Progressive post hardcore band Cat Company, from Central Florida, released a debut single "Sad Dance", which lead to them writing and recording for their debut "Self-Titled" EP. Since the EP's recent release, the band went on to talk about said EP, it's single, as well as wanting to play throughout their home town and just getting their music out there for all to hear!
1. First of all, we would like to know about the formation of the band. When and how was it formed? Do you think the band name "Cat Company" perfectly describes your music and philosophy?
Cat Company filled its line up and started to blossom to life with the addition of our singer Jay, which didn't happen for an entire year after all the instrumental positions were filled and all the tracking was recorded. The inception of Catco began in Lawrence's home studio, after a long night of writing the demo to what later became Sad Dance, way back in the middle of 2015. Around the summer of 2016, Lawrence got together with Sean to track the song. During that time, Sean decided to be the Jelly to Lawrences' buttery-smooth Peanut Butter product. Ryan came into the picture around the same time, and after some auditions, Ian was solidified as drummer around December 2016. I think its safe to say Cat Company is a pretty good description of our music, and even ourselves. Much like a cat, its sporadic. Its both energetic and calm whenever it feels the need to be. Its fast and bouncy, and it'll wake you up at 3AM because its calling you to listen.
2. Now does your band's name Cat Company, have to deal in anyway with actual cats, no matter the species, or the name just does not have a meaning behind it's title?
We've been asked a few times whether "Company" refers to the company of a cat, or an actual company run by cats. We can't say for sure because it was never actually decided what the name means, but we're all avid cat lovers. We agreed that the name of the band should be based in something we all collectively like the most. A few ideas were tossed around over time; names rooted in other bands songs/lyrics, Pokemon references, even anime characters. but eventually the consensus was, anything with the word "cat", that could be shortened in a tasteful way, a la Catco.
3. How does one run the Cat Company, and which cat would be assigned to each member of the band?
So Catco is made up of Ian Keith (drums), Sean Dolich (guitar), Lawrence Brown (guitar), Jay Christian (vocals), and Ryan Martinez (bass). Ian is definitely the wildest cat in the pack, so he'd probably be like a really scruffy american short hair. or a bobcat. yeah, probably a bobcat who feeds off a strict diet of cigarettes and really loud music. Sean is most definitely the elusive male calico because while you've heard of him existing, he is essentially a creature of legend. We've said Lawrence is like a fancy jet black Maine Coon, but the idea of a wild Savannah sits much better with him. Jay has always wanted to be an ocelot in another life, and Ryan would be an absurdly slender Siamese.
4. Who are your musical influences?
Our musical influences include bands like The Fall of Troy, Sianvar, Ling Tosite Sigure, and Te. but individually, we're influenced by a whole slew of random artists from all genres. Lawrence used to be really into the Djent genre, and alt/emo bands before then, while Sean and Ian have long history with hard hitting heavy music. Jay is influenced by both RnB singers and metalcore vocalists, and Ryan grew up mostly around old school hip hop and metal. These days we all seem to be listening to JRock bands.
5. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
The album wasnt really intended to have one central theme to it, but the songs are somewhat rooted in relatable experiences with mental barriers and the setbacks and obstacles life can throw our way.
The first track, Maroon Sweater is about coming to terms with insecurities, while Sad Dance is getting over mental barriers and pushing through to pursue a goal. Kusanagi touches on manipulation and toxic figures in ones life, as well as Morpheus The Black. Firestarter touches vaguely on the idea of feeling mentally alone, and physically out of place in the world.
6. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Yes, definitely! Catco is made up of 5 incredibly talented dudes from their own respective musical backgrounds, it'd be a crime for us not to put our minds together and hash out original content.
For the EP, the songs were almost entirely written by Lawrence, and for the new music its the same deal. Once he feels comfortable where the songs are at, he sends them over, the rest of us learn the music, and then make changes and individually put our own spins on our instrumental parts. The vocals have to wait until the rest of the music is nearly finished, but once vocal writing and composition starts, the songs can get longer, shorter, or some riffs might be changed entirely to fit a vocal run better.
7. So why did you think that going the "Self-Titled" route for this EP was the right thing to do for the band?
I think it was a matter of not really being able to come up with a name for the EP, and the fact that we didn't think it would need its own name. Going the self-titled route was eventually favored
in the end because what better way to represent yourself with your first release, than to just give it the same title as the band name. We believe the self-titled name was without a doubt the best choice
for the EP. It- in essence, IS Cat Company.
8. Will you be using the self titled labeling again, for perhaps an album release, there have been artists and bands who have done it.
That one is up in the air. The idea of a self-titled full length is very reasonable, with the logic of the EP naming process applied. I don't think we could get away with every release after that though haha.
9. What was the recording process like for this EP?
Long. Incredibly long. But so much fun. We worked at our own pace, and because Sean was at the helm of production, we had absolute total creative freedom. As I mentioned before, there was a 12 month gap between the instruments being finished, and us finding a singer. In all that downtime, little changes were being made on a weekly basis. Other songs were written and scrapped, lots of ideas were tossed around, and there was even a period of time where we didn't have Ian with us for 7 months straight. But we learned so much through the process and we were able to make sure it was as perfect as we were striving for. Setbacks aside, the process is straightforward. Lawrence lays down the groundwork, Sean basically controls how we build up from there, and the rest of us contribute tons of insane ideas.
10. Have a favorite song off the EP and why?
I wouldn't say we're attached to any song or part in particular for any real reason other than it sounding awesome, since the goal was always to make an album with basically a banger out of every song. They're all packed with so much content, it really is hard to choose, but we all love playing Morpheus The Black a ton. Everyone gets to shine on that song.
11. Why should one check out this EP?
This EP has a little bit of everything for everyone. Theres the ever-changing riff medly of Maroon Sweater, with the interesting electronic intro, always keeping you interested. Sad Dance is easily the one to get you grooving. Kusanagi and Morpheus appeal to those who love the harder hitting fast paced songs. Lastly, Firestarter closes off the EP with a slow and somber start, but builds into an emotional rollercoaster with a chilling bridge, and ends the whole ride with a celebration of funk and groove.
12. Has Cat Company, played any shows or gone out on tour as of yet?
Catco has not played shows or tours yet, although we're itching to hit the stage and eventually the road, very soon. Now that the EP is public, the only thing left to do is play out. Summer is right around the corner, so this is the season to really start getting out there and building a live audience.
13. What are the plans for shows and touring if anything?
We have to conquer our hometown of Orlando first. There are lot of bands out here to play with, lots of venues to play at, and even more people to play to. The bigger the audience we can build at home,
the farther we can take our music.
14. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
We hope to take catco as far as people will allow us to go while staying interested. Music is seen as a business and being in a band is a massive investment, so if we want to make this band our primary focus, we need to not only make the best music we can, but we have to do what we can to build the family of listeners we need to reach those heights and of course, stay relevant. There have been long business talks label pitches and offers, as well as wanting to stay as DIY as we possibly can, for creative control. Either way we go about it, Cat Company is going to be a name we want everyone to be familiar with.
15. Is there anything else that you would like to add that we may have forgotten to mention?
This whole interview just about covers everything. Check us out on the internet. See us around if you get the chance. Send us some love, and stay tuned. Peace!