Cheatah’s are a London quartet whose debut EP is in the can and ready to go (via Marshall Teller Records). They put the songs down in their Hackney rehearsal room, a space affectionately described by the band as “full of temperamental amps, a dilapidated drum kit and a barely-working PA, but it’s home.” As for the music, well it’s packed with melody and fuelled by fuzz, and we can’t get enough of it. We caught up with Nathan and James to talk ZZ Top, among other things.
Bowlegs: The new EP is great – were these the only 4 songs you had ready to go or have you got a load more melodic fuzz ready to unleash on us?
Nathan: We did a days recording in May 2011 and tracked around 12 songs. In between working and touring these were the four that we concentrated the most on. We still want to try and finish a lot of the songs we tracked last year, one of them we’ve almost finished for an upcoming compilation. But it’s been a year since then and we’ve definitely refined our sound so we’ll see what we can use. Last month we spent a day at our studio recording drums on our own and the sounds we were getting were way better and we’re much more excited about them so hopefully we’ll have those ready in the next couple months. So yeah, loads more melodic fuzz soon!
Bowlegs: How did you all get together? I understand a couple of you have been, in or are still in, other successful bands? Does starting something new after previous experience help drive you on?
Nathan: We all knew each other as friends first, then thought it a good idea to play music together. I think for me Cheatahs has never been the new thing, it’s always been “the thing.” I’ve played in bands before where I wasn’t writing much, just happy to be playing guitar, but never had the confidence to really give it a proper go. I still play live with Male Bonding and the experiences I’ve been fortunate to have with them have been amazing. It has definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things but also has made me appreciate things more.
James: I was in Weird Dreams for about a year before leaving just before Christmas 2011, as I just didn’t have time to do both that and Cheatahs – it was a no-brainer really.
Bowlegs: Tell us about the track Coared it’s my favourite on the EP, love the guitar sounds. What does Coared mean?
Nathan: Thanks, well we worked on the guitars a lot. I think it’s definitely the strongest song on the EP. I knew this question would come up at some point, i’ll tell you later…
Bowlegs: Marshall Teller certainly have a good track record for putting out bloody good bands – did you know them from the London scene, how did you hook up?
Nathan: Well Leon who plays in the band Colors sent me their “burger”cassette in 2009 and I still have the note he sent with it. They released an early demo of ours in 2010 on a 4 way split and have stayed in touch with us ever since. Really lovely guys who just love playing in bands and putting out stuff that they like. So happy to still be involved with them.
James: Me too, Marshall Teller are the good guys.
Bowlegs: As a band you are from all over the globe, do you share similar tastes in music? What band might you all agree is an influence or a current favourite for the car stereo?
Nathan: I find it pretty difficult to listen to music with these guys. All I wanna listen to is ZZ Top but hey, our band is a democracy.
James: It’s not that I don’t like ZZ Top, I just don’t want to listen to it every time we get in a van.
Bowlegs: I hear Nirvana in tracks like Ripped, are they up there with the best for you guys?
Nathan: It’s crazy how many people that band has affected and is still affecting. I teach guitar to kids and right now, all they want to learn is Nirvana songs. It’s so crazy. A lot of fun too.
Bowlegs: What’s with the one word song names? And where did the band name come from?
Nathan: Come on man!
Bowlegs: What happens next for Cheatahs?
Nathan: Probably spend the summer recording when everyone else is getting soaked at a festival. We are putting out a song on the upcoming Marshall Teller Compilation which should be out in the next couple months.