XWHY MEETS: CATALINA SKIES
If you’re feeling a bit grey as we move into the deep depths of winter, then we have just the tonic for you in the form CATALINA SKIES, a newly formed band hailing from all over the globe. Their infectious indie-rock style has seen them recently doing a string of shows in London venues including Proud Galleries Camden, to positive reviews and they have no intentions of slowing down.
Next in their run of shows, is a support gig at Brixton Jamm this Saturday for Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles, a band fronted by former Catfish and the Bottlemen Lead guitarist Billy Bibby. We caught up with them ahead of the gig to talk about the forming of the band, who is the song writing genius and who they’d like to delete from history.
Let’s start with the age-old default question for any band… How did you come up with the name?
It all started with the Big Bang… then some thirteen billion years later, we thought CATALINA SKIES sounded cool.
What was on the shortlist before this was decided?
We started with ‘Diet Cocaine’, which Craig was pretty sold on. Then because half of us are space nerds, we were thinking about ‘When Galaxies Collide’. Eventually we settled on CATALINA SKIES after an organisation discovered a threateningly close asteroid flying past Earth on the day we recorded ‘Jenny’ and ‘The Circus’.
Where did you guys all meet?
Bands can be described as a bit of a dysfunctional family sometimes, what roles do you each take on in the CATALINA SKIES family?
Craig: I’ll take this one.
Damo is the laid back, smart-arse teenager / Chris is the housewife by day, reckless white-wine drunk by night / Olivier is the ‘it’s all good’ kinda guy, whatever happens.
Is being in a band as good as everyone assumes? Is it all groupies, late nights and copious alcohol?
Being in a band that plays regular live shows and spends time perfecting music in recording studios is, without a doubt, an awesome feeling. Late nights, copious volumes of alcohol and groupies are things that just come naturally… sometimes.
In terms of song writing, where do you take your inspiration?
Subconsciously from whatever we are listening to at the time, I guess. Consciously, an idea is formed, whether that’s a guitar riff or vocal melody, and we all build together until it sounds magic. In an ideal world, we’d spend months on each song. Quality over quantity, and all that.
Craig: But really I write all the songs and all the parts. The guys have no part in it at all. Mwahahha.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you?
We are so bad at this… alternative/pop/dance/rock.
How have you found the crowds have reacted to you at your gigs so far?
Best so far has been Alleycat, Soho. All odds were actually against us. Damo was awake (and drunk) since waking up at 4am to watch an AFL final with his Australian comrades. Chris slept through our morning rehearsal and then ended up breaking a crucial string, minutes before playing our opening song. And then dropped Craig’s guitar off an upright piano. Despite this, we played hard and smashed the gig. Loudest, most energetic crowd we’ve ever witnessed.
If you could tour in any country, which one would you chose?
United States… despite recent news. Also, the Caribbean islands to discover the perfect piña colada. And Greenland.
2016 has been a tough old year for Musical heroes passing away, who would you like to see live before they pop their clogs?
Led Zeppelin with Jason Bonham.
So you’ve done a cover of Drake’s One Dance. Is he someone that you guys listen to regularly?
There is one person in the band who does. Can you guess? I’ll give you a hint… it’s Chris. He’s all about smoking weed under star projectors.
If you could delete one musician and all of their music from musical history, radio, Spotify etc. Who would it be?
Damo: Kanye West
Craig: CATALINA SKIES
Chris: Kid Rock
Olivier: The Beatles
Damo: Olivier, you’re fired!!
If you were putting on a festival with CATALINA SKIES as the headliners, who else would be on the bill?
Would have to be an eclectic mix to keep us all happy:
The Strokes, John Mayer, Muse, Matt Corby, The Butterfly Effect (RIP), Rage Against the Machine, QOTSA and James Brown.
Where can we catch you next?
Brixton Jamm, 26 November. We’ll be supporting Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles, fronted by the former guitarist of Catfish and the Bottlemen – come along!
Finally what does 2017 look like for you?
The harder question is what does it look like for Earth’s civilisation after 2016’s disastrous events? But seriously, for CATALINA SKIES: more shows, more studio recordings and more champagne.