Having launched their new self-titled album to a sold out crowd at Revolver last night in Melbourne. EMPRA now have a busy few months ahead of them as they travel around the country to launch the release on a 20+ date tour. This week in The Hotseat we catch up with the band’s drummer Matt Cattanach. Expand this post to take a read of his answers, stream their new album and check out their extensive tour dates. Check them out if they hit your town, a great live show is their game.
Name : Matt Cattanach (A.K.A. Cattanach)
Band : EMPRA
Job In Band : Drummer
Website Address : www.empraonline.com
Hometown : Sunshine, Melbourne
Hometown is best known for : Car thieves and Burglars
Best venue in your hometown : The West End Hotel, was my local watering hole for me and my pals.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : I wouldn’t say there’s been a favourite show in Sunshine that I’ve seen, but if you stick around for long enough on a Friday night at the Westend ya bound to have a good laugh when the shitty cover band comes on to play.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : My favourite show that I’ve played in Sunshine would of been at my High School (as there is not really any good venues for bands) when I was in year 10, I got to play ‘Learn To Fly’ by the Foo Fighters in front of the whole school. I know how cool was I, was a big deal back then. lol.
How did the band first come to exist? I was actually the last member to join the EMPRA family, they had been struggling with other members to commit to this band, when I stumbled across an add on the infamous Melband searching for a Drummer. But the whole EMPRA project has taken 3 whole years to evolve into what the band is today. The idea behind it was to fulfill a promise Sanny (Singer/Guitar) had with his former bandmate and best mate Wayne Thunder who tragically past away in 2007 while their band The Suns were on tour. That promise was to record a kick ass album and tour Australia. The current line up of the band has been together for just over 1 year
Any particular story behind the name? I believe that EMPRA is actually an acronym. The M, P, R, A, stands for Melbourne Punk Rock Alliance, and then an E got put at the front because when you search for MPRA on the net you get heaps of Metropolitan Police websites and Sanny didn’t want to be associated with police! I think Sanny wanted to acknowledge the fact that this is a Melb Band who all came from Punk rock foundations of some form.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… Well… We just finished recording our Debut EMPRA Self titled Album and was released on iTunes and Bandcamp from our website. We are absolutely stoked with it, and blown away by the awesome feedback we have been getting back. We really can’t wait for the rest of Australia to hear it, better still the rest of the world.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Would probably have to be recording our first Album, and organising a 3 month national tour of Australia which kicked off in Melbourne with a sold out launch over the weekend! There 23 dates locked in for the tour and we are going just about everywhere.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Well my music journey actually started out as a Guitarist, I remember when I was in about year 7 my parents finally gave in on my annoying begging for them to buy me a Guitar and get some lessons. I loved AC/DC at the time and wanted to be just like Angus lol!
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Yeah, I was at my mates house from school one day, this would of been about year 8 or 9, when his older brother was home at the time and cranked up the CD player really loud playing this awesome tune. The band was Millencolin, and the Album was Pennybridge Pioneers, and it changed my life. I raced out the next day and got a copy for myself, best thing I had ever heard, and is still my favourite Album to listen to today.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? The first band I was in was called October Powder, we were a Punk Band, and we sucked ass. lol. I remember driving to my very first pub gig nervous as hell, it was at the Barleycorn Hotel in Collingwood, I couldn’t find the joint and I was starting to get stressed out, then to make things 150 times worse, this fuckin’ dickhead driver decides he would T-bone my car and total it. I was only about 1km away from the venue so after the cops and ambos had came and then left I sneakily jumped into my beat up car and dragged it up Johnston St till I reached The Barleycorn. haha, just in time for the gig.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Between the band, work and having a girlfriend there isn’t much spare time for me these days. When I do have free time i like to go and catch up with all me mates and stuff have a beer or 2 and talk some shit. I also like to ride dirt bikes and go camping and fishing, but there’s not a lot of time for that stuff at the minute.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Driving in a car with the same dudes, around the country can get really annoying at times, especially if one of your band members is a walking dictionary. lol. Being away from loved ones also sucks and is really tough sometimes.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Ummmm I’ve never really been asked, we usually just kind of get what were given, most of the time its a few beers each, depending on the venue and how generous they are.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? I don’t know yet cos we’re only just starting our first tour… Ask me the same question in two years!
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Our album launch at Revolver in Melbourne, we sold out the club in advance and it’s our first sold out show. The vibe was be amazing on the night.
Got a favourite song to play live? I love the whole set really, in a lot of the songs we have, we play what we call our “Live versions” Its just extended iIntros and outros, Choruses and Bridges here and there make it a little different from the CD.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? hahah, Yeah we did this gig in Adelaide and we were sharing all back line gear with the local band, and the drummer had this huge ass drum kit which had a double kick drum. I had had never played on such a big kit before so it was really hard to move around the kit and get into groove. Anyway we were probably about halfway through the set when the hi-hat stands just collapsed and fell onto the snare, like a true professional, I pretended that it did even happen and kept rocking out. Trying to play drums with one hand and hold up this hi-hat stand was beginning to become a real challenge, so I just ditched them and threw it to the side. Then to make the situation even more awkward, my kick pedal decided it was going to snap at the linkages. By the end of the gig I had no hats, and no foot pedal for the kick drum, Yeah, so that gig sucked.
Any pre-show rituals? Me and Matt (Bass Player) often before gigs will go somewhere out of sight of everyone and kind of warm up like we are about to run onto the M.C.G. for grand final day. lol. its quite funny now we have the rest of the band doing it too. We got caught once by this older lady who was getting into her car, she was just looking at us like WTF are you doing… hahaha
Last song you listened to? Tonight Alive – Wasting away
Last album you acquired? Gyroscope – Best of Album
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Calling All Cars- Hold Hold Fire
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Well we have the ‘I Won’t Give Up’ tour that see’s us right through to 18th of August, so we are going to be very busy boys over the next few months. Really looking forward to it tho, can’t wait.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Would have to be Millencolin’s ‘Pennybridge Pioneers’, because its my favourite and I fucken love it.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? Probably the Foo Fighters, we went and saw them on there last visit to Aus. Just hearing your songs being punched out in a Stadium with 50.000 people singing the words back at ya would be bloody amazing, Dave Grohl is a champion.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Probably Nirvana, i reckon it would of been cool to be able to go back in time before they exploded, and watch the buzz building and the underground following that they were creating.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? The Hi-Fi and Festival Hall in Melbourne would be pretty cool, seen heaps of awesome bands play them over the years.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? The Foo Fighters, Cause playing in a stadium to over 50.000 people would fucken Rock!
Any final words? EMPRA – self titled debut album and music video for the 1st single “Doesn’t Make Much Sense” is available for your listening and viewing pleasure at www.empraonline.com. We’re touring Australia over the next 3 months come see us on tour! Cheers.