This was an interview Badger did did with the Is My Music Fire blog, published on 5/3/2021.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Badger Brewington, I’m the singer and bass player for Spidercat. I also play synth and keys occasionally. Ratty Hadders is our guitarist and Doggy Dunton plays drums. Ratty and I have been playing together since we were kids. We got to know Dog more recently. He’s our IRL boss. A very nice one I should add (especially since he’ll probably read this interview). All three of us live and work on a farm in Sussex, UK, in the South Downs national park not far from the city of Brighton.
How did you come up with your artist name?
That’s easy, it’s the name of the farm: Spidercat Farm. I think it sounds kinda cool, like a kitty superhero.
How long have you been in the music industry?
We’re really in the farming industry. Ratty and I have been in bands for years. We were almost quite successful in Japan until that all went horribly wrong. Dog has been playing drums since he was a kid, but only in local bands. We’ve never actually made more than pocket money from Spidercat, so I guess we’re not really “in the music industry”. We started Spidercat in 2017 soon after we started working at the farm.
How did you get started in the music business in the first place?
See above. Ratty and I started learning to play guitar and bass as teenagers. We were in various awful but fun bands but world-wide rock stardom eluded us for some unknown reason. We’re hoping that things will be different with Spidercat.
How would you describe your latest single?
My throat has been giving me hell recently, so we’ve had a spate of releasing instrumentals. The latest single is called Cat Orchestra Debacle. It’s a collaboration between us and our friends The Cat Orchestra who are a kind of synth collective who live nearby. Ratty had a tune lying around that we thought was catchy, so we just jammed on that until something nice came out. It’s probably the most random and least composed thing we’ve released. It’s a nicely quirky joyful little number. Ratty gets a guitar solo which is his happy place and something that even I’ll admit he’s quite good at. Dog doesn’t actually play on this one, we have Hugo from the Cat Orchestra standing in instead. Lots of interesting noises from the CO’s Felix on modular too. Yes it’s a bag of fun, you should check it out.
When can fans expect the visuals for the single?
Do you mean a video? We don’t quite have the budget for that yet, but it’s got a nice cover showing the cats doing their thing. That’s my work. I draw all the cover pictures.
Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
You can probably tell from our music that we’re in love with 60’s and 70’s rock and pop. We try not to make it too much of an obvious pastiche, but the influence is clearly there.
How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?
Ratty and I write all the songs. We both have very different approaches though. For me it always starts with a phrase, or snippet of a melody popping into my head, nine times out of ten it’s in the shower. Then I’ll sit down with an acoustic guitar and throw some chords together that seem to fit. Ratty on the other hand spends hours with his looper experimenting. He’s geekily into music theory and loves to play with ideas. Our single Aftermath is a great example of that; it goes through a number of different key changes in a huge cycle before coming back to where it started. He loves that stuff. He’s really good at taking my simple songs and adding to them too, so you’ll almost never hear a pure Badger composition.
What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if working on one?
The next project is yet another instrumental. Once again it’s one of Ratty’s tunes that he’s busy contorting into weird and wonderful shapes. Hopefully it’ll be out next month. Working title is “Dog’s Dinner” which makes Mr Dunton very happy. After that we’ve got a pile of my songs that just need finishing off, especially the vocals. There’s a big musical number about Armageddon - a huge asteroid hitting the earth - that goes with our track Aftermath. You should see that once I’m up to singing again.
Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?
Er, no. Is anyone touring at the moment?
What did you buy with your first check off music?
I can’t remember. Probably a pint of ale. As I mentioned above we were doing quite well in Japan at one point, and both mine and Ratty’s main instruments, a Jazz Bass and a Strat, were bought with proceeds from that era. We haven’t made a penny from Spidercat… yet.
What are must haves when you’re in the studio working?
Ratty is the king of the studio (actually just a spare room in the farm house). We have a very basic setup with just a computer. Everything’s done ‘in the box’, so I suppose the ‘must have’ is the computer. We use Reaper as our DAW; it’s excellent for what we do.
What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
That’s a hard one. I’m not sure I’ve got an answer? We’ve realised that we need to put as much effort into promoting our music as much as we do making it. That’s something we’ve worked out for ourselves though rather than being somebody’s advice. Having said that, other indie artists we’ve connected with on Twitter have been exceptionally kind in helping us out and giving advice.
Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?
Sure! We really enjoyed jamming with the cats. I’m sure we’ll do that again.
What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like?
He he, I seem to be very good at predicting the next question! Yeah, so jamming with the cats was cool. They are all about keys and synths, so I learnt a lot. I now want my own modular, but it’s a black hole of disposable income, of which I have very little.
Name an artist(s) that you would love to work with?
I really like Foxygen. I think it would be very cool to have an album produced by Jonathan Rado.
Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Our music is definitely listening rather than dancing music. More for the head than the body. But we won’t hate you if you want to dance to it. Actually we’d like to see it - send us a video.
What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
It doesn’t look like we or anyone else is going to be playing live for a while, so we’re really focussed on writing and recording. It’s what we enjoy the most in any case. We’re still learning about production. Our recordings sound quite amatuer so there’s much to be improved. We are also learning about promotion which is very new for us and something that we also need to get much better at.
What’s your all-time favourite song?
And now for the easy questions! He he. I have no idea. I could pick one out of a very large hat I suppose. I was listening to Carole King’s Tapestry recently. It’s Too Late is a really lovely song.
What was the last album you listened to?
Checks Spotify… It was The John Mitchie Collective’s High Vibrations. Just released. John is a great guy and I love this album. Really nice, very English psychedelica.
Your favourite artist of all time and why?
More easy ones! I’m a 60’s hippie at heart, so I’ll mention Gong. The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy is my happy place. Ratty is a huge Hillage fan as well. I’m guessing Ratty would say Frank Zappa was his favourite artist, and Dog is Beatles forever.
Who’s your fav five artists right now?
We all love King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. They are one of the most interesting bands around at the moment. I am astounded by their productivity. Five albums in one year! And that’s while doing extensive touring too. Mind you they don’t have to run a farm as far as I know.
Oh now I see the question asked for five? Also we like: Brighton band JOUIS - superb laid back jazzy prog, The Lemon Twigs - especially their debut Do Hollywood, a huge inspiration to us, Ratty is huge on Le Grand Sbam - almost modern classical music. One more? Oh yes, Kikagaku Moyo - psychedelica from Japan - are superb.
In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
We’re never entirely sure how to classify ourselves in terms of genre. We’re kind of retro-indie I suppose, and some things are quite ‘prog’, some quite psychedelic. So I suppose I’d say King Gizzard again? Although we’re very different from them in many ways. Far more laid back.
Who have been some of your favourite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Hey, we’re talking about the cats again. Hello Felix!
How do you feel about the current state of music?
We’re living through a Cambrian Explosion. There’s just so much exciting stuff happening, and the industry itself is going through so many changes. I think we’ll look back at the 20’s as a time of true musical innovation and experimentation. The fact that anyone can sit in their bedroom and make the next Old Town Road throws the doors open to every possible kind of music there can be. The current indie scene is incredibly vibrant. So yeah, I love the current state of music.
Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?
Hmm, the kind of music I like never gets on an award show. I’d probably feel weird if we were invited. Maybe an indie underground award show of some kind. Is there such a thing? Maybe we could have an award show at the farm? Would you like to come?
What is your main goal as far as music?
We like to set ourselves nice easy to reach goals so that we can constantly succeed! Right now it’s to get our next single released. We’d like to get to 100 followers on Spotify by the end of the year. I think that’s doable. But the main goal is always to enjoy making music that we like.Of course we have egos, so it’s lovely when other people like our music too. It’s a huge boost when someone says something nice about us on Twitter or Reddit. I suppose a ‘stretch goal’ - one that we think is unlikely to happen - is to make a living from music, but even then I can’t picture Dog giving up his farm.
Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Of course it relates to us the most since we make it. Other than that I have no opinion (I nearly wrote ‘onion’ - I have no onion!). It’s really interesting to look at our Spotify stats: It’s 50/50 male/female and an even distribution of ages and locations. I don’t know how accurate they are, but I’m surprised that no particular demographic seems to be asserting itself. At least not so far.
What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
As far as I know, we are the only band in existence to be made up of small cartoon mammals. That’s pretty different.
When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
It’s the other way around, when we’re not farming we do music for fun and relaxation. We like a nice pub and good company. I also love drawing - did I mention that I do all the covers for our songs. I did? Ratty is an all round geek, he likes fiddling with computers and electronics. He made his own MIDI guitar pedal recently. Dog likes old stuff, especially classic cars. He’s got a Triumph Spitfire that rarely works in one of the barns. Sometimes he dresses in tweed and pretends to be a chap from the 1950’s.
If you could work with any producer who would it be?
I rule at predictive question answering! Yeah, so as I said above I’d love to work with Jonathan Rado. His production style is what we’re aiming for in our mixes.
What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Being invited for an interview by the lovely people of Is My Music Fire!
What is your dream venue to perform at?
That’s easy: Brighton Dome. First performance of Dark Side of the Moon. Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest there with Waterloo. The whole place is teeming with history. And it’s only a short drive away, so we can get absolutely smashed afterwards and still wake up in our own beds. Plus all our friends would come. That would be lovely.
What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?
I’ve been reading the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brien. Currently on HMS Surprise. If you like old British naval slang and a good old fashioned Napoleonic ship-of-the-line bust up, nothing can beat them. Superb!
What’s your favourite sports team and why?
Badgers do not do sports.
Who’s your favourite actor or actress and their best movie?
That’s tricky. I love Tarantino - although not for his acting. Pulp Fiction is my favourite one of his. I also really enjoyed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood recently. That was the last film I saw at the cinema before the pandemic.
Name someone famous who inspires you and why?
I find anyone with a unique musical vision and the talent and dedication to realise it inspiring. From Paul McCartney to Prince. I’m astonished by the sheer musical virtuosity of Jacob Collier, although I think he’s yet to find his authentic musical voice. He’s trying much too hard to be Stevie Wonder. He’s going to be one to watch as he evolves over the next few years.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Our current plan is to keep on releasing tracks as they are done, so you can expect a new one every month or two depending on how busy we are on the farm. Once there’s enough music for an album we plan to remix them and put them out as “album versions” on Spidercat One, or whatever we call it. We would like to do a proper vinyl release, but we’ll have to see what the interest and cost is like. After that we’ve got a pretty well worked out idea for a concept album, although there’s enough non-concept song ideas in the pipeline to do another standard album first.