CATS ON FIRE INTERVIEW

We last heard from you when you released Dealing in Antiques in May. It’s quite unusual for a band to put out a collection of songs such as those after just two studio LPs. Was the idea to document the history of the band up to that point?

The idea was simply to gather lost songs. The were quite a few of those – some that were released on hobby vinyl and many that weren’t released at all. So it’s not a historical document as much as a release to fill the gaps.

How did you come to cover White Town’s “Your Woman”?

It’s a long story, but I’ll give it to you. There was a rather famous club in Gothenburg called Cosy Den. It was founded in 2004 by a certain Mattias Jansson, who wanted to book us, but couldn’t find a proper venue. He then offered his living room and he obviously liked the experience, because he continued having club nights in his apartment for one and a half year. Cosy Den is still running, but now at various smaller venues in Stockholm. Anyway, Mattias Jansson had read about Jyoti Mishra, alias White Town, in a fanzine, and decided to try to book him. It was a rather strange idea, since Jyoti hadn’t been playing for years and was certainly not a name on the Swedish indie scene. But Mattias is strange like that – he wouldn’t care, he likes what he likes. So Jyoti came over to play in 2005. They became friends, and Mattias booked White Town for a second time in 2006. That’s when I met him, and we instantly got along. Since then, we’ve been in Derby were he lives, and he has been in Scandinavia, several times. We highly appreciate him as a friend and a musician, and this was just our tribute to him.

The band formed in 2001 yet you released The Province Complains in 2007. You had a steady flow of EPs but why was there such a gap in releasing your debut LP?

I think you have to remember were we are from. I recently interviewed The Drums for a music magazine, and they told me how there was a massive response from agents, lawyers and record labels after their first show in Brooklyn and their first review on a Brooklyn-based blog. After one gig. I couldn’t believe my ears. We come from a rather remote city in Finland and I can tell you that the music industry interest for music coming from Vaasa, Finland is not exactly overwhelming. There wasn’t any attention around to desperately beg for. For years, we were an island, really. Even after we had moved to Turku in 2003, we were just a Swedish-speaking student band. We hardly knew anyone, and we certainly didn’t know the right people, the ones that would have made it possible and worthwhile for us to record an album. It took us years to get to a point were it made any sense to record an album.

Your second album, Our Temperance Movement, found your lyrics in more reflective mood. Do you put this down to an ongoing maturity in your song writing?

They are cut from the same fabric, though. I still use the same methods, but I realise they might be different in tone. I think my goal has always been the same. I think every album should be called Other People’s Lives.

Why did the UK tracklisting differ to the standard release of Our Temperance Movement?

I suggested this to Ian at How Does It Feel To Be Loved and he instantly suggested an alternate tracklisting. Don’t know if it was a good thing – we got better reviews in the US, Germany, Finland and Sweden.

You played a number of gigs throughout the summer across Europe; Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Stockholm, Turku as well as Hong Kong and Los Angeles. How have they been?

Generally very good. We’ve been overjoyed to be able to go to such faraway places as Hong Kong and California. A nice couple of feathers in the cap. Yes, I see them like that.

You also supported Belle and Sebastian in Helsinki. How did that come about?

Well, Stuart saw us in Los Angeles, and he asked us if we were up for it, which we naturally were. He was there recording their new album.

When you started the group did you ever expect to achieve such a level of success that you’d be able to travel around the world?

I really can’t remember. Back then it felt like a remote dream to ever get to go to Helsinki to play and that is the absolute truth. I even remember when Kim, who played guitar back then, called me on 1st April 2002 and told me we’d got a gig in Helsinki. I was overjoyed for a second or two before I realised it simply impossible. But still, in a dark corner of the mind, I might have nurtured such wicked dreams.

When I saw you play at The Luminaire a couple of years ago you incorporated a keyboardist into your live performances. Is this something you’re likely to return to?

Yes, and we have. Iiris Viljanen has played with us quite often recently. She’s a very, very talented artist in her own right. A brilliant songwriter.

Who are the main influences on your song writing?

I don’t know. That question is painful! That’s the one question I keep hoping won’t turn up, because I always feel like something breaks inside when I answer it. And I already broke a rib last month on the football field.

Are you currently working on new material and have your thoughts turned your next album?

Yes, I written quite a lot for it, and we hope to begin recording early next year. I really love the songs and I hope to find a certain inner peace when recording them. Something has been missing earlier. Might try with alcohol. No, but I hope that we’d get all pieces together this time.

What are you listening to at the moment?

A song called ”Cold Wind Blows” by Tymon Dogg. And ”I Live on a Battlefield” by Nick Lowe. Those two, on repeat.

Do you enjoy playing in Britain? When will you be returning?

Well, playing in Britain is not as easy as you Brits may think it is. You pay less than the Germans and you don’t cook. Ha ha. Cook me a proper meal and I’ll be back in a second, I promise.

We return on Saturday 29th January

We’ll be returning on Saturday 29th January at King’s Cross Social Club! Here’s the Facebook event. Please help spread the good word and tell your friends.

Happy holidays!

Photos from our Christmas Extravaganza!

Thanks to all of you who came down to our Christmas Extravaganza last night! Our talented guest DJs played amazing sets which we enjoyed dancing to. The photos are now up!

We’ll be back on Saturday 29th January. Be sure to check the website on Christmas Day for an exciting present!

Requests for the Christmas Extravaganza!

We’re back from Bowlie 2 and getting ready for our Christmas Extravaganza on Friday night. We’ll be playing our favourite bands from ATP plus the odd Christmas song here and there!

What would you like to hear? Please post your requests on Facebook or email me.

We’ll also have on sale the new Christmastime, Approximately compilation from Where It’s At Is Where You Are for the special discount price of £5. Get down early for free entry before 10pm when we’ll be handing out mince pies and homemade Swedish cakes. Yum!

DJing at Fortuna Pop! Presents (Not) The Track and Field Winter Sprinter

We’ve been asked by our friends at Fortuna Pop! to DJ at the third night of their Winter Sprinter on Thursday 6th January. Topping the bill is one of the greatest lyricists of the last ten years Darren Hayman with a full band. Support comes from The Wave Pictures and The Leaf Library. The full line-up looks like this:

Tuesday 4th January – Shrag, The Loves, Standard Fare
Wednesday 5th January – Comet Gain, The Loft, Veronica Falls
Thursday 6th January – Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern, The Wave Pictures, The Leaf Library

All three dates take place at The Lexington. You can snap up your tickets now from We Got Tickets. It sure to be a great mini-Winter festival!

DJing at crumble. this Saturday

After our big Christmas party on Friday night, I’ll be DJing on Brick Lane for crumble. This will be a much louder affair with selections from the more post-punk and noise pop sections of my record collection.

There’s some other great guest DJs on the night too. I DJed back for them in May this year. You can see what I played by clicking here.

It’s free to get in all night and I’ll be on at around 3am. More details on Facebook.

Extra guest DJs added!

We’ve just added Librarians Wanted and Things To Make and Do as our guest DJs for our Christmas Extravaganza! On the night you’ll be hearing tunes from London’s best indiepop DJs:

Where It’s At Is Where You Are
Spiral Scratch
Big Pink Cake
Librarians Wanted
Things To Make and Do
Stolen Wine Social

Librarians Wanted is a new night in Brixton putting on exciting new bands with dancing to loud indiepop, 60s, soul and post-punk.

Things To Make and Do is a record label with two of our favourite bands at the moment in The ABC Club and Blood Oranges. We’re thrilled to welcome both to our Christmas party!

Scared To Dance returns to Norway with Allo Darlin’

I’m delighted to finally announce that I’ll be taking Scared To Dance back to Bergen in January! We had a blast last time round and we’re also itching to do the night in Olso too. Excitingly, we’re taking Allo Darlin’ with us who will play before the club nights in both cities.

Scared To Dance Presents Allo Darlin’
Saturday 22nd January
Landmark, Rasmus Meyers Alle 5, 5015 Bergen, Norway. [+47] 55 55 93 10
10pm – 3am. CC: 80,-/160,-

Scared To Dance Presents Allo Darlin’
Sunday 23rd January
Mono, Pløensgate 4, 0181 Oslo, Norway. [+47] 22 41 41 66
10pm – 3am.

Ticket details coming as soon as we have them!

Setlist from the Pains gig

I had stopped keeping a record of what I’m playing at gigs recently due to the sheer volume of DJing I’m doing. However, after a lovely email from someone saying they enjoyed my set so much here’s what I played –

Taken By Trees – The Greyest Love of All
Jens Lekman – Black Cab
The Pastels – Crawl Babies
The Specific Heats – All I Want
Black Tambourine – Throw Aggi Off the Bridge
The Primitives – Spacehead

Belle and Sebastian – Dog on Wheels
The Magnetic Fields – I Think I Need a New Heart
The June Brides – Every Conversation
Allo Darlin’ – My Heart is a Drummer
Talulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh
Shrag – Tights in August
The Shop Assistants – All Day Long

Felt – Spanish House
Deerhunter – Desire Lines
Islands – Rough Gem
Depeche Mode – People Are People
Best Coast – Crazy for You
The Smiths – Ask

The Field Mice – This Love is Not Wrong
The Wake – Pale Spectre
Wild Nothing – O Lilac
New Order – The Pefect Kiss
The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat

The Pains were on top form and after hearing Belong at the listening party before the show, I can assure you it’ll be one of the best releases of 2011!