We caught up with Catholic Action before the final date of their Autumn tour at The Mash House in Edinburgh. Read below as we talk Chris’s tour tips, 24hr Bakery’s and getting the Christmas shopping done early.
Chris’s Tour Tips!
A really important thing about tour is to keep your fridge well stocked. There’s nothing like the rock ‘n’ roll stiff on stage and you come off and wanna kick back with the boys and have the brew and if that brew’s not cold then heads are gonna roll.
Another tip is that you have to keep reading books because your brain just turns to mush. Just think about it, you’re lubricating it with this every night, so I mean you start to get really stupid. That’s what’s happened today. Right sorry about that…
How did you guy’s form and where does the name come from?
Chris: We played in various bands in the past, uhm that we sort of loosely interconnected and we began working on a big pile of songs in the studio before we ever played live and it became really guitar heavy, like it wasn’t really guitar heavy before. So we got another guitarist, best guitarist we know is Andrew Macpherson so we asked him.
Ryan: Best guitarist in Scotland
Chris: Ugh yeah so the Powerpuff Girls were born, using their special powers. Yeah so that’s how Catholic Action came about, the name comes from… I was brought up Catholic, although I don’t consider it to be a particularly religious name, it’s just more to do with the things that happen due to a religious upbringing. With the Catholic upbringing in particular, there are a lot of funny situations because of Catholic guilt. Which is definitely a thing that exists, you often find with looking back on stuff that I’ve done or haven’t don, chances that I’ve taken or not taken because of Catholic guilt, it throws up a lot of funny situations. So I would say that the definition of Catholic Action is something you do or don’t do based on your Catholic guilt. I mean I genuinely spent a lot of time worrying about insignificant things, ugh would I go to hell for this which is kinda cruel but generally I think that I’m quite an anxious person anyway so I tend to worry about nothing, so couple that with a firing brimstone upbringing, it’s kinda horrific at the time but really hilarious afterwards so you get a lot of good song ideas from that.
So this is the last date of your Autumn Tour, how has it been for you guy’s, have there been any interesting standout experiences?
Chris: Do you know what the tour as a whole has been really really good
Ryan: We’ve been places that we’ve never been before. London was sold out, that’s cool!
Chris: We didn’t even really think about it at the time, we all just went and played and then we were like jesus that was sold out. That’s London and it’s sold out, ugh which is pretty cool, we have played in Leeds before, played Manchester again, that was great.
Andrew: Manchester was really great it was like an all day festival type thing, one venue, two stages. That was one of the days where we were actually able to check out a lot of new bands and stuff like that.
Chris: Yeah we met a lot of nice bands, Peaness their called. P E A N E S S and they are from Chester I think and they are great
Andrew: Yeah they’re really good, they actually sing like proper power pop harmonies and stuff so we’re like in love with them
Chris: Ugh I don’t know, what was a standout moment
Jamie: The after-party in The Priory was pretty mental, it was just a DJ set but there were actually people crowd surfing during the DJ set
Ryan: I was quite into last night, we went to a 24hr bakery last night in Dundee
Chris: It was worth it
Ryan: Do you know what it really was
Jamie: Chris you complained the whole way but it was worth it
Chris: When we got there it was worth it
Ryan: I can’t even remember what you got, what did you get?
Chris: I got chips and cheese and beans
Ryan: That’s mental
Chris: You got a burger called the helicopter
Jamie: Ryan was very drunk last night and doesn’t remember a lot. I’ll show him some photos and he just has no recollection of them being taken
Chris: You’re such like a pleasant drunk though, you’re not like aggressive or unhappy. You’re just like a puppy it’s brilliant
Jamie: We had accumulated a lot of lager and buckfast over the tour and we kind of drank it all last night, so hence our tender state and Ryan’s lacking in memory
Ryan: Feeling fresh! Big up Dundee Bakery
Chris: Dundee was really good actually, it’s the first time we played there, I’ve been in loads of bands and never been there.
Ryan: It kinda makes you think that maybe there is a reason that people don’t go but last night disproved any sort of thoughts we had
Chris: Well genuinely that was one of my most favourite gigs from the tour
You’ve had an insanely busy year so far with the likes of Bella, Big Weekend, Xpo, Great Escape and supporting Teenage Fan Club. What’s been a highlight or the best moment if you can pick one?
Chris: Well I mean last night we went to a 24hr bakery! I think that finishing the album was a highlight. We have had a really busy year now that you say that cause L.U.V was this year. It’s kinda like to have those records out, to hold them, to have and to hold until death, I don’t really know where I was going with that one. Yeah! To actually have like the psychical records out there and to have like a nice home with Luv Luv Luv and then L.U.V which was a total coincidence which is great. Uhm y’know just to have a nice relationship with a label that understands the band and to just be able to do what we’re doing. To be able to make records and be like here’s a record and tour about and play nice places and meet new people. Yeah Teenage Fan Club was amazing but like to sum up everything we have done so far, it has been a great year but I wouldn’t say there is one thing in particular, I thin we’ve really came into our own as a band this year. I can tell you who Catholic Action is now, I couldn’t last year.Yeah we finished the album as well this year. So that’s cool, it’s kinda a highlight but people don’t really know about that yet.
What are your plans for the next six months?
Chris: Well the 24hr bakery! Do you know what the bakery is called?
Ryan: No I can’t remember
In Unison: Clark’s
Chris: Clark like your name
Ryan: I’m Ryan Clark
Chris: We’ve got a picture of you like outside it
Jamie: How fucking drunk were you? There was like this really weird club night on after it as well. Like this 50 year old guy playing tunes and the second song he played to an empty room was fuck the pain away by peaches and basically it was just his girlfriend and her parents sat listening to this song.
Ryan: That was a really good nigh. Chris actually unplugged the DJ set last night
Chris: Oh Yeah! It was really weird, there was like a crowd there for the gig and the turnout was brilliant and like just after we left the stage all the staff were like aw yeah it’s a different night now so you have to pay a fiver if you want to stay in the club so obviously everyone just piled out the club and then this middle aged guy just started playing really creepy records
Andrew: It wasn’t records, it was CD’s he was spinnin
Chris: CD’s which was lame enough anyway right and so obviously they were on the stage with their DJ stuff and uhm we had to unplug all of our amps and stuff so we were taking really special care to not unplug their stuff. Uhm but when I pulled out my plug it like fused the thing anyway, so just as it was getting to the drop of the song, it just totally like , the whole DJ set cut out. It was quite funny and embarrassing, it was like have you seen the film Napoleon Dynamite, it was if Napoleon Dynamite was doing a DJ set, it was hilarious.
Jamie: I really hope they don’t read this
Ryan: Do you know what he actually did pull out some bangers later on. I had a bloody dance
Jamie: I’m surprised you remember. Also so yeah what’s the plan for the next six months.
Chris: Well Christmas is coming up, get the shopping done early
Ryan: We’re hoping to go record in November
Jamie: Hopefully album early next year
Chris: Yeah early next year you will get some new music, the rest of this year is going to be spent finishing writing the second album. We’ve started it just now, we’ve got a rehearsal room in Paisley. We’ve just taken this weird old gym
Andrew: Yeah it used to be a kickboxing gym or weird underground fight club and a fire station
Chris: Yeah so we’re literally writing our second album in a room with padded walls, it’s cool, they’re really colourful, it’s not like padded cell. It’s maybe how a mad person would see the padded cell but uhm yeah s we’re just gonna finish writing the second album. It’s really cool, we’re writing it slightly differently from the first one. It’s, I thin using different approaches to writing keeps you creative and I think again as a band we’re a lot more confident in who we actually are. I think it takes a while for bands to kinda discover themselves. I think doing everything that we have been doing over the past year, it’s kinda become more defined, so now we sort of feel a lot stronger as we are and Christmas and Halloween and 24h Bakery
Ryan: Who got boo’d the last time we did this?
Jamie: It was me. It was name one thing you couldn’t live without and I said music
Ryan: Ah Boo Again! He expected everyone to cry at that moment
Andrew: It’s just so beautiful
Jamie: I hate all of you
What’s the first gig you ever went to?
Chris: *Sighs* Sum 41
That’s not that bad!
Andrew: That was the first gig I went to. Where was it?
Chris: It was the SECC, I saw them at Braehead Arena as well though
Andrew: Aw I went to Braehead Arena
Chris: I went with my dad
Andrew: And I went with my dad. I like the idea of both of our dads going
Ryan: It was The Horrors and The View
Jamie: Mine was U2 at Hampden
If you could have written any song ever which one would it be?
Chris: Thirteen by Big Star
Ryan: American Pie by Don Mclean
Ryan: Fucking love it!
Andrew: Mine would be Rock Your Baby by George McCrae, It’s a disco classic
Jamie: All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem
Jamie: I was gonna say Creep by Radiohead
Andrew: American Pie, Don Mclean *Queue More Laughter*
Your Musical Guilty Pleasure?
Chris: I like a lot of prog rock , like a lot of prog rock. Let’s say, Yes
Ryan: A lot of people would consider it guilty but Abba are one of my favourite bands
That’s not guilty!
Jamie: I thought you were going to say Blossoms
Ryan: Yeah I like Blossoms but I’d have to say Abba because they can be cheesy but it’s like amazing.
Andrew: I’m not really ashamed of it but I’m like a really big funk and disco fan. That’s more for my spare time rather than music that I make.
Jamie: Uhm I kinda really like Brand New but yeah uhm no one else does. I’ve seen Brand New like six or seven times
The worst gift you’ve ever given or received?
Jamie: Uhm we had secret Santa at my work this year and everyone got each other like bottles of booze, other than me who received a Yo-yo. I’m 24 and I received a Yo-yo/
Andrew: Uhm I don’t know this is the only thing that sprung to mind but for my birthday my girlfriend, we one of the things she got me was a piece of fossilised Dinosaur poo. which was uhm pretty good but it’s also pretty shit I guess
Chris: My mum bought me a packet of extra safe condoms once
Andrew: Really!? Was it like your birthday or Christmas?
Chris: Nah she like knew I was going out with someone. I was 18 and it was like six months into the relationship and I just opened my drawer and I was like mum for gods sake
Andrew: I think that’s really good, it’s really nice
Chris: Why would you put that there?
Jamie: That’s incredible!
Chris: I was like that’s really thoughtful mum but I’m 18 and I can take care of that myself. But I didn’t because I’ve got two sons now!
Ryan: Socks are always a bad gift but my friend Andrew and his lovely girlfriend got me the most amazing socks ever so it’s a really good bad present. They are four leaf clover socks and I wear them when I’m needing some luck.
Well Thanks for that guy’s!