Search
  • The Sound Cafe

A Conversation With Paul and Matt Long of Catfish



The Catfish Blues Band is a rockin’ powerhouse blues band from the U.K. Featuring father and son dynamic musicians Paul on keys and Matt on guitar, this band knows how to pump out high-energy tunes that leave you panting for more. This year, they were named Blues Band of the Year in the UK Blues Awards for 2020 and Matt Long also won an award as Blues Instrumentalist of the Year. Of note, Paul Long also hosts a radio show, Blues and Roots Connections on Blues and Roots Radio.


Ken Wallis interviewed Paul and Matt Long for the radio show Blues Source International. Excerpts from the interview follow.




Ken Wallis

Got a new album in my fist…it is Catfish. It is called Exile: Live In Lockdown…And it's proof that talent runs in the family. We're joined by Matt and Paul Long of Catfish. Thanks for coming on the show, guys.


Matt Long

Hi Ken thanks for having us.


Paul Long

Yes, pleasure.


Ken Wallis

It's terrific finally meeting you. The album is spectacular…it's a wall of sound as far as I'm concerned. Tell us how the album came about?


Paul Long

Well, we did a live stream. Back in July, we were approached by a festival in Holland to do a full band live stream because up until that point we had been doing acoustic duo live streams, from here from my house. And they've been going really well and we really enjoyed them. But they wanted to see if we could get a full band one going. So, they helped us out organizing everything with that. And it went really well. It was the first time the band had even seen each other in five months, let alone played together. We actually decided to negate having any rehearsals because we wanted to have the first time we played to be recorded. We wanted it to be like, right then and there. This was the first notes we heard in five months for all of us, including us.


Ken Wallis

I was just amazed when I heard that you guys didn't rehearse this, you just got it there and tore up the place


Matt Long

It was a conscious decision rather than us just forgetting. It was on purpose


Paul Long

We wanted to keep the excitement going because if there couldn't be an audience, we only had a very, very, very small technical crew there. So, we wanted to create a buzz for ourselves, I guess, by the sense of danger of not rehearsing versus going and seeing what happened. And it came off. really pleased with it. And we thought afterwards this was too good just to be lost on Facebook or what have you. So, we decided to make it into a live album. So we remixed the audio and re-edited the video and everything.



Ken Wallis

So how did Catfish come to be? How did you guys start this whole thing off?


Matt Long

Well, we started out back in I think 14…When….


Paul Long

I remember the dates {LAUGH]


Matt

I don't know, last week, let alone six years ago. {LAUGH]


I was in a couple of bands previously. And they both had fallen through at the same time. Some members moved away…some had musical disagreements, etc, etc. And I was left without any form of a band or any kind of thing to play with live. So I approached my dad and asked him whether he wanted to start a fun kind of blues covers band. And he said yes, so we found some friends of ours for a jam night…Kevin Gates and Dusty Bones. And we just got together, played some covers, had some fun, did some pubs…made a little bit of money. It was really fun. And we decided to record a few of these covers because it would help us get some gigs because everyone likes to hear the band before they actually book them, things like that. And when we did, we released an album out of it and a lot of the DJs and internet radio DJs picked up on it and it kind of took off. It got way more round than we were expecting it to. And it was like, wow, this is this is something and at that point, we just decided to actually make a proper band. We started writing original material. And then we came out with Broken Man. I think it's… I always count this one as our first album. But technically it's our second but it's our first album of original songs with Broken Man. And yeah, that has kind of paved the way for us ever since…we've started to hone in on our sound. And it's kind of come together really well from what was you know, a fun little blues cover band to play in the back end of pubs while the football is on to touring all over the world and being the biggest band I think any of us have been in.


Ken Wallis

And you mentioned the tune Broken Man. And that's the first track on this album. It's like what is it 11 minutes long? What a great way to start it off. That had me hooked right then and there.


Matt Long

That's been a staple in our set for a long time. That's probably one of my favourite songs that I've written if I'm allowed to say anything like that. I love that song personally. And it just comes together way better live than it does on an album. So that's why I wanted to get this one. I feel like it's a good opener for this album because it's just one of those songs that we instinctively just have in our DNA right at this point.


Paul Long

I think it pulls together a lot of strands as well, it's got blues right through it… we certainly seem to like doing epic things. [LAUGH] And the scale of it, you know. So there are influences from everywhere I think you can hear on this. You know, there's blues right at the heart of it. But there's also that sort of 70s British rock sort of sound. Yeah, so we don't shut the doors or anything like that. Just sort of like to welcome in influences and hope people come along with us.



Ken Wallis

I think my favourite song has got to be The Root Of All Evil…the two of you, just wailing away on that tune.


Matt Long

Oh, thank you very much. Yeah, that's a really fun one to play live. And I want to say that one's in a stupid tuning. So it's in like a heavy metal shooting, but it's at the heart of it is a blues song as well. And again, it kind of marries together a lot….


Paul Long

It's a very well disguised 12 bar blues.


Matt Long

Yes…it's very bluesy…if you look at it on paper, it's actually quite a bluesy song.


Ken Wallis

And who writes most of the material for your albums?


Matt Long

On the last album, we did a lot together. We tend to start off on our own places, Paul and I, and then kind of come together and fine tune it. Sometimes the song will be completely written by one or the other. And then sometimes a little injection in between and also between Adam and Kevin as well. It mostly starts off from us and then finds its way through the back and kind of filters through and comes out the other side as the finished product.


Ken Wallis

And how did you decide on the name Catfish for the band?


Paul Long

Well, that that came from one of the first covers we played, we still play very occasionally.


Yeah, if we do a cover, we like to do something with a bit of a left field twist to it. And it comes from the old catfish blues song from the 20s or 30s. We have it on our first album…the covers album. And it's…I hope and think it's different from how you will hear anybody else doing the song. And it became a popular song so we just took the name from that song.


Ken Wallis

Your band has been touring a lot in the UK and Europe. Do you think you'll ever come over to North America? Because I'd love to see you guys play over here.


Matt Long

We would absolutely love to.


Paul Long

There are plans to come and play in a festival in the States next summer… you know, all things willing with the COVID and what have you. Yeah, there's a plan to do that…but that’s only one Festival


Matt Long

But whether or not that happens…we'll be sure to come over at some point…it’s certainly a place we’d love to come play... I've always wanted to go and play in America and Canada


Ken Wallis

like that. There are some amazing festivals that take place in Canada outdoors during the summer Mont Tremblantm Kitchener Blues Festival, the list just goes on and on. Hopefully you’ll be in one of those


Paul Long

I came one year to the Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival. And had a great, great time. There certainly was a wide range of stuff that I could see us fitting in on…There was an outdoor stage in one of the squares there that had a great range of blues and blues rock stuff.


Ken Wallis

I love going to festivals and I'm certainly missing not seeing any live music right now. I guess a very important question is where can our listeners get a hold of your new album?


Matt Long

You can order the album now 1. You can pre order on our website which is

www.catfishbluesband.co.uk and check out our Facebook page. There are links all over the internet.


Ken Wallis

Well, I thank you for your time and it is really a rockin’ good album. I am really enjoying it and keep in touch and hope to see you in Canada someday soon.


Matt Long

Absolutely look forward to it


Paul Long

Thank you



Website: www.catfishbluesband.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecatfishbluesband





 

 

 

© 2020 by The Sound Cafe.

thesoundcafe@feamedia.com