Cattle and Cane – Interview

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Cattle and Cane

Cattle and Cane have just released their second EP. The record includes four tracks ‘Waiting’, ‘The Poacher’, ‘We Were Children’ and ‘Sail Home’. Buzzbands spoke to the band shortly after they completed a successful UK tour.

Most of the band are family members, can you tell us who’s who?

Helen: Me, Joe , Fran on electric and Vin on bass are all siblings. Then we have Paul on drums who is a close family friend.

Do you have any more musical relatives?

Helen: We actually don’t, this has come out of nowhere. I know our mum likes to think we get it from her!

Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.

Joe: I was brought up in a house that actively encouraged music, specifically learning instruments. My Dad would set up the tape recorder on the TV (in the days of VCR) and would sit ready to press the record button when a ‘worthy’ song on Top of the Pops 2 would come on.

For anyone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe it?

Fran:We love vocal groups like Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles so it’s kind of folk-indie rock. We don’t see ourselves in any particular style we try and keep it interesting and change things up now and again.

Where did the name Cattle and Cane come from?

Paul: Our name comes from a track by an Australian band called The Go-Betweens and it was a single of theirs in 1983 from the Before Hollywood album. Basically we felt it flowed nicely phonetically and the song itself is very warm and has a kind of yearning nostalgia and that’s something we really connected with.

You’ve had a good year so far, what have been the highlights and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?

Helen: We’ve had lots of highlights this year, finding out that we will play our first international gig this year…in Turkey was really exciting. Selling out our E.P launch a month in advance was a great feeling for us, our local fans are really supportive and loyal to us, so that was a real highlight for me.

Tell us about your new EP. How did the songs come about?

Helen: The Poacher is a song we have been playing live for a while now and has been a lot of people’s favourite song, so we decided to record that one. Then we wanted to have two live tracks on the E.P, ‘We were children’ is a song Joe wrote about losing a friend, and then we have ‘Waiting’ which I sing lead on, so it’s very different to the other tracks on the E.P, we like keeping it interesting for ourselves as well as everyone else.

Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organisations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene? Which bands would you recommend checking out?

Helen: The music scene in the North East is great. There are so many varied type of bands, all sorts of music. Generator and Amazing Radio have been very kind to us, they are great at what they do, and they are the reason why the music scene in the North East is growing at the moment. At the minute I’m listening to a lot of The Lake Poets. I had only seen Martin do solo material which was great anyway, but now he’s formed a band around that and it’s even better, so yes I would recommend going to see them live.

What influences have helped shape your music?

Joe: I was brought up knowing most of the Beatles back catalogue and with a brother that played lots of Irish music, I think these strong melodies had a strong effect on me and am sure they have influenced my writing. Today I listen to as much and as varied music as possible, to keep my songs interesting as possible for both me and audiences.

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?

Joe: I would recommend Other Lives, I found them a while back now and saw them do an acoustic set at Greenman Festival and it was brilliant. The head and the heart are a great band too, if you love harmonies then I would recommend them.

Where can people see you live next ?

Fran:We are playing the Cluny in Newcastle on the 18th of November and we are playing the Arc in Stockton ‘An evening with Cattle & Cane’ on the 21st December. We like to call it the C&C Christmas party, all very welcome! Tickets available here: http://www.arconline.co.uk/detail.php?id=2527

What’s next for Cattle and Cane ?

Paul :Well we will be shooting our music video for Waiting very soon which we are very excited about. It’s always good fun, seeing how the end product turns out. Looking forward to our first abroad gig too.

Anything else to declare?

Our brand-new self-titled 2nd E.P. will be released digitally on SUNDAY 16TH OCTOBER on iTunes!

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