenge so Billy goes off into the crowd a lot to get some blood pumping through their veins! So, energetic, fun and a little unpredictable
What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?
Wow to many to mention, shall we just say as a band anything from 68 to 75 ha! ha!, Well we already play Slow Death by Flamin’ Groovies and we have been known to play some 13th Floor Elevators too. Music we avoid is trendy east London shoe gaze eyeliner crap, the scenesters probably would hate us, I think the feeling is mutual! Also Stones, Stooges, MC5, Moby Grape, Free. I’m not sure we really despise anything in particular as music should be subjective – but bands that think they’re hip but have no songs to back it up kind of annoy us!
What are your main influences outside of music?
Outside of music it can be anything from people who just don’t give a f**k and do what they do with passion, it’s an attitude. It’s a slight cliché I guess but everything from art and culture to fashion , history , travel – it all goes into the pot!
Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?
We all write the tunes together. Billy does the lyrics, he likes to put some dark stuff in as he had a tough up bringing so he digs a lot out from the depths. Dave will come up with a riff and so will Ed, Grubby will also play a belter of a bass riff and Tony does what he does best and whacks the groove on it, it’s all about a good groove, and a bit of heart-felt chaos! We all have a hand in the arrangements – that’s the formula. We write about personal and real topics, they aren’t whimsical or based on fantasy.
What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?
They vary from gig to gig, really tough to say! We all like Hung Up. Fave song is difficult – I think we all would have a different answer to that one.
How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?
There’s been some great music that’s come out there’s no question, but what’s always dangerous is that it’s called a scene, as scenes can implode, but band wise, yeah there’s some cracking new psyche stuff out, say no more… ha! ha! In terms of music I think it can become a little too cliquey – that’s my opinion . But I think the scene is healthy. I personally make shoes for most of the bands in the scene – so that’s participation to an extent.
What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Well living ain’t always easy, maybe organizing the five of us is enough, musicians are a funny o’l lot! Getting a stable line up – and getting a recording done that we’re all satisfied with. We have done a few but I think we are yet to capture the true sound of the band on a recording.
How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?
We rehearse once a week. We play at least once a month – we could play more live, but I think it’s better to choose better shows and space them out. Crossfire is coming up! Also when ever we meet up theres ideas flying around the room! Its kinda “play that again will ya!”
What do you think of the music coverage in the media?
Well hmm… I just don’t think people wanna take risks on music or bands anymore, so a bit dry to say the least! But I also think its good that you can seek out press that pertains to the genre you are interested in. But I don’t think its something this band is really too focused on.
Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?
Guess there are some great bands out there: Uncle Acid, Temples, Rival Sons, Black Keys, Maker, Tame Impala and so on.
Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?
We record at Sausage Studio in Hackney – Its owned by Franz Ferdinand and run by our mate Sebastian Kellig . Great place and were happy there. Josh Homme, he gets old school Rock‘n’Roll sounding big and dirty he is fab too!
What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?
To put out a record very soon. We have started it recently and that’s our main priority. To make our first album, is a focus for sure, we are all keen to do that, we have been honing our set and making it better, we are ready now to do a record we all love for sure!
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