Interview: Barrabus talk upcoming album

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Fronted by swivel-eyed polymath Paul Catten, they are simply one of the gnarliest and most distinctive bands to emerge from the UK underground over the last 20 years. Barrabus first appeared as a brief but thrilling flash in life’s shitty pan a decade ago, popping up as main support to My Ruin, SiKth and several more notables, but then promptly disappeared in a puff of noxious disdain. Gloriously, the best ideas absolutely refuse to. Barrabus, are set to release their self titled album  on 9th June via Undergroove Records and you can check out the band’s new single Porn below!

We managed to catch up with the band as they talked about the upcoming album and more!

So how pumped are you for your new self titled album?

Very much! Its been a while since we’ve done any band albums, and as this was one we could have done a decade ago so it is quite exciting to finally get these songs out, updated and sounding super fresh. The CD looks great, and sounds killer. The big deal for me is that we did it ourselves, mainly here in my studio. Pumped and proud pretty much sums it up

How has the release of Porn been so far?

Feedback so far has been great, and its a nice introduction to what else lies on the album. It was difficult to pick a track to be fair, but this contains all aspects of the Barrabus vibe, intense, dark and a whole bunch of seedy characters in one song. Plus its a good title….unless you’re searching for it on a filtered computer of course.

Can you tell us anything about the release?

Out June 9th on Undergroove Recs. 9 tracks on the CD/digipak and 10 on the digital download version. The extra track is a cover of Adam and the Ants ‘Zerox’ which we recorded as we are all big fans of the Ant. Many different flavours on this beast, and I’m sure its one of the most satisfying records Mark and I have been involved with in 20 years. Its self-produced and maybe even sounds that way, we weren’t looking for crystal clear production, just our sound…we got there in the end I think. It was never a plan to do an album, but the old drummer (who appears on the recording) found some mp3s of a rehearsal so him and Keen suggested recording some stuff. Admittedly I was sceptical as my love for band douchbaggery had waned, and I had found my place in avant-gardism. However, after hearing the initial recordings, it felt like time to get into the idea and we just got on with it. No rush, no stress…just smashing it little by little. We didn’t even have any plans to put it out properly, maybe chuck it out for free but Darren at UG heard it and was on the phone immediately. I only really deal with 2 labels, them and Future Noise, so was extremely happy to go with them again. We’ve had a couple of false starts but now its done, lets get this out there!

What has been your funniest moment while recording the album?

If petty bitching and falling out over guitar tones, bass sounds, cymbals, vocals, mixing, recording, who’s the biggest asshole etc sounds like good fun then pretty much all of that! Not sure about the other guys but although satisfying, there was not much for me to laugh about as it meant countless hours sat in front of computer screen putting this together. I guess the suffering of my neighbours below while I laid down the vocals would always make me laugh. “I wish I was a woman!” being screamed from above would guarantee raised eyebrows I’m sure.

If you can work with any band, who would it be and why?

I can’t even get on with these guys and I’ve known them for years, so working with anyone else is a recipe for disaster haha. In all seriousness, nobody at the minute, Barrabus are the ideal band for me. No dramas now, always a good crack and we are sounding great. Good question tho, I’m tempted to go back to day one and join or start a h/c band…finish where I started. Always fancied the Dead Kennedys job after Jello left, reckon I could smash that position.

So how much does it mean to you when your fans listen to your music?

A great deal. I’ve been in this game a long time, and it still amazes me that some people still give a shit, and I am deeply grateful for that. I’ve never been an arrogant prick like a lot of frontmen, and you can usually find me at the merch stall or wherever thanking people for their support. You write to me, I’ll write you straight back. That’s the least we can do I think. I’m no rockstar, never have been. I’m happy making a racket, jumping around and shouting a lot and if people appreciate that, then I appreciate them. It will be interesting to see what fans Barrabus attracts…guys and girls in suits I hope.

 What do you get up to in your spare time?

Make music in the studio, I always have a project on the go. Most appear somewhere, even if its just on my bandcamp page. There’s a couple of things out this year….to be revealed soon enough. The studio is my instrument these days, and I’m never happier than when I’m there working. I enjoy a good football match still, but I live a pretty chilled out existence these days. I crammed a lot of living into a short space of time, just feeling like a human being these days rather than a performing seal is good enough. Spare time is getting less as the release of this record draws nearer however!

Will there be a tour at all this year?

A 15 date headline tour isn’t viable for us at the moment, but if a good support slot comes out you never know. We will be out and about over the summer and beyond, so there will be plenty of opportunity to come see us. We’re not getting ahead of ourselves but if the need is there then of course we will seize the moment, we’d be silly not too.


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