Catseye Parish Is Working On It
Written by Max Bruckmann on 16 January 2021
Mel: Welcome to Atomic Radio Australia, you’re listening to Mel here and I’ve got James McArthur from Catseye Parish on the phone. How are you going to James?
James: I’m well Mel how are you?
Mel: I’m very well, I know I’ve pulled you out of bed for this but it’s an important interview because I want to hear all about Working On It, your new single that you’ve just released. So let me just hear a little bit about, so I’ve read a little bit about it, I’ve listened to the song and from what I can gather it’s a bit of a cathartic process of healing. Would I be right in saying that?
James: Yeah absolutely. Usually been that for me. I’ve been writing songs since I was about sixteen years old and it’s only been in the last year and a half or so that I’ve actually started to record it and put some of my regional songs down it’s always been a therapeutic experience whatever I’m dealing with at the time. I just put it into song and sing it out I guess.
Mel: So what sort of made you take that step to record it what pushed you to that point?
James: Well I’ve been wanting to do it for years but age. Kind of being too afraid to actually put anything out there. Because I have sort of have a perfectionist mindset. I thought maybe it wouldn’t be good enough, I wouldn’t be happy with it or people wouldn’t enjoy it. Because I was afraid of it not being good enough I never made anything at all. It was just about, coming up two years ago I thought well I haven’t made anything yet, a bit of a waste. And I would like people to hear these songs, even if they’re not the new chart toppers. So I just got into a studio and got the ball rolling. And since then it’s just been wonderful.
Mel: It sounds good and I can relate because I have a tendency to over analyse everything. What was it like to get that first layer? Did you then sit there and analyse it, again? What’s it like recruiting the right sort of people around you to back you in and lift you out of that headspace?
James: It was just a learning process as I’ve been creating. Like I did my debut EP probably mid last year when I was working on it. I’m learning as I go you know, for that one I use a bloke in Wagga called David Wilson and he did a great job. He’s a wonderful producer but for this new stuff. I’ve actually gone to Canberra my home town with some friends there helped me out on the recording. A bloke called Lewis Montgomery who I’ve recorded with before and so yeah I’m just, I’m just learning and trying out new things as I go
Mel: So can you tell me a little bit about like what headspace and what you were in to do this Working On It song because even the name of it just means you’re a work in progress basically but. Just tell can you tell me, do you mind sharing a little bit about where you were at that point and now sort of maybe where you are now?
James: Absolutely. From memory I think I started writing working on it at Uni. It was a pretty formative time for me. There was a lot of confusion and I was doing my studies to become a paramedic and I was going through some matters of the heart, my girlfriend and I at the time were having some troubles. Yeah I just remember being, feeling very lost and not knowing how to be in the world and what the world expected of me and I think just feeling that way, I decided to yeah just trying to put it first into some kind of poetry, like a journal entry and eventually just adding song. Yeah actual musical flow has always come quite naturally to me. I remember wanting it to be upbeat and if anything just try and get a hopeful message out of what I was experiencing and it’s nice being able to look back on that time now and have progressed a bit further down the track and learned a lot. Absolutely I’m still very much working on it, still figuring it out
Mel: I shouldn’t laugh but it’s such a good. Speaking of working on it your working on a new song as well and another new song, so Working On It’s just been released onto the Atomic Stream Space and I’m super excited for everyone to get it pumping up the charts, but you’ve been working on a few other different film clips and that in the background. What can we expect from you in the future? James: I’m partly working on two more songs, which I recorded and finished the first three of my upcoming album. My second song is called Remember, and just a couple of weeks ago, myself and a few friends in Wagga did the music video for that. We were just at a dirt track in North Wagga and the railway line. I’ve already got the drafts for that and it already looks like a lot of fun. It’s kind of I was singing along to the song and running alongside this track and we end up throwing all this powder at each other and confetti and water fights. Because I was singing at double speed we slowed down everything looks like it’s in slow motion and I’m singing in time. It was really, really fun and that’ll be coming out in probably about a month or so.
Mel: I’m excited for that, so that sounds very different from the film clip from Working On It what sort of goes into that process of deciding which angle to go, is it just follow the song, or you decide, or your brain just tweaks and goes that’s what we’re doing?
James: I usually have a bit of a brainstorm just me, myself and I think about it and ideas jump out at me that could work very well with the song and it’s the first time I’ve actually engaged somebody professionally to film a music video for me and my last two have been DIY jobs off my phone and put in a little video editing programme. But Remember I think is a real stand out moment off the album that I’m wanting to put together yeah. So I had this idea and I’ve seen videos of fun runs and things like that and slow motion just makes everything look amazing. So I wanted to work off that idea and yeah, it just kind of came together organically after that.
Mel: Well I can’t wait to see it. I think Harrison Slattery was up there filming that for you and I know him and anything that I’ve had to do with looks absolutely mint and the thought of singing in double time to get it executed sounds pretty cool as well so James, how can we follow you from Catseye Parish? Where are your socials and everything so that we can get on board and get your music up the charts?
James: I’m on Instagram, Facebook and I’m pretty technologically challenged at the best of times. I’m on those two at the moment, I’m also on Sound Cloud. And then every streaming service pretty much, like Spotify, Apple Music, whatever you listen to I’ll be on there somewhere.
Mel: Now Atomic Stream Space, and that’s Catseye Parish and your James McArthur as well and that’s how we can check out everything that’s up and coming is that right?
James: Absolutely, so type Catseye Parish and you will find me that would be just lovely
Mel: It’s a very cool name just quickly where did that come from?
James: Honestly I wish I had a cool story
Mel: Make one up [laughs]
James: I remember I was on ward in Wollongong during my training year and I was working with a friend of mine. John was his name and we would always talk about music. Somehow Catseye Parish came up, I thought that’d be a cool band name and he said yeah that would be a cool band name. So I said Yep, when I start making my own music, that’s what I’ll call it. It’s catchy, no one has used it before so there’s no copyright.
Mel: Yeah that’s great, all right get onto those socials guys, Catseye Parish. It’ on every platform that you can possibly find and James McArthur from Catseye. Thank you very much for talking to me.
James: Thanks Mel, thanks so much for your time.