Local Focus: Deathcats



Deathcats are a Glasgow based reverby fuzz-rock trio who have a talent for music with both melody and sharp fangs. The guys have got a smashing LP and countless gigs – including Wickerman and T in the Park- under their belt. We caught up with frontman James McGarragle for a quick introduction.

Describe your sound in 5 words.

Enthralling, fast, energetic, fuzzy, chaotic.

How did you guys start?

We were at university, Strathclyde funnily enough, I was playing in another band for ages but I something that could sound more like I wanted it to. So, one of my friends from uni, who didn’t play bass, I asked him to play bass and the guitarist from the other band who didn’t play drums, I asked him to play drums.It was just a mad work in progress for ages. Our first gig we completely forgot about and didn’t really do anything. When we realised we had it, we finally went like, well, better start practising. That was two and a half years ago. And the rest is just, well, history. It was originally a joke and now it’s blossomed into this actual thing.

What happened to the Hawaiian shirts?

The surf thing was too much, you’ll get bloggers and reviewers that latch on to the smallest things. They still call us a surf band and we sound nothing like a surf band. And then after so many gigs, we kept forgetting to wash them and stuff. I just thought it’d be cool if we had synchronised outfits like The Beach Boys but it was too much of an image, there’s a lot of post-surf bands going about, and I was just like, I don’t want to end up stuck writing songs that have to sound a certain way so we just ditched them.

Favourite place to play in Glasgow?

13th note has always been a favourite because anything goes. Usually when you go to a venue, at the start, you go at five o’clock, it’s dead cold, you sit about and you feel dead uneasy. Whereas the 13th Note, they’ll just let you go downstairs straight away and being in that shitty basement, it’s dead relaxed, you always feel chilled out.

Best gig you’ve ever played? 

We were in Dundee in January, we played in an arts base called Tin Roof, it’s a collective that runs it. You could pay whatever you wanted to get in, everyone brought their own booze. My mate was just back from Afghanistan, he only had one week and he came up to this gig, kicking about with all these art school kids. It was in the middle of winter as well, fucking freezing, by the end, everyone was sweating. My favourite gig, hands down.

What’s been the highlight of Deathcats’ career so far?

The nicest thing, actually, putting out a record. We never thought we’d do anything like that. Another one, we played in Aberdeen last summer and this girl came up at the end and just mentioned it was her birthday. I was pretty drunk so, I was like ‘oh, have a T-shirt for your birthday’ and she was so stoked. She came and spoke to us again last week when we were in Aberdeen again and asked us if we remembered her. I said ‘yeah, yeah, I gave you a t-shirt’. She told us ‘that made my day, every time I put it on, I shout Deathcats’. and then later on, said ‘today, I got the all clear from cancer, I’ve been having treatment for ages and that gig was the best end to it.’ That’s the coolest thing anyone has ever said to me. Seeing someone that stoked because you’re playing music , that’s the best thing that’s ever happened, it was pretty cool. Fuck T in the Park, that woman who came in so happy, that was way more amazing.

What other local bands should we keep an eye on?

It’s funny, when I first started there were all these cool bands popping up and for the past few years, it’s been all the same bands, we haven’t really found any new ones to follow. Secret Motorbikes, they’re our really good friends and they’re great. Halfrican, I went to Spain with them last year, they’re probably my favourite Glasgow band. Pinact, they’re in New York just now, they’re our really good pals, we’ve played with them a lot as well. Future Glue are the ultimate rock and roll band, they’re the kind of people you wouldn’t imagine could tie their shoelaces, nevermind play guitar but they’re amazing, proper oldschool rock and roll. Sharktooth, an all-girl band, they’re really cool. There’s not enough girl bands in Glasgow, so you should definitely check them out. That’s my favourites, I’m not going to namedrop anyone else for now.

Where and when can we catch you next? 

We’re playing December 5 in Stereo, it’s our EP launch with a Canadian band, New Swears. We’ve also got Secret Motorbikes, Pinact and  the Rockalls, they’re all really good Glasgow bands. December 17th at Sloans, we’re playing a Christmas party, that’s not technically our gig though… So Dec 5, that’s going to be our last official gig for a while.

You can follow the band on Facebook and find their music on Bandcamp.

Silja Slepnjov
Editor In Chief


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