The years 2015 to 2017 were most probably the most crucial building block along my musical path. I’ve spent the two years struggling with a degenerative tendon disease leading to a derailing chronic wrist injury.
At first, I was misdiagnosed, and it took six months to understand why my wrists were escalating in pain. Since March 2015 I have routinely been a patient of several clinics, in and out of several hospitals, X-ray/Ultrasound/MRI scanning beds, frequented medical specialists and doctors offices around the city with minimal results.
It still affects me every day now. But I have new music released since and I’m moving on!
I am living proof of the regenerative power of muscle memory and artistic practice. Music and lyricism saved my life, and to these, I owe everything I have. Ten years on from a major stroke, composer Liam O’Connell shares his thoughts on life and returning from the brink.
There once was an expectation, that an artist would take a while to create an album. That was certainly the case for my first album “Headfiller”. Over the course of a decade it was finally released. My latest “Assortment” was created in a comparative blink of an eye. The levels of frustration, pain and joy seem to be similar though.
We are in our 40s, except for Kayla:) But we have been grinding for years. Chris who writes our sound and I met 20 years ago after I left my more heavy/ hardcore band Novelty( we opened for acts like helmet, into another, cast iron hike, sunny day real estate, etc) I had given up on music after we had tried to raise a band called 5,000 Rooms, which never made it to perform live. Now, in the future with the ability to file share we birthed airwaves spectacular.
There were a few years there–the late 60’s and early 70’s–when underground FM radio thrived in Chicago. FM was new then, not yet corporate, and it offered, on weak frequencies, some very eclectic and adventurous broadcasting. I’d stay up late at night and record from the radio—musicians I’d never heard, but who fascinated me: Sibelius, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Skip James, Ornette Coleman, Doc Boggs. The tapes had no genre boundaries or even taste parameters, really–half the time I didn’t even know if I exactly liked the stuff I was recording. I didn’t yet have enough musical context to fully appreciate it. But I craved the soundscapes the tapes created. Avant garde and folk musics seemed much the same to me. It was all musical texture—fresh and new, especially the stuff that was old.
Catch me Catatonic is Soul-Punk. It started around a glass table. Some of us had been friends for years, and some of us had only just met, but we were immediately connected by our passion for music. We come from different places and pull our musical inspirations from even more places, but we contribute equally to the creation of every song we play, and it’s been magic from day one.
Love songs have been done to death. They are not new. But do they necessarily have to be all-in on either the sugar-sweet and romantic side or the heavily emotional and melancholic breakup side?
Can’t they be written in a detached way seen through glasses of the harsh conditions of reality? With a sarcastic and humorous tone? With a hint of cynicism? Even about objects instead of people? Can’t the story behind be as interesting as the emotions?
As a songwriter, I like to go back and study the songs that have left the biggest mark on me. When I was finishing my recent album Bad Poems For Good People, no song was stronger in my mind than The River by Bruce Springsteen.