We met up with Catholic Action at SXSW in March and had a little chat with Chris and Ryan before their show at Latitude…..
What Are your expectations of SXSW?
You know what, to have a good time, to celebrate. Nah, to just have a good time being in America the very first time and enjoy it. Meet people, see some cool bands we know, bands we don’t know. Introduce ourselves to the Americans.
( Ryan )It has taken us by surprise that we are here, that we have been invited here and to play the songs that we wrote in Chris’s bedroom back home. Now we are here and playing them for America. It is pretty mental.
You have never been to the US then?
Not as a band no.
(Ryan ) I have never been as a band or on holiday, that is why I bought this amazing jacket ( Jacket made like an American Flag ) Getting into the spirit of it.
It is very patriotic. I like it
Thank you I like it also
It is cool. You are from where? Scotland
Well if I were over there I’d buy a something with a big St Andrew’s cross on it and wear it so…
When in Rome
So who are some of the bands you want to see while you are in Austin?
I have seen Lemon Twigs twice
Crap. I have been trying to see them all week and keep missing them
Oh, they are good. Amazing. A band called Wand. Like a psych rock band, really heavy. They are from somewhere in America, but not sure. Weezer. The best this is we are staying in a place called West Campus, which is…a place called French House, which is a student co-op. It’s a big student building that is basically ran by the students who live in it, it is really great. Someone was telling us, it is the closest American’s will get to Socialism. It’s interesting, but in that area there are loads of different student parties and we have come across so many cool bands there, that are not in official showcases, but are just very very good.
That is one of the great things about SXSW, no matter where you go, you are going to find some good music.
Tell our readers why they should be listening to Catholic Action
I think we write real songs. I don’t think people write real songs anymore. I think people are very focused on aesthetics, as in the production, says the guy in a fucking velvet jacket and John Lennon hat ( Chris, and probably what I noticed first about him ) Regardless of that, I think we write songs, the songs are number one for us and I don’t really see a lot of that, especially in the UK. I think people are to image obsessed and they are not really saying anything
So do you consider yourselves a political band then?
Politics of the heart. I just think when you think of things like Brexit or the things that are going on here, what ever side you are on, there are a lot of things to be said and I think to ignore that entirely is a bit wrong. Our music is melodic and well written, that is why people should listen to us. You will probably have a good time and you will hear good songs as well.
The most embarrassing song on your phone or iPod
( Chris quickly pointed to Ryan)
Why are you pointing at me?
We were on BBC 1 and did an interview with Hu Stephens and at the end of the interview he asked us, he said, we really want to play a song or Scottish anthem, because it was Burns Night ( Robert Burns Birthday Celebration, for you non Scottish out there ), its a really big deal in Scotland and Ryan suggest a song by Deacon Blue, this really lame eighties band and they were like ehhhh, they were not sure if we were being serious or not.
Ryan: I have Kid Creole and The Coconuts. Oasis. Oasis is kind of lame but cool
I don’t think Oasis is lame at all.
The first two albums are fucking great, brilliant songs and I think Oasis, they maybe played it up and started slagging people off and maybe realized that this will get a lot of press. But I watched the film about them the other week, Supersonic, and they said what they thought wether you agreed with it or not.
I love Oasis, and I will admit, I love Liam Gallagher, and I probably love him for the fact that he is such an ass
( Ryan ) Yeah my favorite band is The Smith’s and it is probably for the same reason. Just something different.
I think it is because they are real and that is what it’s about, and that is what I would like to do with this band, and that is what I think we are doing right now. Going out and having a good time and making it mostly about the songs. That is what I think is missing in British music, there is a lot of aesthetic . There is a lot of sale over substance.
If you were in a burning building and you could save three albums, which ones would they be?
Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, it is the best record ever made, beautifully constructed, powerful intro music from start to finish . I’d also save…uh..its a hard one to pick..Evening Star by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno,beautiful atmospheric music, and well because we are from the United Kingdom, I think of course I would save a Beatles album. I think my favorite is Rubber Soul.
( In the course of this particular conversation, as we waffled about ,as Ryan called it, we found out he would def save Paul Simon’s Graceland )
Austin is know for its reputation of being weird, what is the weirdest thing you have seen since being here?
I seen a guy in leopard Y fronts and nothing else. With ginger dreadlocks, like half a head, like bald with dreads, who was dancing at people with a sign that says ” Forgive Yourselves ” That is probably the weirdest thing Ive seen.
(Ryan) I seen a dog get stuck in a swimming pool. That wasn’t weird, it was just a shame. It was at a party.
Did he make it out?
He got out . I think ten people lifted him to freedom with his ball, which is why he went in to the pool in the first place. It was a Labrador .
I’d save a dog before anything really.
Yeah that is what I thought when you asked about which records I’d save. I thought, I’d save my dog. We are just waffling now.
Ummm..soccer football or? I am
I just watched the Celtic, Rangers game over the weekend
Oh that was rubbish. Not a good game
That was the first Scottish football game I’ve seen. I usually watch Premier League. Someone did tell me that Rangers/Celtics were a rival game.
Oh yeah it is big. It is just that one game that is so aggressive
Do you watch Premier?
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
It changes. I don’t know. I don’t like how much money is in the Premier League, but I really like Liverpool. They are not doing so hot at the moment.