It's been awhile since we saw Billy Catfish. He has decided to come out of retirement and recruited members of Frontier Folk Nebraska, Shoot Out The Lights, West Ghost and Weven Stalls of Vampire Weekend at Bernie's. The new band is at Crow's Nest on Saturday. We chatted with Mr. Catfish himself about the new band...
Tell us a bit about your new project The Fabulous Byurd Brains....
It's a great one-off project just for kicks. I was lucky enough to talk some very solid players into joining me for this - Michael and Travis from Frontier Folk Nebraska on guitar, Steven from Vampire Weekend at Bernies does backups and plays a jug, Matt from Shoot Out the Lights and FFN plays bass, and Andrew from West Ghost joins us on drums. The musicianship those guys have to offer is amazing, and really lets me concentrate on being creative, delivery or even playing my own guitar here and there. In fact, the level of their playing allows me to do a lot of things that are new for me. I really can't overstate that their playing certainly elevates my material substantially.
It's been a long time coming, though. Over the past couple (maybe several?) years, I've done occasional home recordings for my friend's label in Michigan (Arbco Records), and usually got Michael involved because we're buddies and I like working with him. We'd joked for years about having a band called the Byurd Brains, so, we just decided to go ahead and do it. Why not, right? We already have a couple songs released on record up there, and we plan to do those at the show, along with some material from my CD released locally about five years ago on Tokyo Rose.
After taking a break from playing out in a while, what did you miss the most?
You know, I really missed the camaraderie. Getting together with some friends and a six-pack, plugging in your guitar and playing rock star for an hour or so. That's the best part. I missed the creative process, and I missied being part of a larger group of people all having a good time.
What can one expect from The Fabulous Byurd Brains live?
Well there's a solid "Rock" backbone to it for sure, but there are plenty of moments that showcase restrained songwriting. We've also included some avant garde or Noise Rock elements as well. Southern Rock, Country and Psychedelic Rock are in there too. Some of my songs I wanted to keep in acoustic form, so I'll be doing an acoustic set before the Byurd Brains go on. We'll have a lot of material to cover, a lot of new songs, a lot of old songs, and some from bands I've been in over the years, re-imagined with this lineup, A couple other friends have showed up to rehearsals but I don't want to say their names in case they can't make the show.
What is next for The Fabulous Byurd Brains?
This gig was put together as a one-off type of thing, we're gonna pull it off with just a few practices between us, but everything has just clicked so wonderfully. I don't know, everyone else has their own projects to worry about, and I have no interest in being one of those bands that plays out every two weeks, or being a solo songwriter guy again. Who knows? I'm just taking it one day at a time. Just looking forward to this gig!