Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 80 - Interview with Cats in Space

CATS IN SPACE

Interview by Ray Paul

Cats In Space have certainly been making a name for themselves in a very short amount of time. The debut 'Too Many Gods' was a breath of fresh air in the Melodic Rock community, and along with hard gigging and support slots with Thunder and a place on the prestigious Hyde Park stage this summer have gained the band a whole new fan-base. With the release of the brand new album 'Scarecrow' Fireworks had a chance to catch up with guitarist and songwriter Greg Hart to discuss the album and what the future holds for this group of crazy cats.


Cats In Space - Interview Fireworks

Both 'Jupiter Calling' and 'Scars' have some wonderful production, especially vocally. In fact the whole album does. Tell us how you managed this on such a small budget.

On this album we spent more time on the recording process, but the band all know exactly what we need to achieve and they are amazing players. Between myself, Ian Caple, the engineer, and my co-producer and writing partner Mick Wilson, we all have a very clear vision on the production and vocal arrangements.

Listening to the album, I'm picking up the usual influences of Queen and ELO, but also Charlie?

Yeah, we've got all the usual suspects in there, but we take from loads of 70s influences. Melody is king for us, and I think we're carving out our own 'Cats' sound on 'Scarecrow', with Paul's voice being such a big factor.

What did you set out to achieve with this, your second release?

Just to keep spreading the ripples of love with a genuine passion, and hopefully reach out to the millions of old school Rock fans worldwide with some great music and great shows. The thing that's great about this band is the fact that it's really natural, not forced or contrived, and people seem to really like that.

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What's the story behind the bizarre song title 'Felix & the Golden Sun'?

[Laughs] Cats in Space like to be a bit quirky, and I had this title in my head for ages. We made it into a jaunty tale about a boy going off to buy his first vinyl record on a hot summer's day ̶ a big deal for us kids back in the day. Lots of people will hopefully relate to this and get a warm fuzzy feeling when they read the words.

My personnel favourite song is 'Time Bomb', bit of a pomp epic in the style of Styx to my ears. Tell us about how this was written.

Good man! I was jamming on my piano in my usual ham-fisted way, and the hook and title came to me. The song title lent itself to some frantic double-speed passages which are there to create the panic of a bomb about to go off. It's probably a touchy subject these days, but it's social commentary baby, and it's a good tune. Dean's solo is a beauty and Jeff's bass is outstanding, so to me this song is classic Cats!

Why 'Scarecrow' as the album title?

It's all there in the lyrics. It's the concluding part of 'The Greatest Story Never Told' on the first album. It took ages to record, and worthy of the album title I think. There's some serious layers going on in the vocals, and Andy's keyboards are stunning. I'm very proud of it. I think it's a great example of the magic made in the studio.

You recently played Hyde Park, which must have been exciting?

We are stoked. It went incredibly well, as did the Thunder tour in March ̶ Hammersmith Apollo plus Hyde Park in one year! We're doing our own headline tour in September and we've got more in the pipeline, but I can't tell yet or I'll have to kill you and all your readers, so it's probably easier all round if I keep my mouth shut.

Any plans for a full length concert video?

Cats live is a different entity to the studio, so it would be cool to do it, and I'm sure we will at some stage. That's one for the future though, when the conditions allow us to do a great job of it.

How do you describe Cats in Space to someone who has never heard you?

We're just a good old fashioned genuine old school Rock Band, unashamed to push the 'Rock envelope'. We're here to make Rock fans smile, think, and have fun.

How long was the writing process for this album?

I'm always writing and preparing for the next thing. My head is a mad place full of ideas, which can be irritating! I'd say it was probably 12 months formulating the ideas for the full album. Mick Wilson and myself are both quite prolific, and when we get together it's so much fun. We never get writers block, I love the whole ride.

What's next for the band?

World domination as a bare minimum! [laughs]. When we released 'Too Many Gods', we did it for us really, but there was a lot of excitement, and we've got a great team around us now, so it's all very, very busy on the Spaceship. We can't wait for the Cats fans to hear the new album, and they'd better learn the words super quick, because we're going to be playing loads of new ones on the tour ... and the old ones of course. Then we've got the announcement I can't tell you about, and then it'll be 2018.

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