Friday, 19 August 2011

Fantasy Rainbow - Interview

At only 18, Oliver Catt (Fantasy Rainbow) has two EPs under his belt and has already been receiving praise for his music with airplay from XFM and BBC 6Music. He very recently released his second EP 'Teens' through independent label Tiny Lights Recordings. With untainted talent, Oliver creates relaxing guitar riffs to accompany both canned and natural vocals. We speak to Oliver about everything from his recent radio attention to The Simpsons;

You're signed to label Tiny Lights Recordings, how did this come about?
Basically, my first demo got ‘Demo of the Month’ in an awesome independent music magazine called NARC magazine which is based in Newcastle, then I read somewhere that one of the writers, Paul, was starting up a record label and I got in touch with him about it and from there we decided to put out an EP, and then that came out on Monday. So yeah.

You released 'Demo #1' in May in which the artwork depicted two girls with cats for heads, what made you choose this for the artwork?
A friend of mine who’s really bad ass at photography basically doctored two photos together and I saw it and just thought it was pretty funny, that’s pretty much the main reason I chose it, plus topless girls are cool.

'Demo #1' has a very DIY feel and has a distinct acoustic sound, was it important for you to create a certain sound?
I suppose it was pretty important to get a distinctive sound, i’m not sure, my best friend Jonny did all of the production on that record and he and I both basically had an idea of what we wanted the record to sound like so when it came to mixing it he was pretty confident with what he was doing. The only thing I ever said was “add more reverb and turn the vocals down” so he pretty much just got to make something we would both be proud of.

Your new EP 'Teens' has just been released which sounds a lot louder to previous material, was the recording process different to previous material?
The difference between the two records is that the first one was done in the same way me and Jonny have recorded for years and years in that I’d have a basic idea and then just kind of make up what we were doing on the day. With the second record I wrote a lot of it using a loop pedal so the songs are based around a lot of repetitive phrases and layering, which i think is pretty audible in the songs. Another big difference was for the first time ever, it wasn’t just me and Jonny doing it, it got sent away for mastering by Jack Laidlaw who used to be in the band The Motorettes which was pretty exciting, so it was more than one persons take on it.

What do you do when you're not making music?
The majority of my time is spent either making music or listening to music. When I’m not making music I’m listening to it. I’m a big lover of new music and I have a lot of friends who troll the internet for new music to review. My friend Ayesha writes for the 405 and I pretty much just check her Spotify playlists everyday to listen to new bands, she’s recently turned me on to ‘Meth Teeth’ and ‘So Cow’ who are two really awesome bands.

What was it like when you played your first live gig as Fantasy Rainbow?
The first live gig was really weird, I was totally nervous ‘cause I’d never played live on my own before, plus I had my friend Jack making comments like “don’t fall out with your loop pedal” etc, so it was a pretty surreal experience. Oh, something in the back line blew and I went on like 2 hours after I meant to, so by that point everyone was pretty drunk so I think it went down pretty well.

You've recently had airplay from XFM and BBC 6 Music, how did it feel to know you were getting radio coverage?
Radio coverage is weird, ‘cause you don’t know who’s listening or if they like you and you don’t often get much feedback so it’s sort of like it happens and you’re more excited than everyone else and then it’s over. It is really cool though, knowing people all over the country are listening to you. Plus, when it’s stations you actually listen to it feels pretty cool.

Are there any plans to do a tour as of yet?
There’s things in place to do a tour but nothing is concrete yet. I’d be really excited to do a tour though and I really hope it comes off.

I know that you like The Simpsons, who's your favourite character and why?
Hands down Lenny Leonard, him and Carl make the show. I just love that his apartment is half squash court, he had the first HD TV in Springfield and that he carved Mt. Carlmore. Yeah, basically he’s just the greatest man to ever live.

By Aurora Mitchell

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