Interview: Catching Mangoes
[gallery type="slideshow" link="none" size="full" ids="133408,133409,133410"] What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve been playing music since I was about 7, playing guitar. Me (George) and Dan met in primary school and starting playing music together a few years later and everything has kinda come from that base really. We’re all still at uni together at the moment so it’s not our full-time occupation at the moment.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We’re all still studying at University at the moment so that occupies a lot of our time. 2 of us study philosophy so they love an intense chat about that here n there. Suppose the work ethic and creative thinking from that helps us develop songs in more interesting ways.
How long has your band been around?
We started playing together in around 2016 and have been playing ever since.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Our hometown is a small village in South East England. We’ve recently written a concept album about a boy called Kevin who is trying to escape his town and find more to life than the bounds of his neighborhood, which I suppose is something we went through. I think this was slightly more potent when we were a bit younger but still resonates now, even though we have moved away from our village for periods.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
We were once getting a plane back from Vietnam and as we were in the queue, some local guy threw a mango at Max, which he caught rather impressively with one hand. Couldn’t think of anything else at the time so thought it would be kinda funny. It’s pretty catchy so I’m happy with it and people often refer to us as the Mangoes which has a nice ring to it.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best shows are always at the bar in our hometown, called the Hop Yard in Forest Row. They are always packed out full of our mates and local people and as we’ve been away from there for a while now it’s always mega fun and energetic. We’re playing there again on 26th June (assuming restrictions are lifted) so anyone close by, be sure to come along.
The worst gig was probably someplace we played in London once. One of the bands’ keyboard players took a phone call halfway through the show haha.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
As I said, Hop Yard is always so good so gotta be there. We’ve played at some great places around London too, including Dingwalls in Camden which was super cool. Would love to play somewhere abroad, not fussed where – welcome to suggestions or gigs offers ay.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I mean ive always been a big Arctic Monkeys fan so deffo whack them on. Probs get Oasis and The Beatles involved too. Then maybe someone like The Doors as they’ve been a massive influence for us and would have loved to see big Jim do his thing and I’ve heard King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s gigs are pretty huge.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Take plenty of time writing the best songs you can and try and make them as interesting as you can. That’s what we’ve attempted at doing and it’s the proudest we’ve ever been of anything we’ve done so regardless of opinions it’s been great for us.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Have more fun with it, and don’t take it all as seriously as at the end of the day, we’re playing tunes and gigs to have some fun and a good old boogey.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I am a big fan of our latest release ‘Outlaw Bandit’. It’s a chilled out tune which I think we nailed the vibe of and is something that we don’t often do (chilled). I’m also super happy with the feedback we’ve received on that one which is also nice. I also really like our next tune, the title track off our upcoming album ‘Kevin’s Town’, as it gives you some good context of the album and is super high energy and just gets me buzzin when I listen to it haha.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We’ve not really played any of our new album live as we wrote most of it since the first lockdown. But I’m 100% sure one of them will be the most popular, probably Bloom Orlando. We’ve got a mega music vid coming out next month for that too so kept ya eyes and ears peeled.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Usually, I bring something to the others and we curate it between us together. I don’t think any of us have ever brought a song to practice that has stayed exactly the same as the finished product. The latest load have all been to do with Kevin’s Town so we wrote the story a while back and have based the songs on that. But I suppose they come from somewhere within us and I definitely think the fact we are all from a small village upbringing has inspired us into this creation.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Have fun, don’t take life too seriously, and get some random shit in there too. This album is honestly ridiculous and I wouldn’t change it for the world. We have an acapella, campfire-type song, and a heavy metal one all thrown in for good measure.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have small disagreements about menial things like whether there should be a piece of percussion in a certain section of a song or something like that. There’s usually 2 of us leaning one way so that decides it. Democracy.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We certainly do. New single ‘Kevin’s Town’ out Friday 21st Juneeeeeee. Then Bloom Orlando, our final single is out next month and after that the big album. We have vinyl coming through on these so get in before they all go at www.catchingmangoes.com/merch. You can also read the story on our website if you fancy a bit of fun. Gigs wise we’re playing @ Hop Yard, Forest Row on 26th June, Hoxton Underbelly in London on 17th July, Hope and Ruin in Brighton on 16th August so come along and have a beer with us if you fancy it.