After listening to Toronto band catl’s newest album Soon This Will All be Gone, I expected the frontman to be some wild man who would talk so fast I’d have a hard time keeping up. So I entered our phone interview with a bit of trepidation.
What I was met with surprised me.
Jamie is just a really laid-back guy, happy to answer questions about his band, and quick to chuckle during a conversation.
But that chill attitude is likely to change once he gets on stage at Phog Lounge on Friday night.
“It’s kind of a party atmosphere,” he says, “that’s kind of our thing. You know, the music is simple enough that people wanna dance to it, and that’s what we want.”
Jamie is one of three members that comprise catl. His job is mainly vocals and guitar, and he is backed up by Andrew Moszynski on drums and Sarah K handling vocals and any other thing the band decides to toss in.
Catl’s unique sound is largely defined by Jamie’s style of guitar playing, the product of an unfortunate accident.
“I actually picked up that finger-pickin’-country-blues-hill style back years back,” he says, “I hurt my hand really badly in an accident and I kinda had to change the way I had to play. It actually freed up the one damaged hand and made me play more with my right picking hand, so it’s kind of a forced entry into that situation.”
Jamie also credits his love of music from the 1920s and 30s for much of catl’s sound.
As much as a country band from Toronto might seem a bit odd, the frontman believes that where he calls home doesn’t matter, as long as he’s honest with his writing.
“I think everybody can relate to it. The morals, good and bad, or good and evil, it’s a light and dark kind of thing,” Jamie explains, “You can tell where we’re from, if you look a little further into the lyrics. Like, I do have those urban references in there for sure.”
The band’s most recent album was released in April, and half of it was actually recorded right across the river at Jim Diamond’s studio in Detroit.
“It’s great going down there, and he just has a sound, and we go in there and do our thing, and he does his thing, and that’s the way it comes out,” Jamie says of Diamond’s recording technique, “You know, his studio kind of sounds like it sounds, you know, we don’t have much input into that, we just write the songs and play the instruments, and I kind of like that relationship, and he knows exactly what he’s doing.”
For this weekend’s show, catl will be joined by Detroit music veteran Danny Kroha of The Gories, who will be opening the show with his traditional blues style. Kroha contributed some harmonica to catl’s latest record, and the band is hoping he’ll join them for a bit on stage, as well.
For catl’s first visit to Windsor in two years, the band is really hoping to see a good turnout, and promise to deliver a drunkenly good time to all who attend.
Catl and Danny Kroha will be playing Phog Lounge on Friday, November 9, 2012. Doors are at 10 pm, 19+ are welcome, and admission is $5 at the door.