Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome – Mr. Paul Catten - gifted and talented person who was a creative spirit of such bands as Medulla Nocte, Lazarus Blackstar, Khang, Murder One, Stampin' Ground, Stuntcock, Barrabus, The Dark Half. Also he has been noticed as a guest musician in such bans as Matter and This Is Menace. For the last years Paul (no, he wasn’t hiding in a deep cave) concentrated on his solo project under the his own name and the most sonic/extreme band in the Universe - The Sontaran Experiment.
This hurricane named Catten just started spinning and it ain’t stop !
- Hi Paul ! Simple question to start it all - where’re you sitting now ?
Hello! Where am I sitting now? I am currently in my front room relaxing after spending the day in the spare room/studio working on a new solo record. The sound of harsh electronics mixed with a Russian Orthodox Choir has left me confused but overwhelmed with a desire to create something even more ridiculous than the last solo effort.
- I say in a retreat that I’ve just listened to Co-Exist’s demos from 2005. Was looking for them during few years and now I’ve finally ate that candy. There is another band with the same fate - Lazarus Blackstar. You’ ve started with both of them as a vocalist. Ugly , irritatingly and charming voice was that lucky feature that made these bands sound interesting and original. Today Mik Hell is doing vocals for Lazarus and he doing it well. As for me it’s better to change band’s name. What do you think ? Do you assume any collaborations with these bands (live appearances, album recordings…etc.) in the future ?
Well, Co-Exist were going for a long while before I got involved and have had a few singers since. They’re still one of the most brutal bands to come out of this island, and are sadly under rated…they should be fucking huge. Last time we saw each other I ended up on stage with them…wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again at some point, I love those guys! Blackstar are doing well without me ruining their sound and to be honest I think Mik suits them better. I love the two albums I did, extremely proud of them but that’s about you’ll get out of me before I need to do something else. In this case it was just a personal crisis that caused me to leave, but I’m glad they’re still going strong. Just wish they would play down this way at some point. I’d jump up for a song if they asked for sure, there’s no hard feelings…we hated each other from the start hehe.
- Khang , Medulla Nocte…Any chance for reunion shows in the nearest future ? Roadburn and Desertfest might be interested in “A Man Called Catten” project (It was an exclusive set on Damnation fest 2011. Medulla's songs were performed.). Don’t want to think of Murder One for that reason. I’m really sad about Jammer and Morrow. Without them Murder One wouldn’t be the same.
And the same with Medulla Nocte mate, no Jammer, no reunion…not that it would have ever happened anyhow. Murder One could never reform and I would never want to anyway. A Man Called Catten was OK…it never sounded as good as it did in rehearsal and I’ll just leave it there I think. It was nice to sing some of those songs again but it was really for my own self indulgence in the end I think. It’s good to see some of the old bands reforming but it’s something that interests me in no way at all. I have no desire to walk old paths really…keep moving forward, keep progressing. If the only reason is money, then I would be letting myself down for sure because I need to be interested musically….and that usually means doing something new.
- Musically and artictically Barrabus was one of the most thrilling bands. Do you desire to dust off the suits one day ?
Funnily enough, Mark and I spoke about this today. I don’t think a reunion would ever happen for the reasons I have just stated, but some of the ideas that were around may be recycled (they were never recorded) for some new Sontaran stuff maybe. I really enjoyed Barrabus actually, sheer lunacy and the songs were fucking great. If I really, really, really had to reform one previous band, then it would be Barrabus I think. It was a good outlet compared to the heavy politics that were going on with Murder One at the time, no label hassles, no management bullshit, just us on tour with friends and blowing bands off stage…and looking damn smart while doing it haha.
- MORROW FEST 2012 (festival in the memory of John Paul Morrow - the voice of Iron Monkey, Murder one, Armour of God) – became really big underground event that represented UK’s best underground bands of the past decade. The Sontaran Experiment also played there. The previous fest was almost 10 years ago in 2002. I think that Morrowfest has all chances to become annual . Any thoughts about the next voume ?
Murder One played the first one, and The Sontaran Experiment played the one last year. Both were fantastic events, lots of old friends getting together and playing some fine music. Annual? That may be a bit much, but every couple of years or so would be good. Johnny’s family really appreciate it and it also makes sure that this talented young man who was robbed of life at such a tragic age, will never be forgotten. Although I think some of the hero worship he receives would have him turning in his grave if he could see it…he used to fucking hate it!
- That’s enough with old farts questions...Let’s talk about fresh juice…The Sontaran Experiment is going to release second album. Can you unleash some details ?
Early days yet, so far the songs are sounding like normal length but that can change at any time. More blast beats, more doom and more noise pretty much. There’s no rules in that band, so if it sounds right then its in. We’re just finding ourselves to be honest, so it will probably end up totally different to how it is sounding at the minute. The last album was 2008…this one needs to show 5 years progress for sure.
- You’ve wrote on your facebook page about future plans. Writing a book was amongst others. Got some stories to tell ? Will it be some kind of autobiography or what ?
Not so much of an autobiography, more of an account of being in a band at that level..touring, sleeping rough, getting fucked over, drugs, death etc etc…could be an interesting read. Plenty of stories to tell, as most bands do and it won’t be all negative, we had some good times too. I’m going to start writing it in the summer, with a view to it coming out early next year. The more I look into it, the more stuff I remember. I wish Jammer was here to help though, he was a master of the archives.
- Among the other future plans : collaboration with Ginger Wildheart and new solo album. Got something to add ?
Yes, I did some vocals for Ginger for his Mutation project, alongside a whole bunch of other noisy types. Big honour that, I have a lot of respect for that guy and hopefully we can get him to appear on the next TSE album in some guise. That’s the kind of musician I like, one who sets themselves no boundaries. A pop album one minute, a fucking racket the next. A new solo album, hopefully will be a double cd, one of my compositions and one of workings of old video nasty theme tunes. Some are sounding great, others are not quite there so it may end up being some kind of bonus download maybe. I don’t want it to deter from the actual solo work. The solo stuff is sounding insane and I have hit a point now where ideas are flowing like water…inspired right now.
- What is your attitude to the modern entertainment industry ? Mp3 or LP – who will survive ? And how do you think it can work in the future ?
MP3. Keep downloading the bigger acts illegally and put the major labels out of business. Keep it real and keep it underground. Support smaller bands as much as you can, and when they become big then download their stuff for free, that’s my motto. I’ve always been happy to see my band’s stuff on Soulseek (I’ve even leaked some stuff on there myself)…I never see a penny so why should any other fucker?
- What is your fave British SitCom ?
The Young Ones was always my favourite, still is really. Pretty old now though!
- Last year I was really impressed by BBC series called “Luther”. Sontaran Experiment can play some cute soundtrack for the new season, isn’t it ?
I never saw it, my TV doesn’t go on until around 11pm. I will investigate this Luther programme further however!
- Are you still following “Right where you are sitting Now” ?
Not as vigilantly as I have done in the past, but when I’m doing some mindless web surfing I always check to see what conspiracies Ken has managed to uncover recently. Always a great place to discover new music may I add.
- On your opinion - what are the main known conspiracies related with music ?
Just the mystery of how such shit is so popular right now. It’s all tattoos and skinny jeans and no fucking substance..I hate it! I cant even read a rock magazine these days without feeling sheer rage. Maybe I’m just getting old but I feel I want to punch these young fucking assholes straight in their pierced fucking faces for just existing.
- Is prince William a new antichrist/reptiloid ?
Neither, just a posh twat who needs shooting alongside the rest of the thieving royal parasites.
- What is your attitude to Pussy Riot ? And how your friends accepted this situation in Russia ?
Well, that’s a typical reaction of the Russian state I guess. I mean musically they deserved to be made to stop, but as far as free speech goes it’s a tragedy. Are they still locked up? I can’t say I’m overly familiar with Russian politics, but there’s always been that underbelly hasn’t there where people can’t really speak their mind. Not just there mind you…globally free speech is being tested. Britain is getting just as bad.
- What is the main source of inspiration for you when writing new songs ?
Just a desire for extremity I think. Lyrically I don’t have much to say these days and I don’t really enjoy writing them any more..but I do know when I write solo or with the band that I want to be challenged as a listener also. In TSE I want my fucking ears blown out through sheer musical terror, and with my own stuff I have cried at a moment of beauty. Life inspires me these days…I’m a chilled out middle aged guy, a school teacher with a young son and it’s these things that matter to me now. I’m no longer driven to go on tour or make successful records so I don’t have goals in front of me, just the freedom to create what I want and I’m very fortunate that people still take an interest, and I’m also very grateful for that.
- Any plans for gigs/fests appearances in 2013 ?
Sontaran Experiment are looking for festivals now..who knows what will come up. SuperNormal Festival on August 9th is on I know that much. We’ll appear as and when I’m sure…we need to get abroad with this beast I think.
- The film/book/event that has really impressed you in for the last time ?
I really enjoyed Sinister recently, alongside the Texas Chainsaw 3D movie. Last book I read was about the Rolling Stones recording the Let it Bleed album (a classic) and that was a good read. Last event I went to was a musical at the school I work at and it was just amazing to see the talent that the teenagers I work with possess sometimes. Fantastic singers and actors…working in education can make you feel proud sometimes.
- Any Bands that you can recommend to listen right now ?
HorseBastard are on my hotlist right now..ultra fast grindcore. Zorn is having a revival again right now and his last few releases have all been wonderful. And the first Mr Bungle album is on in the car, I’d forgotten just how fucking amazing that record is.
- Thanx for your answers, Paul. Any words to say at the end ?
Thank you my friend for the support, I hope we get to meet one day!
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