Here at Backseat Mafia we had the pleasure of meeting singer Johanne Eder of indie band Catastrophe and Cure, to find out about the band’s recent album, their take on the music industry and how the pandemic has affected the band.
First off, I hope all of you are doing ok? How has the pandemic affected you guys? Any messages for your fans?
Hang in there! It is tough, but there’s no other way at the moment. Concerts have to be postponed and the moments that we have been working for, such as the release of our new album, cannot be celebrated properly. The pandemic hit us differently within the band, but all in all, we’re doing okay.
How are you guys feeling about your new album compared with your previous work? Are there any surprises to look forward to?
We started out as a rather guitar-heavy indie band. Over the years our sound drifted off in a very electronic direction. On “Somewhere Down the Line” we rekindled our old love for guitar-driven songwriting and managed to create a record that is quite rich in variety. The production wasn’t always easy, but it feels good to be releasing new music.
You guys are pretty much been creating for 10 years now? How do you think you guys managed it? Whats the secret of longevity, especially in todays fast paced music industry?
We went to school together, started to hang out, played music and became friends along the way. We never bent ourselves and we always did what we wanted to do. That helps! But it should be clear from the beginning that it is not always easy to be in a band. You have to adapt to changing circumstances and you need to have the right discussions at the right time. It really helps if you can argue without being mad at each other.
Do you feel like you have achieved what you set out to do? Is being in a band still what you guys love?
I still love making music. I guess there’s something inside of us that needs to get out and somehow we found a channel for that in music. In retrospect, I would certainly do a lot of things differently and, to be honest, I would be worried if that wouldn’t be the case, after all, we took our first steps as a band ten years ago – a lot has changed since then.
I love hearing about the ways you guys record. From using vintage equipment to high end studios. Is capturing the sound a natural progression for you guys or is it all well though out prior?
I think it’s more of a natural progression. On “Somewhere Down the Line” we had a bit of a weakness for modulation effects: chorus guitars, droning delays and wobbling synths. I like it when certain elements in the mix sound a bit out of tune and fall out of the ordinary.
Going back over the years, has your approach to song writing changed? How does a track develop within the band?
The songwriting process itself hasn’t necessarily changed, but it has become more focused over the years. Most of the time I come to the rehearsal with a song and then we work on it together and arrange it. But sometimes the songs are also created jamming, such as “Distant Siren”.
The music industry has changed a hell of a lot over the years. How have you guys found the journey when dealing with the industry and how is living in Vienna when it comes to creating music?
We entered the industry quite early and I think we came a long way since then. We went from working with producers and mixing engineers to producing and mixing everything by ourselves.
I try not to think too much about the business side of things. Our guitarist, Lukas, fortunately does that for us. Vienna is great place, a beautiful city, with lots of great bands, labels, clubs, theaters and bars. I think it’s a quite a good city for bands.
What songs are you looking forward to playing live when you get the chance?
We already played them live once on a festival in summer. “Another Wave” and “I Never Answer” are great songs to play live – I’m really looking forward to that.
Are there any bands past or present you would love to have played with or even been part of?
I’d love to play with Radiohead as they were probably one of the most influential bands in the last 30 years. I’d also love to share a stage with Soccer Mommy, I think Sophie Allison is a really wonderful songwriter and “Clean” was one of my favorite records in the last few years.
Difficult to talk about future plans, but what does the future look like for yourself and the band?
No matter what, I will definitely always make music. We’ll probably start recording new music soon and we look forward to getting back on stage!
What music are you digging right now? How do you see the Austrian scene right now, are there any particular artists you would love to see make it?
In the last year or so, the new records by Soccer Mommy, King Krule, DIIV and Sharon Van Etten really stood out to me. Austria’s music scene is quite vibrant, there are a lot of great bands such as Vague, Culk, Mile Me Deaf or Clara Luzia – check them out!
Have a listen to their single ‘Clock’, below:
Find out more about the band via their Facebook
Pick up their new album ‘Somewhere Down The Line’ here