Q&A: Ryan Nichols of Cat Party, Performing Saturday at Gypsy Lounge

Cat Party's Ryan Nichols will pull your chain
Cat Party's Ryan Nichols will pull your chain

For a local band, Costa Mesa's Cat Party doesn't really fit into the typical "Orange County band" stereotype. Ryan Nichols (vocals/guitar/the dude pictured on the shitter), Jason Richardson (bass), and Roger Fowler (drums) might call their sound "post punk/indie/new wave," but to fans, Cat Party is creating innovative sonics all their own. With an upcoming date at the Gypsy Lounge on Saturday, plus upcoming gigs out of state, the band recently released their self-titled debut album on Flat Black Records. 

OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): For the people who haven't seen Cat Party live how would you describe your shows?

Ryan Nichols: Mundane.

Speaking of mundane, are you sick of people comparing you to other bands like TSOL and Joy Division or is it just an honor to have someone taking enough time to make the comparison?

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I like TSOL but I've never heard of Joy Division--is she good?

Ha! Yes, she is especially good. How would you explain the overall sound of Cat Party?

An eighties rip off.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?

I knew when I was young. I got really psyched on Guns N' Roses when I first heard them. And then when I heard Nirvana, it was all over.

A lot of musicians think they will have instant success. You guys have been a band for three years now, did you think you'd be further by now or are you right on track?

Yeah, I thought I would be a lot further, in life and in music. We're on the right track, though. But it's not where I thought we'd be. It takes a lot of hard work and money and right now the times are against us.

Are you working on any new projects now, or is it time to take a break from recording and go out and promote Cat Party's new self-titled album?

We have a new record coming out in March called Heartache Over Headache. It will be three new songs. The full-length still needs to be in more people's hands. It only recently started getting noticed--six months after the release.

Does anyone or anything in particular inspire you while writing the songs?

Drugs and alcohol for me. They created all the mistakes that I write about. I also like Kool Keith.

I hear ya. Who hasn't Kool Keith inspired? So how did the collaboration with Ambiguous Clothing come about?

My friend Brian works for them and he had this idea to start doing these party nights to help promote bands. They got a shit-ton of people there and it was rad! They're a really dope company.

Are there any dream "collabos" that Cat Party would like to shout out?

I like turtles.

Ah, yeah, OK. What is the most unforgettable tour moment you've had? Can you let us in on any backstage antics?

I usually binge drink on the tours we've been on so, I don't remember much. And the seedy bars we play in don't have stages. Regular or in back. I almost got arrested twice the last time we were in Arizona for putting up stickers. They made me take them down and then I had to listen to a speech about how I'm too old to be doing shit like that. I've recently retired from guerilla marketing. I wish I had a more (Motley) Crue answer for this.

Any plans for a live album?

No.

Any advice you have for the kids who want to start a successful band of their own?

Sure--even though I have a cynical/careless approach to any questions. If you're looking to start a band, eliminate the word "success" from your vocabulary. Replace it with fun. Are you having fun? Make music because you love it and because it's your passion? It should never be anything else.

Check out Cat Party's show schedule so you can catch them when they play near you.


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