A Quickie With… Catfish Haven

Chicago’s Catfish Haven are the real deal when it comes to rustic authenticity. The band, named after the Missouri trailer park that lead singer George Hunter grew up in, has perfected a potent mix of soul, rock and funk. Their shows combine loud acoustic guitars, infectious rhythms and Hunter’s howling lead vocals to give off a truly genuine energy. Currently in the middle of touring and making a new album, bassist Miguel Castillo took some time to chat with buzz about their new album and their upcoming show in Champaign.
buzz: At your show last fall (as part of Pygmalion Music Festival), you had a group of background vocalists/dancers on stage with you that added a lot to the set. Where/how did you meet them?
Miguel Castillo of Catfish Haven: That would be Tina M. Howell and Avery R. Young. We met them during the recording of the Tell Me record. They were friends of friends, and they came in and laid down some awesome vocal tracks. So we liked what they could do talent-wise. They are cool as hell and totally just fit the Catfish Haven vibe.
buzz: Do you always tour with them?
Miguel: The budget doesn’t always allow for the full backing band, but we definitely love having them, and I think the new record is going to have way more vocal parts. The live show is gonna get bigger and be more of a party, but that’s something you’ll have to wait until fall ’08 to see.
buzz: Last time, you mentioned that your new material is going to take on more dance/progressive sound. Does this mean we can be expecting more funky tunes like “Crazy for Leaving”?
Miguel: We’re working on the new record now, and there’s definitely more energy overall. I’m really excited about it, and yeah, we get even more funky than “Crazy for Leaving” on this next one. The hope is that it will be a record that you can put on to get the party started, you know, get people shaking their asses and having a good time.
buzz: Overall, how is the new material coming along?
Miguel: It’s on schedule at the moment, and we’ve got 13 tracks. If everything goes smoothly, we’ll have it out on October 7. Right now, we’re in a demo-ing phase. We’ll be going into the studio in the end of March and early April. Oh yeah, it’s called Devastator.
buzz: Can we expect to be hearing some new tunes March 7?
Miguel: Yeah, we’ll be playin’ some new ones but not too many — just a taste of the new record and then the old favorites.
Catfish Haven will be playing at Mike ‘n Molly’s March 7 with Mannequin Men and New Ruins. The 21+ show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $5.

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