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The 69 Cats
Interview mit Danny B. Harvey [The 69 Cats], 20.05.2015, Köln/Underground



Rockabillys aufgepasst! Sänger Jyrki69 (The 69 Eyes) und Gitarrist Danny B. Harvey (Rockats, Headcat) haben sich zusammengetan, um gemeinsam als The 69 Cats dem Rock’n’Roll zu frönen. Durch diese Kollaboration entstand nicht zuletzt der Longplayer „Transylvanian Tapes“, mit dem die Musiker ausgiebig durch Europa tourten. Bei ihrem Zwischenstopp in Köln hatte ich die Gelegenheit, mit Gitarrenmann Danny B. Harvey über die Entstehungsphase von Band und Debüt-Album sowie die Zukunftspläne der Künstler zu sprechen. Sänger Jyrki hielt derweil keine zwei Meter entfernt ein Nickerchen auf dem Boden und ließ sich durch unser Gespräch absolut nicht stören.


What has been the crucial factor to found The 69 Cats? Who’s idea was it?

Danny: It was funny. Jyrki contacted me from Finland via the record company called Cleopatra Records and I’ve done a lot of work with the label. They contacted me and asked me “Do you know The 69 Eyes? Their singer Jyrki is a big fan of yours! He would like to record two songs of you!” And so it happened. But as those two songs turned out so good, we decided to go ahead and do a whole EP. Then we decided to become a band: Jyrki as a singer, me on the guitar, then we got Franklin Chopper from The Cramps – he’s been a friend of mine for a long time – on the bass and Clem Burke from Blondie to play drums. But unfortunately Blondie is a way too busy, so Clem couldn’t do this tour with us as he’s still with Blondie. Instead we have Hendrik the drummer from the Horrorpops. He’s really good!

How fast did you come up with the name The 69 Cats?

Danny: [laughs] Jyrki came up with the name. Because I was in the Rockats and a band called Headcat and he’s from The 69 Eyes, we made a combination: The 69 Cats.

Is it more like a side project or a fulltime job for you?

Danny: It is a side project, ‘cos my main thing is my solo stuff. And Jyrki’s main thing is his band The 69 Eyes – he’s not planning to leave it…

How’s been the tour so far for you?

Danny: Surprisingly good. We only played a handful of shows in south west of Texas, we played in LA and Las Vegas. Every show so far was sold out or really close to been sold out. The people love our music, they know the record and sing along the songs, so it’s a lot of fun on stage.

What kind of people are coming to your shows?

Danny: There are a lot of The 69 Eyes fans, people from the goth and glam metal scene, but there are also a lot of fans wearing Motörhead and Headcat shirts. Lemmy and me played in Berlin two years ago. A lot of people hear Motörhead and they know that I am in the band. So there is a cross between Jyrki’s fans and my fans. Then again there are also people that know Chopper from The Cramps…

You’ve released a debut album called “Transylvanian Tapes”. How did you decide which cover songs will be on that album?

Danny: [laughs] Jyrki and I talked a lot by email and skype. We used Spotify – but I don’t like to promote it – and each of us picked songs he liked and we took those we both agreed on…

How did you manage the recording process as you’re living in different countries?

Danny: I recorded everything in Austin, like pretty much using drum loops etc. Then I sent those files to Jyrki who put down guide vocals, just really rough vocals, and he sent them back to me. With those I went to LA and recorded Chopper on the bass and Clem on the drums. The final mixes I sent to Jyrki in Helsinki once again and he did his vocals over there and sent everything back to me. Finally I took all the tracks to Smithville, Texas, where the record was mixed for us. So in the end we recorded parts in Berlin, Helsinki, Austin, Smithville and LA.

What kind of challenges did you have during the recording process?

Danny: Well, that was the hardest thing: the distances between us. How we gonna do the vocals as we would never be in the same room with Jyrki?

As Jyrki’s voice reminds a lot of Elvis – which role has this musician been playing in your life so far?

Danny: I grew up listening to Elvis and everything what came out of Elvis was Rock’n’Roll. And obviously Jyrki has that deep voice and some people say that he sounds like Elvis. We love that old Rock’n’Roll stuff…

Is there any chance to hear some own songs by The 69 Cats in future?

Danny: Yeah, we’ve been talking about writing own songs and throwing ideas around. This tour is kind of fun, because we’re hanging around together, talking about songs and I’m sure for the next album we’ll be working on own songs…

What are the next steps with The 69 Cats when you’re coming back home from this tour?

Danny: We will play some shows in Finland in late summer and there are plans for coming back to Germany in December. Then again Jyrki’s gonna do a new The 69 Eyes album, so he will be busy with that. And Lemmy said that he wants to do a new Headcat record. So after this tour we’ll see what the next move is. Right now it is lot of fun playing Rock’n’Roll.



Interview & Fotos: Lea S.
Website Band: www.the69cats.com


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