quinta-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2019

Rewind with Cat Inside - An Interview

Punk, Post Hardcore, Art Noise, grunge, indie rock, barulheira em geral, filmes B, tudo é alimento sonoro para o trio ucraniano, Cat Inside.

Uma metralhadora carregada e programada único e exclusivamente para atirar continuamente em tímpanos, despejando doses de barulho em ambientação de baixa qualidade.

Os caras não são novos de cena, já estão por aí desde 2010, mas somente agora, sete anos após o debute homônimo é que resolveram compilar todo o material desses anos todos de esbórnias estridentes, e o resultado é "Rewind".

O cheiro noventista é evidente, por vezes os caras parecem ser sido cuspidos de alguma espelunca fedorenta e escura dos 90´s, mas só parece, porque é tudo novinho em folha, mas com uma nostalgia que faz bem pra mente.

Despretensioso e saboroso, feito sob medida pra escutar bem alto.

***** Interview with Cat Inside *****

Q. When did Cat Inside begin? Tell us about the history...
L: Me and Arsenii met each other in the dark hallway of our university, soon we started writing songs together. We wrote our first song lyrics sitting on the slopes above the railway, watching electrical trains below our feet. In the fall of 2008 Pavel joined us, he was a bass player then and didn’t really know how to play drums. One month later, we recorded our first demo and played our first gig. Back then, most bands in Sevastopol and the whole Crimean peninsula played heavy metal, and we felt a passion to enlighten the public with something different — like shoegaze and post rock. When we first got into a professional studio, our sound was pretty much established and we felt comfortable with it: the guitar played melodic lines, and the chords were played by heavily distorted bass instead of a rhythm guitar. Pavel drummed as fast as he could, which suited his personality well. Arsenii wrote many of the lyrics, I’m responsible for the most riffs.

We dreamt about New Zealand, about moving down there, and listened to lots of kiwi indie rock. So Arsenii befriended a guy from NZ on Last.fm, and it turned out he was also in the band and was recording an EP. So, we did a split release with this band from Dunedin called The George Kay Experience and made them superstars in Ukraine (no, we didn’t). We glued the CD boxes with our own hands and printed the cover art at a friend’s house. As a joke, we wrote on a sleeve that the CD was released by Prick Records. Many people liked the record, we made friends in other Ukrainian cities and started releasing their records on our half-imaginary label. It all went on for a number of years, but then we graduated, started taking jobs and dealing with adult life problems. The band was something we had to sacrifice for that. We played our last gig in September, 2011.

P: Cat Inside began at 2008. I played bass guitar in some band, knew nothing about good music, but was in love with drums and had thoughts about switching to another instrument. One day my friend recommended me to join those two guys as a drummer, so I agreed.

My mind was far enough from the guys whose preferences I didn’t really understand at that time. Btw, I've been forced to listen to Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, as well as to think twice about my fashion style. After a few weeks, we began to understand each other much better, and not only in music, which is good.

Cat Inside became more than just a music band. We started changing our weak young minds and growing up together with the help of a huge number of events, friends, nights that we spend in garage doing some music and sure a lot of talks. I’m really thankful to the guys for who I am now! Once we released this old new album, I definitely realized that it was the time of change.

A: The years with Cat Inside were formative on so many levels. History of Cat Inside is a history of who we were and who we became, and because now «Rewind» exists, this history is kind of written and told, not just remembered.

Q: Who are your influences?
P: Context that surrounds me.

L: Pixies were always the most important and beloved band for all three of us. When I met Arsenii, we were into the same stuff, like Big Black, Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Meat Puppets, Wire, Buzzcocks, many other 77-punk bands. Later, I leaned towards grunge and stoner rock, and Arsenii got into folk music and art rock. I wasn’t able to sing the folksiest songs Arsenii wrote, so on «Rewind» he sings those himself.

A: I have to name first Sevastopol indie/shoegaze band, which was called I’ll Be Your Wire. Some more musical influences which I immediately think about when I listen to our record are: Hüsker Dü, Verlaines, The Clean, Dinosaur Jr., (early) Brian Eno, New Order… Also some books and movies, definitely Russ Meyer’s «Supervixens» in «Napier» and Joyce’s «Finnegans Wake» (which I haven’t read and probably never will) in «Breathing Troubles».

Of course, the name of the band is also influenced by the book, «The Cat Inside» by William S. Burroughs. It’s a great book and, I still believe so, an awesome band name which Langusta came up with.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
L: Right now, my all-time top 5 is:
• Erik Truffaz — Bending New Corners (1999)
• Bad Brains — Bad Brains (1982)
• Sly & The Family Stone — Fresh (1973)
• Kool Keith — Black Elvis / Lost in Space (1999)
• Shuggie Otis — Inspiration Information (1974)

• Miles Davis — Get Up with It (1974)
• Wire — Pink Flag (1977)
• Badfinger — Wish You Were Here (1974)
• Bob Dylan — Blonde on Blonde (1966)
• Pixies — Surfer Rosa (1988)

• Pixies — Come On Pilgrim (1987)
• Air — Talkie Walkie (2004)
• Fugazi — The Argument (2001)
• АукцЫон — Девушки поют (2007)
• Suuns — Images du Futur (2013)

Q. How do you feel playing live?
L: It’s high adrenalin and it’s a challenge to oneself, which is really exciting. There were some venues we played though, where there were more people on stage than in the audience.

P: Each time like the first, so sure I was nervous and made many mistakes. But maybe if I remember well from the top of my head, later my technique became much better.

A: Some people enjoyed our live shows and I’m so grateful for that, but I think that on «Rewind» we sound much better than we ever sounded live. Except maybe for DIY gigs which we played in our own rehearsal spot in the garage. That felt awesome, and, for me, was the peak of our not only playing, but creating a feeling of local scene or community around music.

Q. How do you describe Cat Inside´s sounds?
L: I guess, we sound similar to American bands from early 90s, like Dinosaur Jr. or Love Battery. Unlike those bands, we never could make our songs short and simple enough. In our songs, there are lots of patches, unconnected fragments, instrumental breaks. While writing a new song, we were always overstuffing it and then getting rid of monstrous extra parts, some of which evolved into separate songs later.

A: Above all, neurotic. Whatever song I’m writing now, however frustrated or angry I am, I think it turns out calmer then it would’ve back then, when Cat Inside existed.

P: The sound as it should be. As is, unvarnished. If the guitar began to fade, don't stop it. Do not try to hit the notes if you prefer to sing off key. Play the drums so that everyone dances, including yourself.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
P: Just a set of music sessions with our friend who recorded us + one fishing session with three fishing lines.

L: «Rewind» was recorded into a 4-track Tascam postastudio. We played live, all instruments at a same time. After that, for four years we were coming back to the recording, adding something. Some songs we had to record again from scratch: we did a really bad take of «Alien Ships» in the studio, so I had to cut the drum samples and play the percussion part again on a Roland SP-808 sampler. After which we overdubbed the rest. And in «Whispering» you can hear an old Yamaha RY10 drum machine instead of drums. Ed and Maksym from the band Shadazz helped us to record some of the special effects.

A: It was weird, I think. In 2013, we started getting in a studio, playing songs which we already forgot, and which corresponded much more with who we were two years earlier than who we were now and what music we were into now. It’s a weird feeling to go on rehearsing with the band which no longer exists. It was worth it though. In the end, we sort of overcame the «Sevastopol scene curse», which is when you live in Sevastopol and you play in a good, promising band, and nothing happens, and then band breaks up and your songs which people deserve to hear vanish into non-existence.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
L: Lately I’ve been listening to 70’s records mostly. In recent years, I liked whatever was released by Brainfeeder label, and also The Internet, Suuns, Chinese guy named Fishdoll… Lord Echo and Skinshape are also cool.

A: I won’t speak for the whole world and can give you only some local names — not precisely new, but I guess they will be new to a foreign listener: Karr, Mandarinaduck, Shadazz. Kyiv duo named Pustosh are about to release their first record this year, and it should be great. Also, everyone should check out stuff by Yrstruly (formerly Phooey!), who is one of the most amazing songwriters you’ll find anywhere. As far as Ukrainian mainstream goes, ONUKA’s latest singles are great.

P: La Luz, Pinkshinyultrablast, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, DBFC.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
L: Back when we played live, we did lots of cover material: Hüsker Dü, The Cure, Sonic Youth, Pixies. Now I play songs by John Frusciante, Brian Eno, Tom Waits, but only quietly, so that no one will hear.

A: Song I enjoy playing now is Prince, «When You Were Mine». With Cat Inside, we sometimes played Underworld’s «Born Slippy» live, it was kind of cool. I also enjoyed covering The Cure’s «Jumping Someone Else’s Train».

P: Cat Inside for sure!

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: To finish watching The X-Files, which is a chore when you get to season 9. In more distant future, to record some good songs and, if possible, even tour a little with new projects — Kurl and Oodkind. Both already have some stuff out on Bandcamp, check it out!

P: My plans are far away from the music atm, but maybe I'll still make some noise.

To be honest I'm just doing what I think I should do and what I feel is making sense for my family and me. Basically, just always do something and do not do bad.

Q: Any parting words?
A: My father is a huge fan of all things Brazilian, so I think he’ll enjoy the fact of our music featured in a Brazilian blog, and it makes me feel good. Hi dad!

P: Listen to the music, don’t close yourself.