Interview: Cat Valley

Cat Valley are a really interesting band who recently released a new EP titled Feral, which I loved. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to interview them and I think it turned out to be a very interesting read! Read on below and make sure you check Feral out when you can!

You recently released a new EP titled Feral. What can you tell us about the EP and where can it be purchased?

Feral is our second EP and we are so very proud and excited to have it be finally out… We were originally going to release it before the pandemic, so it’s been something of a long labour of love that we are happy to finally have new music to share with fans.

Feral is our most ambitious release to date, and we feel it’s really true to our sound and shows the band’s progress with both tone shaping and guitar chops in general. We’ve been a band for around 5 years now, and so we’re just a lot tighter and know how to prepare more too. We really spent a lot of time creating the vibe for drums and bass, and doing extra overdubs and shaping vocal harmonies. I think we were all kind of blown away by how good a living room can sound if you record it right! A lot of the credit also goes to our friend who recorded, mixed, and mastered our EP, Erik Takuichi Wallace at Shibusa Sound, who did an awesome job getting us to give our best performances and really capturing our sound.

The EP will be available for purchase on band camp, iTunes, Amazon, and pretty much any streaming service you can think of!

Do you have any plans to release a full-length album anytime soon?

Yes! We are thinking our next album will be a full-length with some singles to promote as well. We are well on our way song-writing and hope to do this within the next year or so!

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

Abby Hegge and I (Whitney Flinn) are the main songwriters in the group, so generally we will come up with the chord structure, fiddle around with it, write the melodies and vocal melodies and lyrics and then bring it to the full band with our drummer Melanie Sehman and Kristen Stanovich. I think in the future we are hoping for more spontaneous and collaborating with Melanie and Kristen, so we might try some different techniques in the future.

Recording is all about preparation. So we practice as much as possible so the songs are ready, go in and do demos, and then start tracking. I’d say the best thing is to get demos done as soon as possible, because a lot of the music in recording is composing the songs , and then the other half is getting the best possible performances possible. I love recording so much; it’s probably my favorite part of playing, because you get to capture this moment in time that will never be repeated. It’s very magical and I love the chance to just focus on the music 100%.

Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?

Yes! I think we will probably release a couple singles next year, once we book recording time.

You’re originally from Washington State in the USA. What is the music scene like there at the moment and are there any local band/artists you can recommend?

Yeah, we’re in a smaller size collage town north of Seattle, WA. Our music scene isn’t as big as Seattle but we do have a couple local venues, and we go down to play Seattle quite a bit. I’d say the music scene here is still having trouble from pandemic related issues; it’s hard for venues to stay open, but bands are still trying to play and tour. Some of our favorite bands right now locally: Beverly Crusher, Linda from Work, Kitty Junk, Itchy Kitty, Black Ends and Thunderpussy.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

We are definitely influenced by other musicians, people we play with and meet and also those we just listen to on the radio. When Abby and I (the main songwriters) met we listened to a lot of Girlpool, Sleater-Kinney, but also Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, I’m a huge fan of the Doobie Brothers, and we all love Built to Spill and Pavement… We like a lot of different types of music. I don’t really have any genres I don’t listen to, except metal and even doom metal I like. I’ve (Whitney, guitarist/vocalist) been listening to a lot of Gillian Welsh and Big Thief, also Hikes and Japanese Breakfast lately.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Yes, it definitely made practice difficult, although now we are back to practicing almost every week, if not more. It made getting together and keeping on track for projects harder. We had a lot of momentum going before and once the pandemic started it felt kinda like things fell apart. So we really had to work hard getting back into the swing of things.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Not at the moment, but we do have a pretty big announcement coming up – we will be performing at Treefort Music Fest (Boise ID, USA) and will try and plan some dates around that for March 2022.

What can people expect from one of your gigs and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

We like to have fun on stage, I think you can tell the chemistry between the band, we are always joking with each other trying to make each other laugh. I think live is just more fun, making up solos, and I love connecting with the audience afterwards and seeing what they have to say. The best part is when other women come up to us and say they love our music or just seem really excited to see other women up on stage playing music.

Any last words for the fans?

Our dream is to tour Europe, so I hope someday we can say we will be coming to the UK and playing!