Catamounts go backwards

The men in matching suits release a new album

While The Catamounts are moving forward with their music career, they’re doing a lot of things backwards.

“We often tell people that we started the band because we wanted to have a band where we could buy matching suits, you know, because bands used to do that,” Michael Henderson-Castle says.

Graham Epp, Grant Trippel, Andy Rudolph and Michael Henderson-Castle decided a surf rock band was the way to go.

Trippel says they feel different when they put on a suit. 

“The idea of kind of bringing class to live performance again. Yeah, it just kind of adds something,” Trippel says.

Surf rock is not common in the Winnipeg music scene, but local support is always there for the Catamounts. 

“I think there’s enough people that we know in the city that are music lovers and can appreciate what we’re trying to do. Especially for here, it’s a pretty interesting idea to have a surf band in the middle of Winnipeg,” Trippel says.

He says they find their instrumental music has a timeless quality. 

“If you don’t have words, you don’t get tired of the words or the meanings of songs,” Henderson-Castle says. 

Trippel agrees.

“It’s always open for interpretation. We have, maybe, a general mood that comes out of the melody, but it’s not like you’re telling the same old story over and over again,” he says. “How you feel about the song could easily change over time.

“A lot of the compliments we get is that people can just play [our music] in their car over and over again, which is cool. That’s kind of what I envisioned.”

The Catamounts’ instrumental surf rock style of music is always evolving, Henderson-Castle says. They try to keep it interesting to challenge themselves as musicians.

“There’s a lot of unusual sort of rhythms and scale sounds that we’re not necessarily all used to hearing in Western music that’s nice to kind of get in here to try something new, and hopefully it sounds refreshing to people,” Henderson-Castle says.

The Catamounts new album will be released Oct. 8 online, on CD and on vinyl. The band will also perform that same evening at The Goodwill Social Club at 9 p.m.

They did a little rewinding for this album, even naming the album St. Nuomatac, which is Catamounts backwards.

“We have mirror images on the cover, some backwards recordings, and, as a band, we are constantly looking back through time for inspiration while projecting our art into the future,” Henderson-Castle says.

Looking forward, Trippel says he’d like their music to be on a movie soundtrack. Henderson-Castle says jokingly he’d be happy hearing their tunes in an elevator.

The Catamounts release their latest album, St. Nuomatac at The Good Will Social Club on Oct. 8. Tickets are $10 at the door, and the show starts at 9 p.m..

Published in Volume 71, Number 5 of The Uniter (October 6, 2016)

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