EMQ’s with Catalysis
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dundee, Scotland based Metal band Catalysis. Huge thanks to drummer Calum Rennie for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name’s Calum, and I play drums in the band Catalysis. We formed in late 2016 as a five-piece band and released our debut EP in December of 2017, following some line-up changes. These changes continued and in 2018 we became a four-piece band with Col, our bassist at the time, stepping up to vocal duties as well. Since then we’ve released another EP, we’ve done a small tour through Europe, recorded our debut album and gone back to being a five-piece band!
How did you come up with your band name?
I remember it being a pain because no one could make a decision on anything that was suggested, I think it took us a couple of months. Drew, one of the bands guitarists, decided that every member should pick one name they like, and then we would make a decision out of the five that were suggested. Catalysis was his suggestion, and it was the least rubbish one.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Dundee in Scotland, and the metal scene here is a strange one in that there’s not that many metal bands left in Dundee, so it means that you’re often playing with the same bands when you’re playing a local show. I think that kind of helps to develop better connections with the people in those bands. It’s quite often the same people that you see showing up to shows as well, which is nice because it shows that even though there’s not many metal gigs happening in Dundee, there are people who still want to go to them and show their support whenever there is.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We’re releasing our debut album, Connection Lost, on July 24th, so even though it’s not out yet it probably counts right? It’s the follow up to our two EPs, and I think it’s been great for the band having more songs to be able to show what we’re about, rather than being restricted to just a few songs on an EP.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I think the biggest influences on the band have been bands like Machine Head, Chimaira and Sylosis where you’ve got groove, you’ve got big slabs of aggression, but you’ve also got interesting songwriting with a lot more to offer than just being heavy, and that’s what we sort of strive for in our sound as well.
What first got you into music?
I’d always had a massive interest in music, because in my family home everyone loved music of a lot of different styles. My brother played guitar and liked heavy music, so I wanted to play guitar and be in a heavy band, but guitar wasn’t for me. The two albums that really got me interested in drums were “Shogun” by Trivium and “Octavarium” by Dream Theater. I remember hearing both of those albums back in 2008 when I was 12 and just going “Cool, I guess I like drums now”.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Well the band recently collaborated with Phil Demmel for a guest guitar solo on our album and he would’ve probably been my number one choice because myself and Drew had spoken before about how great that would be. If a tour with someone would count as collaborating, then I think if we could tour with Dyscarnate then that would be sick, cause I think they’re one of the only bands that everyone in Catalysis actually likes.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
It would probably be Hellfest, because it would be amazing to play such a huge festival, and it’s also really diverse in what bands play, so I think we’d be welcome there. It’s not just extreme metal, or just folk metal, that kind of thing, there’s something for everyone, no matter that kind of heavy music you’re into.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I can’t think of any weird gifts that we’ve ever gotten, weirdest experience I ever had from a fan though was someone wanting one of my drumsticks and wanting me to sign it. By no means is it weird in a bad way, it was just weird for me because of how surreal it was, I felt like a rock star haha!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Just a message of the massive amount of appreciation we have for anyone who has been to any of our shows, bought a CD or a t-shirt, streamed any of our music online, or has even just spoken to us at a gig and had a nice wee chinwag. We’re a pretty small band so the fact that people even care about what we do means so much to us, and we’re all very grateful for that.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
For me it would have to be David Gold from Woods of Ypres. They’re one of my all-time favourite bands, and I only got into them around the time of his passing, so I’d love to bring him back so that they could have continued making more music, and I could’ve seen them.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Playing shows will always be my favourite thing about being a musician, cause if you’re on stage and you see even just a few people really enjoying what you’re doing, it feels great and makes you want to put in a better performance. The thing I hate the most is how expensive music gear is, it’s a pain in the arse.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I think if I could change one thing, I’d want it to be a kinder industry, I suppose. I mean this band is by no means a way of making a living for any of us, but you hear all the horror stories from folk in bands where that is their sole source of income and it is their living, and how the industry ruined being in a band for some people, which I’ve always thought is a real shame.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Wishmaster” by Nightwish. I could pick any of their albums for this question, but that album will always be special to me because of songs like ‘Dead Boys Poem’, ‘Two For Tragedy’ and ‘Deep Silent Complete’.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I’d say CD’s because that’s what I collect the most of at the moment.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think I speak for the whole band in saying either supporting Sacred Reich in Glasgow last year, or our first show in Belgium on our European tour last summer, at MCP Apache in Charleroi. Sacred Reich was amazing because of supporting such a great band, and for me a personal highlight was getting to support Dave McClain, who is my drumming idol. The MCP Apache show though, is where we saw the best reception at any show we’ve ever played. Like I’ve just never felt such a good response from a crowd, and it was such an amazing introduction to shows in mainland Europe.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’ve always loved history, so if I hadn’t taken such a big interest in music then I probably would’ve tried to do something with history instead.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Stephen Fry, Tuomas Holopainen, Winona Ryder, Li Ziqi and Sean Reinert, were he still alive. An interesting bunch.
What’s next for the band?
Main thing for us is releasing this album and playing our launch show on July 24th, but after that we’ll probably go back to writing more new songs for whatever the next release may be and trying to get as many gigs as we can, given that at the moment playing gigs isn’t possible.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We mostly use Facebook for getting actual interactions with people, and as well as having physical copies of all of our music, we have it all on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, all of the big streaming services so that folk can listen any way they want to.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They’re a cake because it starts off soft but goes hard if it gets aerated.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I don’t think so, it’s been great doing this though so thank you to you guys for that!
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