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Stream Paul Cathro's Debut Album 'Head First Into Solid Ground'

Stream Paul Cathro's Debut Album 'Head First Into Solid Ground'

Friday 25th November, 2016 9:56AM

Auckland-based musician Paul Cathro is today releasing his debut album Head First Into Solid Ground. The Dunedin born multi-instrumentalist, who is perhaps best known for his work with Ha The Unclear, recorded the 10-song album in a miniature hall in on the western slopes of the Otago Harbour, and then sent it off for mastering by Jonathan Pearce (Tiny Ruins, Anthonie Tonnon). Soak up the album while you read our interview with Paul below...

Hey Paul! First off, can you tell us a little bit about your background? When did you start making music?

When I was about 13/14 my brother Michael got a guitar for xmas. So I used to look up tablature on the internet and play Foo FIghters songs to myself (Michael also got me The Colour And The Shape for xmas one year) and that's pretty much how I learned guitar. Had a few bands throughout high school. In my early 20s Michael and his band 'Biff Merchants' asked me to play bass for them as their bass player was moving away. So that's how I learned the bass. Around the same time I started a band for my own material called 'Alizarin Lizard'. We used to do ridiculously long tours of the country. Three months long sometimes driving up and down NZ crammed into a Ford Transit with guitars flying over the backseat when we went around corners, if there was a backseat. Pies. It did wonders for my mental stability.

Listening to the song ‘Telescope’ there's quite a Radiohead vibe... what kind of influences surrounded you during the writing of the songs for the album, sonic or otherwise??

I was getting into a bunch of Bowie as my friend Chantal, that I was living with at the time, has a lot of his albums floating around. Compact Discs would you believe it? I was heavily influenced by Brit-pop from The Kinks to Pulp as well at that time. Radiohead actually came more recently for me for some reason. Love it though.

Where did you record the album? And what kind of bearing did it have on how it turned out?

Where I was living with my friend with the collection of Bowie Compact Discs, in a beautiful house in Ravensbourne, Dunedin is where we recorded the band. She has a beautiful forest with a river flowing through it. I was lucky enough to record a lot of the album there in a wee hall she has there. We had one weekend to record the entire band there before I darted off to Auckland. So there were some very very late nights. I wrote all of the songs on the album during that period of living there too. I did most of the overdubs in Katikati on a hydroponic basil farm called 'Liberty Growers' which my friend Chris, from Alizarin Lizard, is running with his partner Jess. So I was able to chuck some percussion on there and all sorts. It was great fun. So yeah all of that played a huge part in how the album turned out, what instruments were available and who was where and what not.

Who did the queasy-looking cover art and how does it fit in??

My friend Sam Caldwell did the artwork. He listened to the album and basically drew pictures that are relevant to the lyrical content, around what I assume is my face.

What’s next on the cards for you?

I'm looking forward to playing more shows with my new line up, Theodore Francis and John Murray. Also hoping to get started on another album. I've been doing a lot of writing up in Auckland over the last year or so.

Paul Cathro
and full band will be celebrating the album's release on 14th January at The Wine Cellar in Auckland


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