Due to the huge number of bands playing at Bloodstock this year, and the fact that our two roving reporters will actually want to watch some of them, we’re doing a little round of pre-festival interviews this year. We’re focussing on the bands playing the Jagermeister and Hobgoblin New Blood Stages so they get a chance to convince you to go and watch them. Remember, these guys and gals are the future of our musical world!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Varberg and Gothenburg in Sweden
How did you meet?
Four of us played together in the Modern Metal band One Without for several years before we decided to call it quits, and after that me (Kenny, guitars, vocals) and Cat (Vocals) decided to start We Are The Catalyst. It was only natural to bring Håkan (Drums) and Joni (Bass) when we started to book live shows and at the same time we found Kristoffer (guitars) on a website for finding band members.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
WATC started in November in 2012, but we didn’t have a full line-up until the middle of 2014. Before that we were basically just writing and recording, we released an EP and made the occasional music video!
Where does the name of the band come from?
Definition from Merriam Webster:
Catalyst : an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action
We Are The Catalyst simply means that we all have the power to make a change, whether it is in ourselves or in the world. It’s meant to be empowering and make you think less as a victim of circumstance.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
That changes very much from time to time, but some that have stayed with me for many years now are Bring Me The Horizon, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Skrillex, Linkin Park, Adele, Paramore, Meshuggah, Die Antwoord and Enter Shikari to mention a few.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The way we blend Pop, Electro, Modern Metal and Heavy Rock along with Cat’s pop-ish way of singing. You might think it would sound “experimental”, but I’ve always thought we really manage to make it sound natural. We’re not afraid of being too soft or too hard, preferring the dynamic approach, we just do what we like and what we want to hear. Our music reminds you of many things, but it’s still very unique in its approach.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
2015 was actually the year we started performing live and so far we have played a handful of shows in Sweden and a 10 date tour in China this April/May. We do have a lot of shows coming this fall; A tour in the UK from October 23rd – 7th of November (supporting Delain on the 23rd of October in Birmingham), more shows in Sweden, the “Planet Rockstock” festival on December 5th (with bands like Danko Jones, The Darkness, etc.) back in the UK and we have several tours in the planning stages for 2016 including Russia, USA and going back to China again.
As our main goal with playing music is actually performing live, we really try to give people a great experience when going to our shows. Personally I hate going to watch a show where the band feels like they don’t even care, they just put on some random clothes and play the songs from beginning to end without any show. Sure, it might even SOUND great, but I personally prefer a band that goes all in on stage and rips is up. It is an audiovisual experience and people pay for it, so it has to be a good show in my opinion! Between us we have performed several hundred live shows and we all love being on stage, so people can expect us to always give it all, putting on a good show!
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
We won a contest hosted by Metal Hammer, Bloodstock and the Dutch Symphonic Metal band Delain, where four bands would win a support slot each on four dates of their UK tour in October. One of these band would also be selected to perform at Bloodstock Open Air and I am very pleased to say that we were that band! This was announced just a few weeks ago and we got the news just before that, so we found out kind of recently!
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We try to make it dynamic. As I mentioned before we want to put on a good show, so we pick our songs and build the setlist so that it will maintain energy throughout the whole set and build a kind of “story”. I can reveal that we will of course be playing our charity single cover of “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia as that one is a real fan favourite, as well as the first single from our album Monuments – “Fight For Air”. The rest you will have to come find out!
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
I hope we get a chance to see Trivium and our fellow Swedes Sabaton, since they are playing the same day and of course we are going to catch Delain on the Sophie Lancaster stage! Other than that it would have been nice to see Within Temptation and Opeth, but they are playing on the Saturday and we have to fly back to Sweden by then.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently hard at work on our next album, have written a bunch of songs that fit great so far, and at least 10 of them have been selected so far. We are pushing the boundaries quite a bit more on the next album, making it heavier, darker and more intense while at the same time keeping our pop/melodic style. You might say it’s more metal, but I’d rather say more intense.
It’s a funny thing – Many metal bands start off very heavy and grow softer as the years go by. All bands I’ve ever been in have always gone the opposite way, starting off kind of soft and growing heavier with each release.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
That has to be touring with The Genitorturers while in our old band One Without, it was a really awesome tour with awesome people, and we heard they had some sort of porno-esque live shows, and didn’t know what to expect. And at one show, I think it was in Barcelona, they had a stripper on stage and pulled out a whistle out of her lady parts (among other things) . It was an interesting tour, and also the first one we ever went on! Would definitely tour with them again if given the chance!
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Don’t try to copy what other bands do, try to find your own style and build on it! That doesn’t mean you can’t be influenced, but try to evolve it.
Use your limits to your advantage. If you aren’t the fastest shredder, don’t shred. Fit the music to what you CAN do. Many of my best songs are simple as hell!
NEVER expect to get big without any effort, it will only make you feel bad if you expect people or the music industry to give a fuck about you if you haven’t made a name for yourself.
Make sure EVERYTHING you do is professional! Don’t release a song if you aren’t sure it’s actually as good as it can be! Same goes with performing live, doing videos etc.
Try to do as much as possible yourselves in the beginning, like mixing, mastering, music videos, websites, booking and all that. If you don’t know how, learn!
Make music-videos! Youtube is one of the big places people actually find new bands these days, and audiovisual beats only audio! (If it isn’t a crappy video, then see above)
This one is very personal, just my two cents: Don’t run a band as a democracy. It might work for a while, but if there is no captain of the ship it will start going in all kinds of directions, some of which may not suit everyone. Someone should at least have a veto.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Bring Me The Horizon above and honestly can’t think of any unsigned bands right now! If we go with another big above, I’d say Thirty Seconds To Mars.
We Are The Catalyst play the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage on the Friday.