This Q & A with Riley Catherall sheds light onto his experiences and inspiration behind his latest release!
Riley Catherall is an Americana influenced Singer-Songwriter based in Melbourne whose graceful trajectory into the Australian Alt-Country Music world has not gone unnoticed. Working with some of the industry’s finest (Bill and Kasey Chambers) for his first EP, Riley has built a credible status as a one of the country’s most promising songwriters.
In 2019, Riley released the first single off his upcoming record, a track called “Pray That I Won’t Be Long”, which addressed the superstitions of the last mile home. The song received high praise, being added to the ABC National’s high rotation in November 2019 and remaining on the Music Network’s top 50 list well into April 2020. Riley, accompanied by his band consisting of: Alex Warren on drums; Joel Loukes on Bass; Ryan Hillam on guitars and Gabrielle Parker on keys and BVs – promoted the single with a successful national tour. Riley also appeared at the Maverick Americana Festival in Suffolk, UK where he was listed as a festival favourite alongside Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show) and Hannah Aldridge. 2020 will bring more releases off the upcoming record, with his second single “Leave Me Out To Dry” set to be released in June.
What was your experience recording with Damian Cafarella at EOR Studios? Was it Emotional?
Damian is incredible, it’s nice to walk into a studio with a producer who is on the same wavelength. It took a lot of the guesswork out of the recording process when we were both clear on what we were aiming for. He’s a genius.
How was the filming experience by Tyler Ridgeway? Would you film with him and Shoelace Creative again?
Absolutely, Ty is a master. It’s nice not having to worry about my ideas in the wrong hands. I knew there would be one less thing to worry about when he’s behind the camera.
The video was edited by Ryan Hillam. How did that come to be? And was it less stressful as he is your guitarist?
Ryan used to work on Playschool believe it or not! And yes, it makes things a whole lot easier when I know him on a personal level, knowing that we could both throw ideas at each other and be critical without insulting each other’s creative esteem.
What inspired you to write/sing this song? Was there a specific event?
Not so much a specific event but a theme. It is a bit of a sequel to a previous release of mine in Watered Down Man. The song is about shuffling around Brunswick streets intoxicated and waking up and thinking a whole lot less of yourself to be back in the same state again. It’s a bit of a reminder for myself to not slip back into old ways.
Your music is emotive and deep. Is music making for you an emotional outlet?
I’d say so, most of my songs are incredibly sad though anyone who hangs out with me knows that I’m, for the most part, a pretty energetically fun guy. I think the songs come from a genuine place that I don’t necessarily let out in any other medium.
What do you mean by ‘Drying up’, is that a direct reference to the song or does it have greater meaning?
I’ve used analogies about the make-up of drinks, liquids and abusing alcohol before. I think it’s directly related to alcohol and the thought of diluting oneself and their character because of the mind-altering effects the drinking can have.
What was the time frame it took for you to create ‘Leave me out to dry’?
The song was so quick, less than an afternoon. I’ve always found the writing and recording part to be quick and easy, it’s the distribution and promotion that causes me the time related stress and anxiety.
Will we be expecting more music around similar topics to ‘Leave me out to dry’ on your upcoming album?
There are definite themes in the other tracks on the record, and yes I think I write about this particular issue a fair bit due to its impact on myself, my relationships and my creativity over the past few years.