Nottingham pop punks Catch Fire are set to release their sophomore EP A Love That I Still Miss on 24th March via Rude Records. Comprised of vocalist Miles Kent, guitarists Tim Bell and Neal Arkley, drummer Ash Wain and bassist Joseph Ryan Askew, they formed from the ashes of local heroes Layby and released debut EP The Distance I Am From You (TDIAFY) via Rude Records in early 2016.
For A Love That I Still Miss (ALTISM) the guys spent 3 weeks in the studio with Myroslav Borys of Jigsaw Audio, having found a good chemistry with the producer when recording December’s cover of Alessia Cara’s “Wild Things”. If you’re a fan of emo-tinged pop punk, with intricate guitars and driving rhythm, evoking Trash Boat and Knuckle Puck, then you’ll certainly be wanting to listen in. To further whet your appetite, drummer Ash Wain is here to offer up further insight into the record, track by track…
ALTISM is a collection of the most heartfelt songs we’ve ever written. We’ve grown a lot over the past year as people, as a band, and as musicians, and we’ve put every ounce of what we’ve got into this. Some of these songs we wrote right off the back of releasing TDIAFY. We put that EP out last year and pretty much started writing straight after. We played a few of these new songs at shows during the final quarter of last year, and having had a relatively positive year, we felt more comfortable and confident when writing and recording this EP than we did with anything previously. We had our fair share of disagreements on parts, and went over different sections more than we needed to, but we knew it was just because we didn’t want to release anything less than perfect to us.
Lyrically, it’s about a lot of things I’ve faced and realised over the past 16 months. Since I can remember, I’ve spent every day worrying more often than not, about something – something trivial, something that might not even happen, or something important – I dwelled far too much. Needless to say it’s been pointless. So, we wanted to put something out which anyone else feeling troubled could find comfort in and realise that there really is no point stressing over things. There’re a lot of themes covered in the EP, particularly jealousy, anxiety, anger, sadness, happiness, love and hate.
We recorded with Myroslav Borys of Jigsaw Audio. After having worked with him on “Wild Things”, we knew that he was going to help us achieve exactly what we wanted to with ALTISM. We spent three weeks in the studio with him, getting done what we could on the weekends and then cramming in what we could in the evenings after work. Some days we were all there, some days there were only one or two of us. We had to trust each other to do the best job we all could when tracking because we couldn’t all be there, which we weren’t used to. Any recording we’ve done as a band before, we’ve all been there together.
Track 1 – Poise: “Poise” is one of the most important tracks on the EP, albeit the shortest. It’s a microcosm that sets the tone for the rest of the EP: short, sweet, emphatic and stylistically showcasing what we’ve got to say this time around and including everything you need know what we’re about. A lot of bands do the typical short, instrumental, fast paced intro song, with little or no vocals, with no real correspondence to the rest of tracks; we knew we didn’t want to fall in that trap. We wanted to make sure we reintroduced ourselves and made a statement of how much we’ve grown as a band in a year. With this opening track, and the EP in general, we wanted a lot of emphasis to be on our song writing, structure and instrumentals.
Track 2 – Curfew: “Curfew” was one of the first tracks we wrote for ALTISM. It’s about becoming second best to alcohol, and knowing full well you’ll be expected to be there to pick up the pieces when things all come crashing down. Too many people waste their lives drinking, fighting, and throwing their dreams and ambitions away. I’ve watched a lot of the friends I grew up with be consumed by drinking and doing drugs, selling themselves short with dead-end full time jobs, merely living for the weekend. I’ve distanced myself from every single one of these people, hoping to stay motivated and pursue my own dreams. I guess the song really is about not letting other people’s behaviour influence yours. It’s such an injustice watching the intelligent, creative and individual people you grew up with deteriorate and become nothing. Do your own thing, and don’t sell yourself short.
Track 3 – Sylvester: “Sylvester” is a very personal song. Sylvester Street is the road on which my ex-girlfriend lived. I wasn’t happy in the relationship for a long time, but I was scared to end it, as I knew that I was everything she had. I was backed into a corner by the situation itself, and I was terrified of what might happen if I left and that she’d hate me forever. I had to choose between feeling free and guilty, or sad but safe with the thought that she was happy. When I knew I had to end it, I played over the scenario over hundreds of times in my head, day and night. “Meet me at Sylvester” is something I dreamt that she sent me in a text, months after ending it. Musically and stylistically, it’s one of the more positive sounding tracks, which sets a kind of bittersweet, contrapuntal tone. It’s weird, but the song and lyrics complement each other well.
Tracks 4 & 5 – Lucid & Reality: These songs work cohesively and are meant to be listened to as one. “Lucid” represents what we dream about, and “Reality is what we wake up to. “Lucid” is solely guitar and vocals, and is supposed to represent the calm before the storm that is “Reality”. It talks about watching the people you’ve known, and the things you’ve seen bloom and change over time. The message in “Lucid” comes from the last line: “You’re your only responsibility.” Don’t try to change things that you cannot change. Let people make their mistakes, and learn from them, if the sun rises, then it’s going to set. Some things we try to interfere with, and it’s a waste of our time. Worry about yourself and what matters to you.
“Reality” is a song about wishing you were dreaming; when reality is so harsh, that you wish you could wake up from it. It’s about realising too late that you made a mistake throwing away what you had, and not being able to forgive yourself, even years down the line. This is one of my favourite songs on the EP; I find comfort listening to it, as it’s kind of my admission for making these mistakes. It’s also about loving someone so much, that simply savouring every moment of being with them isn’t enough. “If one day I don’t recognise your face, help me, please help me remember.” The thought of ever forgetting those I love (or vice versa) terrifies me and the fact that there are people out there going through this is even worse. Life can be so equally kind and cruel, both in dreams and reality.
Track 6: Guilty as Charged: “Guilty as Charged” was the second to last track we wrote for the EP. It’s essentially “Sylvester Part 2”; after I ended the relationship, I felt happy, but it was massively outweighed by guilt. I was guilty of feeling happy, because I knew full well her emotions were the complete opposite. I knew I’d made the right choice, but I was just waiting and waiting for the guilt to subside. This one is one of the “poppier” songs on the EP as it’s relatively positive and about breaking free. We kind of wrote it by accident: we were practicing one evening, and Neal played something on his guitar, and we all just came in as if it was something we’d written already. It was weird, but it was great because we didn’t have to force anything. It’s always a good sign when you’re all on the same page, and songs come together naturally!
Track 7 – Thin Ice: “Thin Ice” is where the EP title is derived. It’s our favourite but saddest song on the EP, it definitely means the most to us. It’s about knowing that you’ll never be enough for someone no matter how often they assure you that you are and being forever indebted to their kindness. The song name represents the metaphor of feeling like at any moment, the thin ice you’re on is going to break and you’ll begin to sink. This was the first song we wrote for ALTISM. Miles sent us a demo with the main intro riff and we all just loved it instantly. It was different from anything we’ve written before, and we thought everything from the rhythm to the time signature, to the leads were perfect, and we knew straight away that this was the sound we wanted to go for it.
Track 8 – Sinking: “Sinking” follows thin ice, and closes the EP. It’s an instrumental track that represents the journey to the bottom whilst you’re sinking. It includes all the riffs from each song throughout the EP, to represent the reflection of thoughts on the journey to the bottom. The EP for the most part is quite dark and sad, and this is track is kind of the sun setting on all the distress and sadness, and that I made it through and I’m happy again.