Interview: The Cat Empire

We catch up with Jumps from the Cat Empire.

Apart from the new album which I’ll come onto, what’s been going on since TNT last spoke to you? I think it’s been a couple of years! 

Well, we have been touring the world and Australia, so lots of shows! Also we had a bit of time off to record Stolen Diamonds in Melbourne which was fun.

The new Album has been getting a lot of airplay on the TNT Office over the last month or so and we’re really enjoying it. The upbeat sound of The Cat Empire’s fusion of Latin, Dub and Afro beats is unmistakable in this album. Were there any specific influences or experiences injected into this album?

I think we just kept going from the last 2 records really. In terms of specific influences it really is an open bag and depends on the song and feelings in the studio when recording. We always try to bring interesting grooves and melodies for our fans

I hear that this year is your 20th anniversary. Firstly congratulations on reaching this milestone and keeping your vibe intact but also keeping it together as a group. Reflecting back on the last 20 years what were the best bits and worst bits?

Well we are at our 18th year actually, but feels like more!!! Wow reflecting back on the years there is so much to think about.....we are still in the best moments of the band because we still have an incredible fan base that keeps supporting us over many years. In terms of worst bits I guess just being away from family and friends is biggest downer.

You guys are serial tourers and I’m sure early tours were largely fuelled by unrelenting youthful energy with a bit of hedonism thrown in. 20 years on I’m sure those days have calmed down a fair bit, yet you still bring a lot of energy to your music and performances. What’s the secret for keeping it up (so to speak)?

Well our secret is to look after ourselves and our ageing bodies!! Most days are now spent exploring cities and towns, whether it be looking for records or seeing historical sites. I find if you enjoy the day you will enjoy and play well on the gig.

In the album title track “Stolen Diamonds” there are some lyrics which seem semi-autobiographical. Do you see yourself as less invincible kings of stolen diamonds?

I didn't write those lyrics but yes you could say that, life really starts to kick in the older you get.

Where are you most looking forward to playing on your upcoming tour?

Looking forward to come to cities we haven't been to in a while but I guess Montréal and Vancouver is always a high energy show.

What’s next? have you got any plans to slow down or stop gigging?

Well, the album comes out and more touring on the back of that really....haven't looked much further than that!

Apart from your new album, who else should be getting some airplay at TNT HQ?

Have a listen to The Putbacks self-titled album, another great Australian band.

The guy’s at Bega Cheese just called to say they have stopped making Vegemite, what are you going to make a sandwich with now?

I would put cucumber, butter, salt, pepper and some chilli powder!

Google just called too, they’ve run out of disk space and can only archive one of your tracks, which one do you want them to keep?

Daggers Drawn

Qantas also just called, they are planning the last flight off the red rock, where do you want to go? 

The Mothership and become a p-funkateer

The Cat Empire will be touring in Europe and their new album "Stolen Diamonds" is out on the 15th Feb. Find out more  -