Catfish and The Bottlemen reflect on a mad two years of touring & the far reach of their music beyond the UK

On New Year’s Eve, we were lucky enough to catch up with Van McCann and Johnny ‘Bondy’ Bond ahead of what was one of the sets of the festival up at Lorne. Having first met the Catfish and The Bottlemen frontman in Scotland at T In The Park back in 2014 and then again, watching them rise consistently in the States at SXSW in 2015, seeing the Welsh rock band take to Australian stages as triumphantly as they did last month was truly impressive to witness.

We reflected on the last two years of making music and touring for Catfish and The Bottlemen, who had locked down some of the biggest shows of their career so far in 2016.

“We’ve just done the biggest we’ve done in the UK, arenas back there,” Van says. “We got to do Wembley Arena and stuff like that…it’s only been two years since we were playing to probably only a couple hundred people back then?! …We’re always thinking about the next. As soon as you walk offstage, you think straight about the next gig and where we’re going next. We already know the plan for next year and even to the year after that, we know what we want to do with that.”

“It keeps you ambitious but it’s like, your mind is always way ahead of where you are.” Bondy adds. “It keeps you chomping at the bit.”

Catfish & The Bottlemen. Photo: Briana Davis
Catfish & The Bottlemen. Photo: Briana Davis

Always thinking ahead to the next keeps the band on their toes and the importance of bringing new music to their fans is never not in the forefront of their minds. When it’s come to their 2016 album The Ride, Catfish and The Bottlemen showed off this ambition while showcasing the band as a UK export primed to achieve the same global love other artists like Kasabian, fellow Falls visitor Jamie T reaped in during the  early 2000’s in particular.

“Everything is entirely focused on the live side of things for us.” Bondy says. “When we are playing, it never feels tiresome or anything, it always fresh.”

“We only make albums quickly and the reason we make them is to put more songs to the set list and bring them out to play them.” Van adds. “There’s no feeling the world like going out to Australia and hearing people sing your music or people back home, where you grew up.”

Watch the full interview below!

Photo by Briana Davis.