Several years after their debut single was released the Cathode Ray finally released their debut self titled LP a few weeks back.
As previously noted on MPT, it’s an excellent record and I was delighted when singer/guitarist Jeremy Thoms agreed to do an interview for the blog.
MPT – Who are the Cathode Ray?
JT – Jeremy Thoms: Lead vocals; guitars; keyboards
Steve Fraser: Lead guitar; backing vocals
Neil Baldwin: Bass
David Mack: Drums & percussion
MPT – What bands have you all been in before?
JT – Jeremy: The Presidents Men; Revillos; New Leaf; Skyline; The Fabulous Artisans
Steve: pre-Waterboys Mike Scott; The Scars
Neil: TV21; The Bluebells; New Leaf
David: The Twinsets; Skyline
MPT – Sell the band to someone who’s not heard you before – in 20 words or less.
Post-punk with disco, surf, garage, soundtrack, glam-rock, psychedelic and northern soul flavours.
MPT – How did the band start out?
Not as a band at all. It was more of a song-writing project between myself and Paul Haig in 2005/06. A band line-up came about when we decided we wanted to record the songs with a classic live feel.
MPT – What happened when Paul Haig left the band?
Paul never really wanted to be a band again after Josef K (and certainly not doing gigs), so it was a mutually amicable agreement that Neil, Dave and myself would continue it ourselves. Once we found Steve Fraser, who fitted in so perfectly, we had our new line-up.
MPT – How much of the LP was written with Paul?
8 of the 11 songs are co-writes with Paul. “Dispersal”, “Creature Of Habit” and “She Hates To Lose” were written solely by myself.
MPT – The original premise for the band was to mix late 70s New York with late 70s Manchester – how successful was that premise and how much does the LP live up to it?
JT – It was a very loose concept, mainly born out by the fact that we all like a lot of music those cities produced at that period. Not just the new wave/post-punk stuff, but the disco scene in New York too. Without sticking too rigidly to it, I do feel you can hear that cross pollination in the music.
MPT – What are the plans for continuing to promote the LP?
JT – As much as possible, really. More press. More gigs around the country. The next is in Glasgow at The Bay on June 15th as part of a Pennyblackmusic bands night. We’re also playing the Wickerman Festival in July plus Manchester and London dates are pending. Otherwise, hopefully we’ll pick up some more radio play when “Dispersal” is released as a single in June and we’re looking into doing some radio sessions too.
MPT – What’s the likelihood of a second Cathode Ray LP at some point?
JT – Most definitely. The positive response to the first album has been very encouraging, so we’re working on new material already. Four new songs are ready to be added to the live set, so we’ll probably think about starting recording late summer/early autumn.
MPT – What’s been your favourite and biggest gigs played to date?
JT – Most of the gigs so far have been pretty small! I suppose supporting Penetration at Stereo in Glasgow in has been the biggest. The album launch at The Citrus in Edinburgh has probably been my personal favourite to date.
MPT – Any celebrity fans?
JT – Kris Needs gave us a great write up in The Happening. Vic Godard always says nice positive things. Does Janice Forsyth count as a celebrity? She’s a fan.
MPT – What’s the one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? And what’s the answer?
JT – This is the most tricky one. Here goes…
Q: Your back catalogue is very eclectic. Any reason for this?
A: I get bored easily and like to experiment with many musical genres. I cite Bowie, Costello and more recently, Damon Albarn, as examples of how this is a good thing. Not all of it is necessarily successful, but it makes things a lot more interesting. Even in The Cathode Ray, you can expect some musical surprises to be thrown up in the future.
Thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to answer these questions.
The Cathode Ray will be performing at the Bay in Glasgow on Friday 15th June and follow that up with an appearance at the Wickerman Festival on Friday 20th July.
‘Dispersal’ comes out as a download single tomorrow (11th June) whilst the self titled debut LP is available in all good Scottish record shops and online here.
The video for ‘Train’ from the LP: