[Locals Only] Cat Party Goes for Post-Punk Purrfection
Okay, you released an album—now what? That’s the dilemma currently facing Costa Mesa trio Cat Party. After two-and-a-half years together, singer/guitarist Ryan Nichols, bassist Jason “Richie” Richardson and drummer Roger Fowler released their self-titled debut this past July on Garden Grove-based Flat Black Records, and Cat Party are now trying to get people to actually listen. And people really should: The record is filled with well-crafted bursts of post-punk such as “Tar & Feathers” and “Jigsaw Thoughts.” It’s fast and noisy yet held together by coolly detached vocals. Cat Party’s looking to get the word out by gigging regularly, with five shows this month in Orange County, Long Beach and LA, plus an opening spot for the Start and Mellowdrone at the Troubadour on Dec. 12.
OC Weekly: Before your full-length was out, you released a split 7-inch with a Swedish band called Cut City. How’d you get hooked up with them?
Roger Fowler: Richie shot them some crazy-ass messages, just, like, jokes.
Jason Richardson: I said, “Hey, Cut City, Cat Party. Would look great on a flier!” We started talking. It was one of [Ryan’s] favorite bands at the time. Coincidentally, my best friend is best friends with their drummer; they went to drumming school together. So it was one of those weird, crazy, small-world kind of deals.
Sort of surprising, the “Jigsaw Thoughts” single made No. 1 on the Top Records of 2008 list for a website called Big Wheel.
Ryan Nichols: They don’t know what they’re talking about.
It was a super-random list, too—you were on there with, like, Fucked Up, Jay Reatard and AC/DC.
Richardson: It was just funny because they were all bands we’re really into, in one way or another. We only put out a 7-inch, so for them to say Best Album, we were kind of blown away.
Nichols: It’s just a bunch of kids who go to Vinyl Solution and buy records. I think they just go to whatever record-release show they have. They’ve been super-rad and supportive.
What are some of the struggles you’ve encountered since releasing the record?
Nichols: It costs a lot of money, and most people aren’t going to like it.
Richardson: Before, we had some opportunities, but we didn’t have anything to give them. They’re not going to take your cheesy CD-R real seriously. Then we get this record out, and we’re like, “All right! Where now?” Not all those doors open.
How do you combat that?
Nichols: Play as much as possible. Any opportunity is a good one. Give out CDs, if someone wants it. Chances are they’re going to tell someone else.
“Jigsaw Thoughts” was on a Black Label Skateboards DVD. Are you guys into skate culture?
Nichols: Roger and I both skate. That’s how I discovered most of the bands I still listen to, through skate videos. It was pretty rad. Of course, it would have been cool if they told us they used it. Our friend went to the premiere, and he was like, “Dude, I think I just heard your guys’ song on this video.”
Yeah, and you were also mentioned in Thrasher magazine?
Nichols: That magazine means more to me than music shit. Rolling Stone? I’d rather be in Thrasher than anything else.
Fowler: That, and being in the video, were, like, “Check in the box for life.” I’ll tell my kids, tell my grandkids.
Cat Party with No Spectators, Roofie & the Nightstalker at Unity Church, 935 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 436-8879; www.unitylongbeach.com. Sat., 8 p.m. $5. Cat Party can be found online at www.myspace.com/birdsofpreymusic.
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and upcoming show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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