A Word In the Ear of Chris Catalyst (Eureka Machines)

I recently had the opportunity to have Chris Catalyst of Eureka Machines answer a few short questions. Now the Eureka Machines are a Leeds-based rock/punk/pop band, who have played all over the UK with bands like The Wildhearts, Forward Russia and The Rascals. They have opened the BBC Introducing Stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals 2008, released their debut album Do Or Die (Wrath Records, WRATHCD48) on September 1st 2008 to rave reviews, had the song The Story Of My Life featured on the Classic Rock cover CD in November 2009, completed various national tours including one with Electric Six, (at their request) in 2009, they've released a couple of singles and received radio airplay on BBC Radio 1, 6Music, XFM, Channel Five, MTV2, Scuzz and various local stations.

So now to the interview:


First of all let me say thank you for agreeing to this brief interview.

Glitzine - 2009 was a very busy year for both you and the Eureka Machines, with various tours with both Eureka Machines and the Sisters Of Mercy, what would you say was your personal highlight of 2009?

Chris Catalyst - My personal highlight of 2009 was taking my niece and nephew to the cinema and going to Pizza Hut. My musical highlight was probably the Electric Six/Eureka Machines tour where we had hundreds of people singing along to a song that they'd never heard before, every night. My Sisters highlight was a holiday in South America going to Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

Glitzine - The bands line up has changed since the recording of the last album, how are things working out now?

Chris Catalyst - Great. We're more of a 'band' now. I'd written pretty much all of the songs before we recorded the first album, and I played bass and most of the guitars on it, as well as most of the singing. We've got a proper line-up now and it's going to be more of a proper 'band' album. Four heads are better than one, and although everyone contributed to Do Or Die, the new album has been a lot more organic. Oh and no disrespect to Steve Morricone, our former bass player, but we always knew he wouldn't be around forever - he helped us out for a year or so and we are still top pals.

Glitzine - Eureka Machines debut album 'Do Or Die' was one of the best debuts that I've heard in years, and one of the best albums of 2008 so how is the new material shaping up in comparison?

Chris Catalyst - Thanks. We like it too. The new stuff is good, but we would say that. It's very poppy, but some of it is a bit rockier, and some is a bit weirder. It's kind of like the first album, only more so.

Glitzine - The songs on 'Do Or Die' were mainly very positive songs, was there a conscious reason behind this and are the new songs going to have similar messages?

Chris Catalyst - The words are generally supposed to be positive, with a message that you should get off your arse and just do something. Most of it was written addressed to myself, as I'd been sitting on my arse for far too long. The new album is similar, with some of the same lyrical themes, and a few songs about sitting on your arse again. Mostly they're just funny.

Glitzine - I believe that you have recently entered the studio to start working on the second album, can you give us any info like song titles/possible album name at this stage?

Chris Catalyst - Some of the songs are ones we've been playing for a while, Champion The Underdog, Zero Hero and (I'm) Wasting My Time (Yet Again), and some are tracks we've not sussed out how to play live yet. The album will probably be called Champion The Underdog.

Glitzine - Chris, over the years you have worked with many great musicians from The Sisters Of Mercy, Ginger (Wildhearts), Willie Dowling (Jackdaw4, Honeycrack, The Grip) to name but a few. Has working with any of these amazing talents influenced your song writing?

Chris Catalyst - After a long attempt at trying to get somewhere with our old band Catalyst, I spent a few years soaking up talent from people like Andrew Eldritch, Ginger, Willie and various others like Alex Kane, The Dead Pets lads and so on, learning my trade. I feel like I learned a lot in the time I was whoring myself out, and that it was time to do something for myself for a change. It's a bit like going out with girls - when you split up with someone, the last thing you want to do is fall into another relationship. You want to do a bit of shagging around and see where you get, then settle down later.
Plus song writing is only one part of being in a band... I've learned a lot about generally being in a band over the past few years, and what to do (carry spares, practise a lot) and what not to do (get pissed all the time, take the piss out of your fans or band).

Glitzine - I managed to catch you guys live at JB's (Dudley) late last year with El Diablo and was amazed at your energy levels, how do you manage to perform so well at such a high energy level?

Chris Catalyst - Oh man, we were knackered that night, we'd had very little sleep the night before. We practise a lot and we work hard. Plus we're generally quite energetic people. And we like our songs, they're fun to play.

Glitzine - Eureka Machines have a track featured on the new charity album put together by Round Records to help aid the victims of the recent disaster 'The Haiti Project', could you tell us how you guys became involved?

Chris Catalyst - Our friend Gav put it together, he asked us to be on it. It's a worthy cause and I wish there was more we could do for it, along with a lot of charities.

Glitzine - Last year was quite a busy year tour wise, do you have tour plans set for 2010 yet, any festivals perhaps?

Chris Catalyst - We're finishing the new album, but there's no rush to put it out. We're doing some gigs in May, and hopefully some festivals will come up too.

Glitzine - One of your previous bands, Catalyst recorded a brilliant song, 'Today' a few years ago, is there any chance of eureka machines incorporating this song into their live set, or even re-recording the song, or is the song now just consigned to the past?

Chris Catalyst - No chance whatsoever I am afraid as I hate the lyrics. Plus I (unwittingly) ripped off the melody for our song Red Wine Smile.

Glitzine - You've put out two great music video's for two of your singles so far (Everybody loves You and Being Good Is Okay...) do you have any concepts in mind for future video's?

Chris Catalyst - Oh yes, I have loads of ideas for videos, including one shot in my house for the song These Are The People Who Live In My House, and a hip-hop themed one, and one on a train like a film noir thing, and... I love pop videos.

Glitzine - Briefly tell us what you hope the future holds for Eureka Machines?

Chris Catalyst - I've given up thinking about the future and started trying my best to live in the now. We will keep on going despite whatever life throws at us, anyway. We have too much in common to throw the towel in just yet.

Once again I'd like to thank Chris for consenting to this interview, after having met him at JB's last year I can honestly say that he is one of the nicest guys in Rock N Roll!

Check out the bands official website at - http://www.eurekamachines.com and you can purchase your copy of the Haiti Project Charity album from this location - https://fan.musicglue.com/sale/promoproducts.aspx?productid=d424fa03-a7aa-4e34-9ffc-9c852495283f

Interviewed by Barry Gennard

Visit the Eureka Machines Website