Rising Nottingham Pop Punks Catch Fire Look to Set Ablaze with Debut EP.
In an ever over-populated scene, Nottinghamshire’s Catch Fire have all the makings of becoming one of pop punk’s brightest prospects. Like many other bands, its members have gone through the grind of forming bands and then not getting anywhere. Some may recall four-fifths of band from their time in Layby, yet with the addition of vocalist Miles Kent 12 months ago, the quintet set to hit the reset button as drummer Ash Wain explains:
“We consider this a whole new band. When Aaron (Bowes – ex-vocalist) left the band, we wanted a change of sound. Something that was current, and authentic. Miles helped us acquire a fresher sound, and now we’re definitely making the music we want to make, and we’re heading in the direction we want to go.”
“We didn’t want to just write 4 songs that came nautically. We pushed ourselves.”
Although on paper the transition might seem non-existent; both Layby and Catch Fire fall under the pop punk umbrella. However with their debut EP, ‘The Distance I Am From You’, Layby’s chugging pop punk has been replaced by a more refined, cohesive pop punk sound that shines over the course of its four tracks. Written and recorded over a six month period, ‘The Distance…’ marks a new start for its members and sees them heading in the right direction. Lead off single ‘Bad Behaviour’ highlights the bands musical honesty that is raw and punchy and allows Kent to make his mark in the vocal department. EP stand out ‘Anaesthetic’ is delivered with crushing energy before closing number ‘Introspective Pt II’ pulls things back in a calm, acoustic manner.
When we spoke to the band, “authentic” was the word that kept cropping up. In the music world, no matter the genre, you can often tell the different between a band who care about the music they write and the ones who just want to jump on a bandwagon. Catch Fire are the former. There is a sense of enthusiasm and eagerness from all five members to better themselves in all areas; songwriting, as musicians and as a unit. Once vocalist Miles was settled in, the band carefully crafted the songs that would eventually make ‘The Distance I Am From You’, Ash Wain explains:
“The reason we worked so long on it, was because we really wanted to it be the absolute best it could be. We didn’t want to just write 4 songs that came nautically. We spent time making sure these songs were interesting and showcased our songwriting, and most of all, were authentic. We pushed ourselves and changed bits back and forth, and incorporated tempo changes, experimented with tunings and keys, rhythms and all sorts.”
For ‘TDIAFY’, the band headed to Wales last summer to record with Seb Barlow. With a proven track record having worked with Neck Deep, WSTR, amd Blood Youth, Catch Fire knew Seb was the ideal producer for the EP. “We heard the projects that he’s worked over the past few years and were blown away. The guy is a wizard!” states Miles, “while recording with him we realised how talented the guy is, especially in our genre, he had endless suggestions for vocal harmonies, guitar ideas etc.” It’s clear that Catch Fire are simply a better band then there previous project, and it’s the input of Seb Barlow that has assisted the quintet with this.
Like any young band, the aim of having a label release your music is a goal and for Catch Fire it was no different. They spent the Autumn talking to various labels throughout the UK and beyond. One of those labels was Rude Records. The Italian-based label has a history of working with punk and rock bands (Knuckle Puck, Less Than Jake, Zebreahead, Set It Off), serving as gatekeeper for bands on the up, helping them develop along the way. “We channelled our attention towards them because they seem to liaise more with the smaller artists, and develop them as bands as opposed to milking them for profit.” says Wain when questioned why Catch Fire opted for Rude. Although it is still early days in their partnership, results are already being shown with the video for ‘Bad Behaviour’ being well-received in terms of feedback and YouTube views. Whilst some might dismiss views, others will support the fact that it shows there is a growing interest in the band. Drummer Ash comments:
“We certainly didn’t expect such an overwhelming amount of views on the ‘Bad Behaviour’ video in such a short time. People seem really into it, and it’s always nice to see the hard work pay off.
Although things are looking bright for the five-piece, they know they are just one band of their ilk looking to succeed right now. There is no doubt that Catch Fire are part of a crop of UK pop punk bands on the rise. "We love what is happening in the scene right now, bands are coming through left, right and centre with original material that we are loving!” declares Miles before adding; “We hope we are part of this movement as we feel we have something to give to people that they haven’t heard or seen before.”
When asked what makes them stand out from a crowded scene, Ash intercepts with “I don’t know, it’s hard for us cause we don’t really know who we sound like. We take influences from all over the place. We’re all into so many different styles of music from rap, to metal, to dance, and obviously punk.” Their admission and honesty is a trait that comes through on ‘The Distance…’. Opening track ‘Introspective Pt I’ is an emotional release through its tale of feeling insignificant and being true to yourself.
Going forward Catch Fire have to prove themselves in a live setting. With little touring experience under their belt, especially as unit, the coming months will be a testing time for the quintet. However they realise how vital touring is for a band in their situation. “I think it’s always natural to be a little nervous when something is so important to you. This is going to be our career for the rest of our lives as far as we can foresee, so it would be wrong not to be a little nervous” explains Miles.
Nevertheless a short run with Birmingham’s Coast To Coast followed by shows with Tuskens and Best Years will serve as a good starting point. That aforementioned eagerness reappears when we asked Miles about the forthcoming shows:
“We are ridiculously excited to getting our tour game on. We can’t wait to play some sick shows with some ace bands and we think people will enjoy what we have to offer! We want nothing more than to play shows every night of our lives.”
With a flourishing “Stay Posi!” attitude, an EP carrying plenty of potential, more shows and new material constantly being written; “There’s always something cooking in the Catch Fire kitchen” states Ash, Catch Fire have all the makings of striking it hot in the coming months.
‘The Distance I Am From You’ EP by Catch Fire is released on February 5th on Rude Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)