From infectious grooves and psychedelic ambiance to chugging rock riffs, Poeticat perform with a raw energy that exudes punk attitude.
Have you ever wondered how they came to be called 'Poeticat'? Well we caught up with Catherine Martindale (Cat) and asked her a bunch of questions, here's how it went....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
With roots in London & Lisbon Poeticat is an experimental, progressive rock band.
You’re called Poeticat how did you come about choosing this name?
When I was a spoken word poet I went to the library to make myself a Myspace. I asked the girl next to me what I should call myself and she said since my name is Cat & I am a poet I should be called Poeticat. When we became a band we kept the name.
Who was the photographer who made your EP cover?
It was a combined effort. Baj, our guitarist, took the photo from a rooftop in Brixton. Three of us have spent some time in Mexico and visited the Teotihuacan Pyramids. Victor, our drummer, took the pyramid photo & combined it with the Brixton photo. So it’s Mexico & Brixton by Poeticat.
'Kind Words Soft Kill' & 'Centre of the Concrete Square' are deep tunes, is there a story behind these two?
The lyrics for Kind Words Soft Kill were written in Mexico. It is a mixture of imagining the world from space, missing my mum & feeling isolated by not knowing enough Spanish to communicate properly.
Centre of the Concrete Square is about growing up on a council estate as a white child with predominantly black friends and feeling as if society was working to try to separate us. It also about saying, in the face of the current Tory war against the working class, that growing up on a council estate is a good thing. I have turned out fine, its a wonderful place to grow up. Children need community, outdoor space & other children to form a gang with & nothing is bad about any of that. This message is very important in the face of the scapegoating of working class people & young people in groups.
How has social media aided your music?
It’s helped us to keep in touch with fans & tell them about gigs. It’s helped us to share things about Poeticat with them & allow them to share us with their friends. It’s helped us keep in touch with other artists in our community & curate events.
Best gig you have been to and why?
I’m going to cheat & do three because they were all informative.
- Destiny’s Child was my first gig. I was hooked by the atmosphere of that many people in Wembley Stadium.
- The Inner Terrestrials at The New Cross in because of the punk attitude, audience interaction & my clothes & hair being covered in beer & sweat.
- Basement Jaxx at The O2 in Brixton because of how much of a unit they are & I love the front women.
During your residency at Brixton Windmill, you introduced the audience to new and up and coming bands/musicians, is this something you wish to continue?
Yes of course. Where possible we always recommend and or programme other bands we admire to play with us. An artistic community is vital for the survival of independent artists. Also we have a very open audience who are like-minded because they are open-minded so they are always eager to see what we’ve found on our travels & they can be very loyal to acts they like.
In your opinion, what is the BEST record ever released?
The Beatles - A Day in the Life
You have been supported by the Arts Council of England, how did this come about and what has it meant to you?
We got a Grant for the Arts fund to help fund the Brixton Windmill residency. I quit being a nanny to focus on making Poeticat happen & I applied to GFA & we got it. I had to write quite a few drafts & refine the idea a lot. We got rejected for one before we got it. Anyone can apply & I would encourage artists too. We have a real problem in London in the underground circuit with paying musicians properly. Artist’s need to demand more, audiences need to pay more, promoters need to see paying the artists as a priority & venues need to give cuts of the bar takings. So its made a massive difference having Arts Council support. It’s given us a seal of approval in the arts world & we were paid properly for the residency project.
What advice would you give to a struggling artist?
Keep going. Make it happen. Don’t take it too seriously. It’s a blessing being an artist & thinking in the way you do & you must never be ashamed of that. Join forces with other artists. Don’t be bitter. Where possible prioritise making & performing your art at all times. Think about what you really need to make that happen & then only accumulate those things.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
I pick my nose & eat it sometimes.
Favourite joke you have heard?
What did the cheese say in the mirror? Hallou mi
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
- Patti Smith
- Karl Marx
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Gemma and The Mil Men
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
The Incredible Hulk
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
Do you have a message for David Cameron?
You need to step down.
What are your plans for 2014?
Playing a lot of gigs, writing music & recording. Same yearly shizzle.
Whilst I was looking up the term 'shizzle', we left them with a few quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal
Mac or PC? PC
Fry up or Sunday roast? Sunday roast
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or Motorbike? Car
Acoustic or Electric? Electric
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoos
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino? Al Pacino
God or Google? God