On October 29th, I did a phone interview with Tim Catz, the guitarist for the Boston-based band Antler. (Read my review of their album here.)
ON THE BAND’S NAME
ZM: Where did the name “Antler” come from?
TC: You know, a deer has antlers. . .
ZM: Well, yeah, but–
TC: It’s something that, opposed to the Southern Rock aspect, this is like the Northern version of it–the Yankee redneck version of it–and, you know, the bikers up at Hampton Beach with the eagles and deer heads on their shirts, it’s sort of like that. It’s one of those things, too, where “Antler” sounds like an organic kind of working name.
ZM: Yeah, it has a lot of good, sharp points to it, too. It sounds sharp but natural at the same time.
TC: There you go. The imagery was suited to what we were doing. It fits. And, you know, we were kind of surprised that no one had used it yet. So many of the good words are already taken.
ZM: Do you feel lyrics are as important as sound? I know some people say, “I don’t care what the lyrics are as long as it sounds good.” Or do you feel like the lyrics really need to mean something?
TC: Lyrically, me and Craig [Riggs--the lead vocalist] split the duties. And his songs tend to be a little bit more “nonsensical” and mine tend to be more like a story, or really graphic imagery.
ZM: That’s cool. I listened to your album, and I remember thinking, “I wonder who writes?” Because it doesn’t necessarily sound like it’s written by different people; it’s cohesive, which is a good thing for an album, I think.
TC: Sure, absolutely.
ZM: I used to listen to the Eagles, and I could tell who wrote which song–It’s a real feat for a band to be able to sound cohesive.
TC: And also–not that we have any sort of Eagles connection–but there’s a perfect example of a band who has four or five songwriters in the band and they all bring something to each song. Even Joe Walsh. And that’s kind of how we approach things, too. Everybody brings something to each song.
ON DOWNLOADING MUSIC
ZM: So are you worried that people will download your music when they shouldn’t?
TC: No, not at all. You can’t stop it. The real way to get things going is to get people turned on to your music, and if that means they downlaod it, they download it.
ZM: Hopefully they’ll buy the next album or something.
TC: Yeah, or they’ll buy a t-shirt or whatever.
ZM: You guys are coming out with merchandise for your shows?
TC: Oh, yeah. We’ve got hunting hats, leg warmers. . .
ZM: So you guys are going to be traveling and–
TC: Yeah, we’re headed south. It’s a little warmer, still, down there. Part of what we’re trying to do here in the states are little loops: a Southern one, one out near Chicago. It’s easier than taking a month out of our lives, quit our jobs, piss off our girlfriends, not pay the rent–this way we can leave for a week and go and come back, play our record release party at the Middle East [November 13th, Cambridge, MA]. This is more like practice for our show.
At this point, our time was up. Thanks to Tim Catz for his time, and best of luck to Antler with their album and tour.