Mary-Anne, from the art-rock band Cat Ryan, took some time to answer a couple of questions for us. Learn more about the band’s latest single, “Mannerism”, as well as their upcoming plans for the following months!
Hello Cat Ryan, thanks for your time. Would it be possible to introduce your band to our readers, as well as your roles in it?
Thank you for the interview – we’re a trio based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
I’m Mary-Anne, I sing, play guitar, synth and banjo in Cat Ryan. Simon plays drums and Lucas plays lead guitar.
How would you describe your overall sound?
We’ve been described as “Art-Rock / Modern-Shoegaze”, and we’ve been featured in playlists alongside “Avant-Pop” artists too. Broadly speaking, we’re Alternative. In terms of influences, we’re inspired by Vampire Weekend, Wolf Alice and Blossoms, so I guess we draw ideas from them.
And how’s the art-rock scene in Newcastle?
There is a lot of Indie-Rock, but that seems to be fading a bit; that might just be because it was so dominant during the last decade. For Art-Rock, and Post-Punk, there are some really good artists from Newcastle making waves; Fever Days and Swine Tax both have an art-rock/alternative sound.
You released a few days ago a new single, titled “Mannerism”. What’s the story behind this song?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, “Mannerism” is a self-reflexive song that is inspired by experiences of trying to read people to the extent that it controls your everyday thoughts. It was written whilst I was living in university halls at Newcastle, but the day I came up with the song intro was when I was supposed to be catching the train to Leeds to see some friends. I got a bit too caught up in the creative excitement and nearly missed my train. A few days later, I came back to the song and added the finishing touches accidentally – I was playing random melodies on my banjo and knocked the delay knob, which fitted the song and made it complete.
How’s your usual writing process for your songs?
The melody usually comes first, and I’ll then build lyrics around the song’s structure. It tends to be quite natural – I don’t overthink about deliberately adding a middle-eight into a song; if it’s right for the song, and it works, then it’ll develop naturally. I’ll then take what I have to the band and we’ll add to it until it’s ready for recording or for playing live.
The last words are for you. If you have any other projects in the making, here’s your chance to talk about it!
We’re re-mixing and mastering some existing material to release soon whilst also writing new songs to take into the studio – so a lot will be recorded and released this year. We’re also hoping to be playing gigs and festival further afield – our social media is going to have to be updated a lot.