Catfish and The Bottlemen

FALLING head over heals for purring slurs, rolling beats and long wavy hair - we all seem to have become a sucker for a North Western quartet going by the name of Catfish and The Bottlemen. 

Starting life back in 2009, these four lads have been taking massive strides over the last couple of years, growing way beyond anyone's expectations. Attaching themselves to an all over au courant image to beat that dewy-eyed persona in order to be one of the industry's most sort-after acts of 2014, this to be cemented with the heavily awaited release of debut album, The Balcony (15th September).

Girls throw themselves at them and men, well, they pretty much lob themselves at them too, The Bottlemen truly have the best of both worlds. In addition, to match their ridiculously blessed exterior of the compulsory leather jacket and jeans, we have a deeply moving artistry committed into bringing a the real world to many unassuming listeners. 

Unafraid to brake bridges and smash up society, front man Van McCann pulsates this notion of benevolence meeting actuality, frightfully refreshing once dressed in this rough diamond fa├žade - one example being latest single, Cocoon. Hallucinogenic beams of richly concocted instrumentals wrap their arms around each being, smothering ideologies with cold hard fact whilst switching to a rose tinted spectacle of sheer prominence and beauty. The swift movement of the track serves up vivacious waves of chopping bass lines and heroin injected rifts aching with a soothing beat, collectively building up to this submerged supremacy, heavenly and breathless in its entirety.


Gargantuan tours are upon them in both the USA and UK - it's hard to imagine that a band based in our backyard has grown to such a scale and still feeding - only to grow larger and much more feistier... a miracle in this day and age. So bearing this in mind, The Music Manual grabbed an interview with the darling face of Catfish and The Bottlemen - Mr Van McCann...

So I’ll start by saying a big congratulations for being signed to island records! I mean going back to when the saga began how can you comprehend how ‘big’ you’ve actually become?

Urm It’s still kinda getting there, I think we’re nowhere near where we wanna be and because we’re in it, we don’t really see it, so i’m just getting used to like people asking me in the street for photos and stuff like that. It’s just building - but when we find out gigs are selling out and the venues were having to get upgraded to get bigger and stuff like then I don’t know its like shit we may be doing great.

You have your debut album, The Balcony out next month, what are we going to expect from it?

Just simple stuff like, I think they’re good songs like, good guitar lines, clearly about the soul, really simple - clearly inside the box you know just good songs and big sounds. Its not like they all roll into each other... more like a greatest hits kinda thing not saying they're the best songs but like i’ve tried to write really good songs and bung them all together, there’s not really a story or anything, just straightforward so yeah that's it really - quite simple!

As a band you’re at several festivals, do you think these can compare to the closeness of smaller venues when reaching your followers is concerned?

I mean it's a bit different, like I had to get used to the fact that last week i’m now going to speaking to like, instead of speaking to a few people in the crowd, were its more awkward, it’s not like 1 or 2 people any more. I mean I have to speak to thousands of people you know and i’m getting used to that, I gotta try and come out my shell a bit as a front man - trying to get people involved and like at Y Not Festival the other day 10,000 people showed up and everyone went absolutely mental! Absolutely crazy so I was really worried about it, each gig has just got bigger and we’re just kinda sinking in to it now.

Any pre-gig rituals?

We’re not a very movie makeable band we kinda just talk about footie or like you know just having a laugh really - our guitar tech is called Larry who’s like me best mate so like we just walk on with him and have a smoke and then chat so then its just pretty simple yeah it’s pretty dull behind the curtains...

As an artist what message you want to get across with tracks such as Cocoon?

That track in particular was written for anybody who’s having a shit time. That song is basically about like I grew up in a really small town and you know everyone was treated the same, ever since I was a kid my mum would say you know you’re gonna be terrible quit the band you know get a job you’re not gonna be anything and I was like we’ll last don’t worry about it, its fucking shit so you know that song is basically about  people who try and get you down. I don’t know if you’ve been in like a relationship with somebody and like their friends don’t like you and they're trying to put weight on you to split up and that so it's basically like it's not about you lot, it's about us two. Basically, don’t let anybody fucking tell you what to do, how to do it or stop you doing whatever you wanna do. You know its like believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if people don’t even like it, you know I want people not to like it and cause offence by it because I wanna be a band that can cause a bit of a stir.

Massive tours coming up for you guys, with an amazing date in Liverpool for your last show, what is it about Liverpool that you love so much?

I’m from just outside Liverpool y’know Widnes? So I kinda grew up there, I mean the great thing about Liverpool academy in particular like every band I used to watch before I was in a band I always used to go there so kinda that's where I grew up within music. Basically I said to one of mates like when I was about 13 that I was gonna play there and that was way before I could play guitar like and now it looks like it's gonna sell out driving me mental I can’t wait. It’s exciting!

We take Catfish and The Bottlemen out for drinks, what would be your choice of drink?

My choice of drink? Urm take me out to drink what would I drink… I’m a Lucozade Sport man, if you could make some kind of Lucozade cocktail - our guitar tech has just been endorsed by Lucozade sport like and we used to love that in school like and we got sent like 15 crates of it and his whole house is just full of it. I mean i’m not that much of a drinker like I drink when I go out but like as a band I never bother that much i’m more of a jacuzzi kinda man.

Have we got any gossip we can find out?

Well you know the band - The Little Comets? They’re recording their third album now and we were on tour with them last year and they’re ripping all our songs off you know taking our chorus’ and stuff and there’s actually a song about ripping us off which they sent the other day and its like if you wanna bit of gossip write Little comets are after our terrain. They’ve actually got a song about stealing a song off a support band which is just fucking genius.!Oh and I don’t know if I should say this, may get into trouble … Larry stole some Armani socks off a rider.

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lauren@themusicmanual.co.uk