Something - ‘What’ // Album Stream & Interview
Good afternoon! As you may know Monday will see the release of the debut album from Something; the new project from Oliver Catt (Formally Fantasy Rainbow).
As a super special present to Fuzzbook readers, here is an exclusive interview with the man himself aswell as an early bird stream of the upcoming album ‘What’.
FZZ – It was only in December that I and many others were putting Fantasy Rainbow’s Bos Taurus in our albums of the year lists, what made you hang up your rainbow boots and start something new?
OC – I felt like I had finished Fantasy Rainbow, I wanted to move on and within the year and a half I’d been doing it what I wanted out of music had changed. I was seventeen when I started it and by the time I ended it I was a different person. I’d done a lot and read a lot and heard a lot and a lot of my opinions on a lot of things had changed. I wanted to start a more home grown style of music where I didn’t have PR and all of the stuff you get from the major leagues.
FZZ – ‘Something’ has a much more haunting sound, was this more difficult for you or did it come as naturally as your previous fuzzy pop sound?
OC – I always wanted to make weirder music I think I just also liked writing pop songs that were fun so I did that. Then I realised that I wasn’t really exploring music and ~sound~ as much as i wanted to be doing so with Something I’ve tried to build more soundscapes and use a lot of different instruments. Music has evolved so much in the last century that 2 guitars, bass, drums, one-person-sings seems like a joke now.
FZZ –You recorded ‘What’ in a barn this January, was it a long process? Or did you manage to blast it out pretty quickly?
OC - It actually only took a weekend. My friends are converting this old barn and they asked me to come up and just sort of mess around with all the old tape gear and stuff that they had up there and we wrote a few songs and recorded them and thought “hey, this actually pretty cool”, so we wrote some more and I had an album. I’d been writing these weirder songs and had been wanting to set up my own label type thing, it just all happened a little quicker than I’d planned. There’s a lot of far out gear in the barn, like old pedals and tube radios and we’re all pretty adept at electrical engineering (really lame i know) so we build a lot, we’re building a light-reactive theremin at the moment and we didn’t have a kick drum to record with on What so we built one and stuff like that. There’s also a workshop in the bank so you can relax by building a chair or whatever, it’s really great. I’m going to record another album there for the next 2 weeks.
FZZ – There’s going to be an album release show at The Heart Attack & Vine in Newcastle, are there any plans to head to other parts of the UK any time soon?
OC – Heartattack & Vine show is kind of a special one. I wasn’t going to play any shows, I was just going to do a recording project because I suffer from some pretty bad mental health disorders which always meant touring as FR took a real toll on me, but then this new venue was set up in Newcastle called Heartattack & Vine and it just looked so amazing and I had such an obvious reason to do a show I thought I would. I’ve got 2 friends to help out and it should be a really cool night, bring your own beers etc, all the organ you can listen to. I might tour in summer, but I’d have to plan it really well, I have to know exactly where I’m staying every night, know the equipment is safe before I can drink or anything, know I have enough money for petrol and food, know I can get to the next city really early because I want to look around. I hate touring because you turn up at a dingy club an hour before you have to soundcheck after waking up at midday and driving down the A-whatever and it makes you want to curl up and die. If I tour I want to play interesting venues like Morden Tower and Tom Thumb Theatre and set off from the last place at like 8am so I can look around the next place we’re playing and go see landmarks you know. If you get the opportunity to travel why would you only see the motorway?
FZZ –Support for the show comes from Geordie lo-fiers Rice Milk, what other emerging bands are tickling your earbuds right now?
OC – I don’t really listen to a lot of new music, only the stuff that is easy to get like my friends bands like Ides or Joanna Gruesome or Playlounge, I spend so much time making music I don’t have the energy to search out new bands like I used to and I hate myself for it. There’s so much good stuff being made out there and I’m letting it pass me by. I mostly listen to bands like Jordaan Mason and The Horse Museum, and Generifus, and Children Eating Birds, and Beat Happening, and I’m really in to that Bob Dylan record John Wesley Harding at the minute.
FZZ – You are releasing ‘What’ on tape through your own label, ASDFG Records. Firstly what does ASDFG stand for?
OC – ASDFG doesn’t really stand for anything, I was more preoccupied with what I was doing than what I was called. That’s also the reason I called the project Something I suppose, that’s what it was, it was just something, it didn’t have to have an awesome band name like Mumford & Sons or Taylor Swifts because I was more interested in recording cool songs than marketability…or something like that.
FZZ – Secondly, is there anything else in the ASDFG pipeline that we should be getting excited about?
OC – I’m hopefully releasing a King of Cats EP and I’m definitely doing a book of illustrations by the brighton-based illustrator Eleanor Rudge. I’m doing another Something album straight after this one that should hopefully be out in June or July time, summer anyway. I’m running off a physical newsletter every 3 months with the first one coming in May or June (sign up on the website duhhhhhh) and I’m working on a never-ending cassette at the minute as well, recorded onto CC1. I might throw in a festival later on in the year if I have the money.
FZZ – ‘What’ tapes are being released on a limited run, you are dip-dying and hand-stamping the cassettes, how many are you doing? Or is it just till the stamping cramp hurts too much?
OC- The stamping and dip-dying has actually been a blast! Me and my girlfriend did them all and it was a lot of fun and the novelty of stamping something never wears off. It was the home dubbing of the cassettes that sucked, I’m never doing that again, but even the learning experience of not to do that is pretty fun because it feels like I’m improving the collective. There’ll be 50 and because we did it so labour intensive they’ll be super cheap, I guess our tagline would be something like “the music is free, you just pay for the plastic” or something.
FZZ - Thanks!
'What' is released Monday on limited cassettes through ASDFG Records.