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December 2, 2021

Cat songs launch in Mullum

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Born and raised in Northcote, Melbourne, multi-instrumentalist Cat Canteri is best known as the singer-songwriter, drummer in alt-country group The Stilsons. This year Canteri swaps drums for a guitar and launches her debut solo album When We Were Young, performing two gigs here on the north coast.

Mandy Nolan caught the Cat by the tail for a natter before her shows.

Cat why did you decide to start your album tour for When We Were Young in Yackandandah and Beechworth? Do they have a special significance for you?

No particular significance other than that there’s a big appreciation for live music there. Justin (The Stillsons), and I have played many acoustic shows in Yack and Beechworth over the years, and we’ve always really enjoyed ourselves … Friendly country venues, familiar faces, it was a wonderful way to begin the tour.

How has being part of the Stillsons informed your musical journey?

The Stillsons have worked hard over the past six years… Three studio albums, countless national tours, and one tour of the UK. I’ve learnt lots of skills, both musical and non-musical being part of the band. It’s given me lots of confidence and re-assurance about my worth as a both a musician and songwriter; and pretty much brought me out of my shell… A LOT!

cat-canteriAre creative musical relationships a bit like falling in love – what is it like for you – and what are you like in ‘musical’ relationships?

Um, falling in love with someone’s playing can be a bit like wild infatuation. That’s not to say that if you get on stage with a player you adore you’d necessarily have chemistry. On-stage chemistry can be something immediate or it can grow with time… I always feel like when friendship grows between two people so does the chemistry on stage… I feel like it also extends to the studio as well. It terms I what I’m ‘like’ in a musical relationship… if I’m really into someone’s music I tend to be overly enthusiastic, supportive, and generous with my time, often to a fault of neglect to my own projects!

Who are the players that you most resonate with in the studio or on stage?

That’s a tricky question, I can’t really pick favorites. There are different things I love about so many different musicians. It’s impossible to pick just a few.

What did you want to achieve with When We Were Young

When We Were Young was originally going to be called Gentle Giant. It was going to be a concept album with songs about my family. The title changed, but the themes are still centered around my family and my personal relationships. I suppose the ultimate goal was to create a record that I’d enjoy putting on at home, or in my car, and letting it run from start to finish.

Tell me a bit about the recording process and how you felt about the outcome? 

Originally I was going to record the album by going into the studio for five days straight, recording everything live including vocals. But what actually transpired was recording with two days of sessions spread out over a year. The two main reasons the recording of the album was spread out was because I’d decided I wanted to play drums, and rhythm guitar on the album… obviously it’s not possible for me to record two instruments at once… the second reason was that shortly after I started tracking my album, The Stillsons headed up to Applewood Studios in Queensland to start production of our third album Never Go Your Way.

What is it like stepping out from behind the drums? 

Heaps of fun! It’s great being at the front of the stage, and get to jam with everyone in the band properly!

What should we expect for your Mullumbimby show? The show at St Martin’s Hall will be unique, as I’ve heard is a really beautiful acoustic space. We’re planning to keep the show as intimate as possible, and focus on sharing stories with the music. People can bring in their own food and drinks, and chill out while they watch the music.

Justin Bernasconi from the The Stillsons is going to be opening the show with a solo set on acoustic guitar. He’s an absolutely gorgeous finger picker, I’m really looking forward to hearing him.

Cat Canteri plays St Martin’s Hall in Mullumbimby on Saturday September 27.

Tickets $15, $10 pre-booking/concession

Tickets available on the night, and at www.catcanteri.com

Doors open 7pm.

Show starts 7.30pm.

Cat also plays the Rails in Byron this Thursday August 2.


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