After releasing a follow up album to their 2014 smash hit, “The Balcony,” Catfish and the Bottlemen began to tour their newest release, “The Ride.” The band took the time to chat with The Triangle about their upcoming show at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory Oct. 21.
The Triangle: We covered your band when you played the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show, do you think your Oct. 21 show will be similar to that one, or will it be completely different now that you’re headlining?
Johnny “Bondy” Bond (Lead Guitar, Catfish and the Bottlemen): We’ve got two albums to be picking the setlist from, so we can mix things up each night unlike that 30 minute set. We’re able to get lost in it, and sweaty. It’s definitely going to be a step up from that show.
Ryan Evan “Van” McCann (Lead Singer, Catfish and the Bottlemen): The set’s much bigger, when you get a couple of songs in, you’re only getting warmed at the radio station shows, you know? You don’t want to come off stage and we’re still bouncing and we still want to play. We love getting these hour-and-a-half headline shows because you get to get really stuck into it and you get to the point where your legs are about to give up and you’ve got five songs left to play. You go into that overdrive mode, you know, and you start becoming your younger self when you first started playing. There wasn’t a roof when you saw us was there?
TT: No, there was a roof.
Van: Oh there was? Yeah, but it wasn’t like a closed roof. I always find it’s good when there are walls that are able to pin people back, I like it when you watch a band and you can feel the sound pin you back to the walls. We always try to do that when we get in those venues. We’ll play outside at those festivals and we’ll try to make the sound go as far back as we can, but in those venues, it’s all about pinning people to that back wall, overwhelming people with that loud noise.
TT: You guys bring a lot of emotion and a lot of energy into your performance and it comes off as really personal. Is it hard to go out in front of a live crowd and be that emotional?
Van: I love it. I love playing live. I live for it. I wake up every day waiting for my next fix to play live. There’s nothing like it. I find it hard to sleep at night because im always full of hype, I’m always full of energy and I find it much harder to sleep at night after going on stage. You’re just buzzing to play again especially when you’ve just come off stage. It’s hard to find what to do with yourself when you’ve just heard a couple thousand people sing a song you wrote in a tiny little practice room with the boys. Seeing all these people sing your songs across different countries. When we go to Japan, these people don’t speak our language and they can sing all the lyrics word for word. It’s a bit like, woah what’s going on and I don’t feel nerves going on, I just feel like I’ve been waiting for this, it’s just like a good meal or something. You can’t buy that feeling. You can’t go into a dispensary and buy that type of thing, you can’t drink it. It’s just an atmosphere that takes over you, it’s great. When we play, we love it. Just like a good soccer player would be, or a good american football player would be, once you get in your groove, you don’t feel like you’re getting into it you just feel alive.
TT: Is that how you felt when you were touring your first album?
Van: Yeah, actually, we were just talking about that the other day. When we walk on stage now, it still feels exactly the same as when we’d walk on stage for 20 or 30 people. I just can’t wait to sing those lyrics, I can’t wait to hear Bondy play those parts. It brings a huge excitement, I don’t know why.
TT: Do you mind talking about what goes into putting together a live show?
Van: Yeah, there’s always set changes and stuff like that. I guess it’s a good problem to have, because we’re growing. Like, when we play those festival shows, if you have to pick a 30 minute set, you can pick six or seven out of 22. A lot of stuff goes into the show. We’ve got a massive team built up around our band. Our guitar [technician] and PA is my best friend from school, who we’ve all been best mates with since we were kids and our bass [technician] is my cousin,\ and we grew up together. We’re like brothers. Our tour manager is a friend of Bondy’s and ours from when we were younger. He used to look after one of our favorite bands, Little Comets. We’ve got this big crew of people who built this massive show around our ideas and our touring scheme around our ideas but there’s a lot of due credit for our team and everyone’s gunning towards making Catfish and the Bottlemen a great live circus that people want to see live. Our crew is built up of people who we love, our best mates, and our family. It’s a real laugh you know, going around the world with people you love and it’s not necessarily hired help, it’s like your best mates. They don’t get enough credit.
TT: For anyone who hasn’t heard of you, why should they come check you out on tour?
Bondy: I don’t know, I would hope that whether they know the songs or not, I would go watch the band even if the music isn’t necessarily for you. If you can see someone who is genuinely enjoying themselves, genuinely passionate about it, it becomes infectious and you want to enjoy and you feel good watching that person. Even if you don’t like it, i don’t think you couldn’t be at least partly enthralled it and enjoy it.
Van: People who come to see us, they do it because they’re gonna rave their chops off. The music makes you move, you’re going to want to move when you hear it! Come try not to move! Try not to rave.