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Cats In Space

Hoe vaak word je tegenwoordig nog echt verrast door een band? Hoe vaak hoor je een album waarvan je weet dat het tijdloos zal zijn. Dat had ik met het album ‘Scarecrow’ van de Engelse band Cats In Space. Op dit album krijgt de band het voor elkaar om alle jaren zeventig rockgoden muzikaal te eren zonder dat het ergens een kopie wordt van bands als Queen, ELO, Boston of Supertramp om er maar een paar te noemen. Hoog tijd dus om opper Cat Greg Hart te contacteren op het Cats In Space moederschip en eens te vragen waar al die verdomd goeie muziek nou toch vandaan is gekomen.

Door: Henk | Archiveer onder hardrock / aor

Hi there, this is Earth calling to Cats In Space! Could you please identify yourselves and explain what the Cats In Space are all about?
Greg Hart here from Cats in Space, calling you from our spaceship currently orbiting Earth and landing every now and then, as we are on our UK tour! For those that have not heard of us (why?) we are a classic 70s infused rock band currently promoting our fabulous new album ‘Scarecrow’. Rush out and buy it cos we know you’ll love it!

The kind of music you make is something I did not hear for a long, long time. Probably some thirty years now. Did it take so long to write and record it or was it Earth's fault that the fantastic music of the seventies and early eighties reached you only just recently?
Our music is steeped in the classic 70s rock traditions of bands like Queen, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc etc, so yes it does take a long time to record and produce our music as we really do go for very big ‘cinematic’ productions, like all those classic 70s albums. We have spent over a year on the new album from writing to recording and mastering it. We are finding a lot of music fans have been waiting for a true classic rock band to emerge again, one that likes to write songs and melodies rather than just bludgeoning riffs and trying to be cool! That's were we come in! And we release on vinyl, CD and cassette too! As all good music should be heard the old way. Our music is designed to be heard from the start of ‘side1’ to the end of ‘side 2’ in order, not put on an iPod shuffle, we hate that!

Can you tell our readers how you came up with your rather unusual band name?
Sure, well, we wanted a name that everyone would remember, a name that would cause a reaction whether it be love or hate. The main aim was that our name would be talked about. There are so many bands these days, and so many with similar names, so to stick out from the pack, we needed something different. We love cats, and we jokingly came up with Cats In Space, which we named after two of our own cats who had recently died and gone up there to space or wherever… so it all tied in, and a nice way to remember our cats that we missed so much. What’s in a name anyway? Once a band is successful the name becomes acceptable in any case.

When I received the new album it only then came to my notice that it was already your second album. So of course I looked up the first album and although that is also a killer album, I think the new album is really a different beast! What is your feeling about that?
That’s cool, the first album was written by myself and Mick Wilson from 10cc and it started off as a little writing project that grew into a band, with my ‘co-pilot’ Steevi Bacon on drums. I was very lucky to recruit some amazing players, Dean Howard on guitar, Jeff Brown on Bass/vocals, Andy Stewart on keyboards and Paul Manzi on vocals (check them out guys they are awesome). So the band was formed as the album went along. Scarecrow was a different beast as by the time we were ready to record it, we had toured, done videos and played together for a while. We went into a residential old school studio to record and it was all done the old fashioned way, and that’s what you hear on this new record. Everything you hear is organic and created by the band, on analogue equipment.

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What was the formula to write the new album? I mean, the influences are pretty obvious but the good thing is that it doesn't sound all the same like the great seventies bands like Queen, Boston and ELO for example but it does sound like Cats In Space. That for me is the good thing that the album sounds like 2017 but with the great melodies from the golden ages.
When writing, myself and Mick have no problems ‘tipping our hats’ to all those great bands, as that’s how we like to write, so we do it naturally. We started out writing for ourselves, namely songs that we wanted to hear, and I still do so. I love the way Queen wrote those classic albums, they were so varied and exciting, not all just one style, and that’s what we want to do. Once we put it through the demo stage and into what we call the ‘Sausage machine’, it turns into the Cats sound. We’ve only just started, and we’re capable of all kinds of stuff. We have a lot of stuff to record, and we’re going to surprise a lot of people!

Next to the incredible quality of the album you guys also did a pretty good video for 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party'. Who produced that one?
That was made and conceptualized by David Fowler (guitarist from the Australian Pink Floyd Show) The guy is crazy, and a genius, so he was perfect to help us do that video. Again we want to offer something different from the norm these days, and it makes people sit up and notice. It’s great fun as we really do have no boundaries in what we do, so we think anything and everything is possible.

Are there any plans for a tour outside of the UK? And can you tell me what people can expect from a Cats In Space live show? Some bands may use technology to produce their sound live but that's not the case at your shows I believe?
We would love to play all over Earth, everywhere and anywhere that wants us. Europe especially as we feel our music will go down so well there. Live we are a different beast! We rock out and play the songs totally live, and judging by the tour so far, people love us even more when they see us do it. So you get two things with Cats in Space, firstly the sonic huge production of the records, and secondly the rock n roll versions when we play them live, dare I say, it’s a bit like how Queen used to do it. It’s a double win!

So what other future plans do you have with Cats in Space? When can you say, we came from outer space, we conquered your planet and now we are satisfied
We have a lot more music to bring and you’ve not heard anything yet. I’m always writing, so album three is already under way. You see, my aim as a writer is to leave behind a large body of work and a whole host of albums that will last forever.

Any last words before you fly off again into space? Thank you for taking the time for this interview and hopefully we see you soon live!
We would firstly like to thank all the crazy cat fans out there who support us, and secondly, we’d like you to tell everyone who has not heard of us yet to check out our albums. This is merely the second phase of Cats In Space.. There’s a lot more to come, so watch this ‘SPACE’! – see what I did there?

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