THE FANZINE THAT FEATURES SMALL AND UNSIGNED BANDS
Thursday, April 8, 2010
INTERVIEW WITH KATSEN
If you like stuff like the Normal, early Depeche Mode, Client....okay, if you like great electropop with an 80's touch you will undoubtly like Katsen. They're from Brighton, dead sexy (all the bands we interview are dead sexy, unsexy people aren't interviewed by us!) and they just released their debut on Shelflife. Felix, come here!!!!
HELLO PLEASE, INTRODUCE YOURSELF!!!!!
Hello! We're Katsen, and we do home-made electronic pop music.
I know you have to answer it every time, but here we go... why the obsession for cats, and why not simply name your band cats? We had a cat toy made in Germany, and on the label it said “Katzenspielzeug”. We needed a name, and thought “the Cats” would be good, but with our love of Germanics, preferred “Katzen” as a better option. The “z” changed to an “s”, because it looked better in print. We both love cats too.
IF I MAY SAY SO, I THINK KATSEN ARE LIKE THE BAND WHO IS HEARD BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET GENERATION.... I MEAN I'M CONVINCED THAT THE TRADITIONAL PRESS IS TO CONSERVATIVE TO GIVE YOU A LISTEN.....
We think the amount of money ploughed into marketing determines the level of coverage one gets. I think the great days of an exciting independent-minded music press are over, if they ever existed, the internet has filled the void nicely.
RECENTLY AN UNDERGROUND DJ TOLD ME THAT THE INFLUENCE OF THE 80'S WILL GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER.....
Probably. We've been making electronic pop since we were at school... And we both love music of the 80s. But which “80s” are you talking about? New Order? Pat Bennatar? Hula? Bucks Fizz? Sonic Youth? Wire? The Pixies? Depeche Mode? Guns and Roses? Black Lace? 808 State? The Smiths? Gang of Four? Really, the concept of “80s” has been reduced to a very small band of possibility... It was a decade. A lot of things can happen in ten years, you know! We have continued to listen to great music of the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s... And we wont stop... Anything resembling a “surge in public interest” is more than likely another tool of the mind control machine that will dominate our lives if we let it.
YOU COVERED "I'M IN LOVE WITH A GERMAN FILMSTAR" BY THE PASSIONS. FOR THE SAKE OF IT OR IS THIS A SPECIAL CHOSEN ONE?
We have loved this song forever. It was one of the first songs we recorded together, and at that time we couldn't find a copy anywhere, or find in on the internet. This was in 2000, and the recent interest in 80s style and music was yet to be reanimated by the “corporate machine”. So we borrowed a copy, and covered it, simply through love. Then in 2007 or something, it was used in a BBC tv show, then the Pet Shop Boys covered it, and now, suddenly it's back in the public consciousness (which is great, because we became friends with the Passions via myspace, and they were very supportive of us, and they really deserve much more fame for their beautiful music.)We will never cover a song for the sake of it, ever. This is not a style choice, this is love.
I DON'T MEAN IT IN A RUTAL WAY BUT KATSEN MIGHT BE ONE OF THOSE MANY BANDS...JUST LOVED BY A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE
Generally, everything is ok as long as we appreciate ourselves, but it's lovely to be appreciated, even by only one person. We endeavour to neutralise fear as a guiding force in our lives.
HOW DO YOU SEEYOURSELF IN THE LOCAL SCENE FROM BRIGHTON?
There are lots of lovely people in Brighton. It's a small town, and between us, we know most of the successful Brighton artists past and present... I don't know if we really feel like part of a “scene” though. We're really quite shy. We'll let others make the scene.
YOUR IMAGE IS VERY DIY.....
Yes. Do it yourself! Who else will?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE MUSICINDUSTRY AS IT IS TODAY?
There are lots of nice small labels doing interesting and great things, and think its a good thing that technology has made the process of recording and ultimately publicising ones work cheap and available to more people than at any time before. It's the punk diy ideal.
IN SOME WAY YOU ARE PUNK TO ME.....
It sounds like you're asserting, rightly, that “punk” is not a sound, but an ideal. We agree with this. In fact there can be nothing less “punk” than trying to emulate the sound of “punk” to dress up in the “allure of the edgy” for gain. Punk is freedom of expression, outside of commercial constraints. Pure creativity. But there is nothing less “punk” than assuming the appearance of creativity to win esteem by appearing “arty” or “leftfield” for the sake of it, just because “being genuine” is in fashion at that particular moment. No. Honesty within itself, a willingness to say “fuck you” to the norms, however cool they may seem to be, and a commitment to be continually reassessing whatever you do, and to never become a pastiche of yourselves. That's punk. Some of our favourite punks include Captain Beefheart, Mary Shelley, Adam Curtis, Kraftwerk, Coco Chanel, Bjork, Ivor Cutler, Chris Morris, Delia Derbyshire, etc.
WHAT'S THE MOST ROCK'N ROLLTHING YOU DONE SO FAR?
Oh dear... lot's of things come to mind. Um...We ran away with the circus and became showgirls! (Half true!) We try to make a habit of doing a little naughty thing every day, or a big naughty thing once a month... We believe in taking care of ourselves. That's not very rock and roll, is it?
WHAT'S YOUR FAVE RECORD OF ALL TIME?
Impossible question! Today we like The Scream, by Souxsie and the Banshees.
WITH WHO WOULDN'T YOU MIND BEING STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR FOR 8 HOURS AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN?
Not Stephen Fry, he'd only be tweeting all over the place. Someone really calm, with Boggle on their iPhone.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM KATSEN IN THE FUTURE?
More music, and gigs in Britain, France and Germany. A new album in Autumn. More films.
DO YOU WANT TO SAY SOMETHING SPECIAL TO OUR READERS?
Do you want to say something special to our readers.