INTERVIEW: CAT DADDY *onthebass
CAT DADDY *onthebass emerges as a multifaceted performer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Drawing influences from a spectrum spanning funk, rock, punk, and pop, CAT DADDY embodies an infectious blend of earth-shaking bass lines and an undeniable command over musical versatility.
The unveiling of his inaugural solo EP, "Catboy Summer," marks a pivotal moment for CAT DADDY's musical journey. Crafting each track as a labor of love, CAT DADDY serves as the creative force behind the EP, taking charge of writing, production, and playing most of the instruments. Collaborating with talented friends including Rose Lee, Yanina Johnson, Erik Scattareggia, and others, CAT DADDY weaves together a sonic tapestry that radiates savage grooves, infectious hooks, and a delightful tongue-in-cheek panache - a sonic concoction that will undoubtedly leave listeners purring with delight.
We sat down with him to learn more about his unique craft, the meaning and inspiration behind the EP, and much more, exclusively for FLEX. Enjoy!
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your stage name, CAT DADDY *onthebass? How did it come about, and what does it signify for your musical identity?
The nickname was given to me by a dear friend, who was the singer of a wedding band I performed in long ago. The name actually had nothing to do with cats, but was more about how I dress, how I play, etc. "Ok Cat Daddy I see you!" I didn't love it at first but if you couldn't tell, I have fully embraced my identity as the Feline Father! Once cat puns are on the table the songs basically write themselves ; )
Your music spans a wide range of genres, from Funk to Rock and Punk to Pop. How do these diverse influences come together in your EP, "Catboy Summer"? What can listeners expect from this blend of styles?
As I reflect on the 5 songs of the project, there is a bit of a range from song to song! "Meow!" is a rock song, but still has funk elements in the bass... I can't help myself. "Catgirls" is sort of a very specific homage to Minneapolis legends like The Time and Prince. Then "Claws" is really a pop song, but I couldn't help myself but put a gratuitous slap bass breakdown in the middle! I think it all feels very natural because all of these genres live within me in harmony. I hope listeners feel the same!
As a multi-instrumentalist, how do you approach crafting your songs and incorporating different instruments into your music?
Many of my songs start with beats, but sometimes it's about finding a home for a cool bass riff. Sometimes it's building a track around a melody I can't stop humming. It's nice to be able to put more onto the canvas and flesh out as much of the track as possible on your own, I have definitely saved a ton of time and money this way! However, sometimes I'm hearing something for the song that I just can't play myself. I used to really fixate on doing things alone, but collaboration with my talented friends has only made my songs more special.
You've been involved in the Philadelphia music scene and performed with various acts. What have you learned from these experiences, and how have they influenced your solo work?
As a bass player I enjoy being a vessel for someone else's work, but when you have your own artistic ambition it can be a bit of a challenge. You naturally see things you like and things you might change, which is ok! You can take the parts you like for your own thing - which is kind of what much of being a creative person is all about!
Could you share some memorable moments from your live performances or experiences while sharing the stage with artists like !!!, G. Love & Special Sauce, and more?
I've definitely opened for some interesting artists, and you don't always get to talk to them or spend much time around them. G. Love is extremely gracious and funny. I play in a group that recently opened for Foxy Shazam in Philadelphia, and they are a class act, onstage and off. Really kind, cool dudes.
You describe "Catboy Summer" as a state of mind—a place of upliftment, friendship, and summertime vibes. What emotions or messages do you hope to convey to your listeners through this EP?
The message behind all of my songs is fun, humour, and kindness. I think humanity would be better if we were more like cats! Honest, loyal, and no problem putting up boundaries : ) We are living in uncertain times and it makes me happy to put something into the world that is positive and fun. To me the greatest compliment is knowing that people can listen to your music or watch you perform and forget about their worries for a short time.
Your music is known for its electric stage presence. How do you bring that energy from the stage into your recorded tracks, and what's the secret to making music that's equally captivating on record and live?
That's an interesting question! I think it's really important to perform when you record your vocals. It's like when you can tell from someone's voice on the phone that they're smiling! For me, recording and producing is a ton of fun but it's mainly a step on the path to the stage. I think of every song as a part of a show, and I hope people can feel it!
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals as an artist? What can your audience expect from CAT DADDY *onthebass in the future?
More music, more cat puns, more love and more GROOVES! All sooner rather than later, if Bast wills it...
Stream 'Catboy Summer' in full here: