Interview: Cat Clyde talks new music, memories, and more
I was lucky enough to stumble across Cat Clyde’s music just over a year ago, when she released a music video for “Mama Said.” I was instantly drawn in by her lyrics. I showed my roommate and Cat had two new fans. I’ve been following her music ever since. Her latest single, “Like A Wave” came across my Twitter feed when The Fader posted it. I tweeted her my congratulations and she responded by asking if I’d like a copy of her album. After a couple of emails, she answered some questions. Here it is, the Cat Clyde interview…
Mighty Records: I’d like to start out with giving people a chance to get to know more about your story. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today?
Cat Clyde: I started playing guitar in high school and before that I was always singing. I started playing as “Cat Clyde” in high school and would spend a lot of time busking. I went to Fanshawe College in London and did the Music Industry Arts Program, where I started to take a performing career seriously and started working hard to become a more confident player and performer. After school I recorded an album and starting playing a lot of shows.
MR: What’s your earliest musical memory?
CC: My grandfather played the violin, and when I was young and I would go to my grandparent’s house, he would play the violin in the basement along to his Graham Townsend and Don Messer tapes. There was a vent to the basement in the upstairs hallway, and I used to move the carpet and stick my ear up to the vent and listen to him play for hours.
MR: I discovered you through your song “Mama Said,” it’s incredible. Can you describe some behind the scenes of creating that song?
CC: That was one song I wrote very quickly. It just sort of came out of me. I was jamming at a friends house into the wee hours of the morning when I started playing the chords, and I just sang the entire song.
MR: Of all the places you’ve played, what was your favourite?
CC: I would have to say, when opening up for Shakey Graves. It was such a surreal moment to play for so many people. It was extremely exciting, and nerve racking, and amazing all at the same time.
MR: How important is outside feedback when you’re creating, do you keep it to a minimum, do you have a tight circle you show your music to or what?
CC: I do have a tight circle of people that I show my new music to. I greatly respect other people’s opinions because I cannot hear my music the way someone who is meeting it for the first time is. If you’re asking the right people, it gives you a new perspective or birds eye view of the music.
MR: It sounds like the progression towards finding collaborators and making Ivory Castanets was pretty organic, what makes a good musical collaboration?
CC: Making this album was very organic and it unfolded very effortlessly because everyone involved was very talented. Being in tune with one another and feeling open to new ideas or concepts, really makes it easy to create. Basically if it feels good, it is good.
MR: Can you give people some more details on The Shitbats and The Driftwood Ramblers?
CC: I joined the Shitbats in 2014 during my time in the Music Industry Arts program. We are a surf-punk band and hopefully releasing an LP in May. Playing in this band is such a great energy release. The members are, Dan Serre – guitar, Mitch Decaire- Bass and Strummer Jasson, drums, and I am the vocalist. The Driftwood Ramblers is a project I recently started with the drummer of The Shitbats. But we recently realized that a band already has that name so we are in the process of finding a new name, and recording a few songs.
MR: What was it like the first time you heard your favourite genre? Or the first time you heard a new genre?
CC: I had a really hard time finding good music when I was younger. I had no one to influence me or show me the road to good music. I started looking up music on the Internet when I was around 14 and one day I heard Nirvana’s version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”. I wanted to know what the original sounded like; I looked it up and found Lead Belly. After that nothing was ever the same.
MR: When you make music are you somebody that tries to cut out listening to other music fearing that yours might sound similar?
CC: My influences are all artists from the early nineteen hundreds, on to the 70’s so I don’t really have a problem with sounding too similar to other people. I like to listen to lots of music while writing for inspiration. I have my own style and own way of doing things, so trying not to sound like someone else isn’t something I worry or think about.
MR: The internet creates an interesting paradox, artists have easy access to a fanbase all over the world. At the same time, that saturates the market, making it harder to stand out. Can you expand on this?
CC: Because it is so easy to record music, as well as send it off to blogs, and labels and your dog’s dead brother, it makes it hard for the good stuff to get heard and stand out. Also with that, a good song is a good song and if something is good, it will get recognized…. Eventually. The biggest thing is hard work, like with anything, you have to work at it everyday. If you put your time and your soul into it, something will come of it.
MR: Do you prefer the physical or digital format of music?
CC: Physical. Holding something in your hand that you can touch and hold is far more valuable to me.
MR: What do you think sets a part good music from the rest of the noise?
CC: If there is energy, like real energy that makes the hair stand up on your skin, or gives you some profound sense of understanding to something, that is good music.
MR: What excites you most about the future of Cat Clyde?
CC: Going on tour, and recording more music.
MR: Where can people find you? Do you have anything you’d like fans to know?
CC: People can find me busking when the weather is nice and on all social media sites,
Soundcloud : www.souncloud.com/cat-clyde
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