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Image for Catfish And The Bottlemen On Writing ‘The Balance’ And Performing With The KillersPhoto: Jill Furmanovsky / Supplied

Catfish And The Bottlemen On Writing ‘The Balance’ And Performing With The Killers

Written by Laura English on July 11, 2019

Catfish and the Bottlemen are one of Australia’s most cherished international acts and have become Aussie festival regulars. At the beginning of this year they released ‘Longshot’. It was their first release in three years and the first single off of The Balance. The Balance was released in April and was absolutely frothed by Aussie fans. Now, they’re returning to Australia for both Spin Off Festival and Splendour in the Grass, along with a string of sideshows.

We caught up with frontman Vann McCann and guitarist, Johnny Bond ahead of their Australian tour run to chat about creating the new album and working with Jacknife Lee.

Having already taken the brand new release around the US, McCann says the reception to the album has already been great. “Fom the get go really, playing all the new ones has been going down really well and over here in the US, you can see people maybe know us better for that third album we just put out, more than the first two, so yeah it’s been a great release.”

“[‘Fluctuate’], that’s one that — we’re in America at the moment, but that one is possibly one of the best receptions,” adds Bond. “That’s a crowd pleaser out here. It’s interesting to see which ones go down well in different places in the world. That one ‘Fluctuate’, seems like a big one here.

The Balance was recorded in two secluded studios over 12 months with Irish producer Jacknife Lee (The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club).

“Just us, Jacknife, and a big ranch,” explains McCann. “[It was] really good. Nice to live in a big isolated studio together. Helps you crack on with music every day. We’d pretty much plough through the album really quick and stay in the spirit of it all. Never take your mind off of what we’re there to do.”

McCann says the hunger from the fans for their third album made the writing process better.”The more people who are listening or the more words or music that’s getting passed around by fans and stuff like that, I guess the more confident you grow, when you’re writing or as a band playing live, or any side of it really.

“You just feel that there’s more like hunger from the fans for the music. So, it’s nice to supply that and add new stuff to the set and you’re not waiting for fans to learn a new song or something. When we’ve only got a few singles out off of the album, we’re still excited to see how the next single goes and all of that.”

All of the Catfish and The Bottlemen albums follow a theme. The Balcony, The Ride, The Balance. Each song is a one word name and the album art all flows together. McCann says he likes keeping things like that in a theme, referring to magazines you’d collect as a kid that all fit together.

“I always liked the idea of, you know when you get a full collection of albums, it’d be like the Rocky box set or something.”

Catfish and The Bottlemen are massive fans of The Killers, a fandom journey that was taken to another level when last year The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers took McCann onstage for ‘Read My Mind’ at Benicàssim Festival in Spain. “That was the 360 of it all I guess,” says McCann.

“I’ve got a big love for the Killers, like all of the albums they’ve done. So it was great working with Jacknife.”

“We covered them out in Australia, The Killers. We’ve had it a few times where you know, we’ve actually covered bands and we’ve had them say they’ve enjoyed that, or gave us a pat on the back or whatever you want to call it,” he said.

Catfish and The Bottlemen will be on Australian shores next week to kick off their Australian run of dates. Bondy says he’s looking forward to the experience.

“It feels like a holiday down there. It’s not like touring anywhere else, really. I enjoy the whole thing”.

Catfish And The Bottlemen 2019 Australian Tour Dates

Tickets on sale now

Friday, 19th July
Spin Off Festival, Adelaide
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 20th July
Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay
Tickets: Official Website

Monday, 22nd July
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Official Website

Tuesday, 23rd July
Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Official Website

Thursday, 25th July
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Official Website

Sunday, 28th July
HBF Stadium, Perth
Tickets: Official Website

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