Catholic Action: “Our new material is much weirder and much poppier”

Catch up with Catholic Action ahead of their set at Etc. later.

It’s time! Dork’s brand new music festival Etc. is kicking off today. Held in ‘fashionable’ East London’s Old Blue Last each Thursday night across July, we’ve booked some of our favourite new acts to play free shows, showcasing some of the very best new talent around. First up, we’ve Catholic Action, who are currently hard at work on the follow-up to last year’s debut, ‘In Memory Of’.

Hey Chris, how’s it going? Enjoying summer?
It’s going well thank you. Yes, I am, it’s beautiful. I’m tanned for the first time in years.

What have you been up to lately, then?
I’ve been holed up in our studio, producing what will be our second album. And producing records with some very good bands from Glasgow. (Hello, Walt Disco.)

How’s your new material coming along, having some productive sessions?
Very, very well thank you. It’s much weirder and much poppier. Music that goes straight to yr arteries/thigh-gap/jugular. We’re having a lot of fun. It just feels much better now. Healthy, believe it or not.

It feels like your debut only came out like, 5 minutes ago. Are you pleased with how it all went? 
I’m pleased that it still only feels like five minutes ago. I like moving quickly. It’s more fun. And it keeps things intuitive. I haven’t really thought about it too much since it came out. Apart from when I have vivid dreams about forgetting the lyrics (which I still do regularly) and fighting with my bandmates in slow motion on stage.

Did its reception help form what you wanted to do next, or did you already have a pretty clear idea?
Not at all. I think focussing too much on what others think just dilutes your ideas. It’s the key to a downward spiral. You should ‘rabbit hole’ yourself without apology when making an album. Create first and edit later. (I’m writing this mostly as a reminder for myself.)
To answer yr question, I knew what I wanted to do next before we’d finished the last album. The process of making ‘In Memory Of’ shaped everything that came after. Things have really come full circle.

What’s been your favourite album of 2018 so far?
Crack Cloud’s self-titled “album”. It’s their first two EPs stuck together and released on one LP. It ticks every single one of my boxes at the moment. Firstly, it’s fairly intense, experimental guitar and drum based music. But, for every time it freaks you out, it’ll reel you back in with colourful melodies, real hooks and inventive groove – I think that balance is where its genius lies.
Most importantly though. IT IS guitar music that IS NOT CONSERVATIVE. I’m so bored of guitar music that operates within such tiny, black and white parameters. No wonder nobody cares about it any more. Crack Cloud might be leading the way.
FFO: Here Come The Warm Jets era Eno, Sonic Youth, The Contortions etc. etc. etc.

Will you be trying out any of your new material live over the summer? 
YES. YES. YES. Maybe I won’t read the lyrics from a book this time though.

We’re super looking forward to having you play a Dork gig with us, what’s the best thing about a Catholic Action live show?
All the notes. How many single notes is that over the 40-minutes combined? A lot, I’m sure. More than Steely Dan. That’s good value for money.

What else do you have coming up?
We’ll see you on the festival circuit a few times this summer. Other than that, you’ll need to come a see us in our studio. Because I’m going to be there until our second album is finished. Please write to us, but make it count.

Anything else we should know at the mo?
Yes, absolutely.

Catholic Action play Etc. at the Old Blue Last, London tonight (5th July) alongside Thyla, Team Picture and a DJ set from The Magic Gang. You can check out the full line-up poster below, and grab free tickets via Dice here.

Catholic Action: “Our new material is much weirder and much poppier”

Words: Sam Taylor

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