Glasgow based Catholic Action have been called ‘one to watch’ by a number industry professionals including BBC’s Vic Galloway and there is a lot of excitement for the release of their debut album. Get to know them in our interview below with frontman, Chris McCroy and then come see them play our showcase at Electric Circus before they head of on their second UK tour this May.
1. Where does your name come from and are you religious?
Catholic guilt: That potentially disastrous, almost always humorous semi-affliction. It's an odd cross to bear, not particularly demanding but certainly pervasive. An unwelcome, yet divine influence on your decisions - your Catholic Actions.
As for organised religion, perhaps unsurprisingly I'm not really sure anymore. Growing up in the West of Scotland doesn't do it any favours. Nor does being around to witness the likes of 9/11 or the recent attacks in Paris. Of course, this is just sensationalist nonsense that has nothing to do with the heart of religion. It is truly sinful (pardon the pun) that we've taken what presumably were fairly earnest attempts to teach people how to love one another and warped them over the millennia for personal gain and total control. I do believe that it's important people learn to live compassionately and love without prejudice - that's where happiness is - but perhaps organised religion isn't the best way to do this.
2. What do you regard as the biggest sin in music?
If there is some sort of judgment-passing musical deity, I reckon they're fairly open minded and forgiving. The good thing about making music I suppose is that there aren't (or at least there shouldn't be) any rules.
However, the one mortal sin is, was and always will be: absolute manufacture. The cynical design of a person or product from the ground up, with the only real goal being maximum profit and/or the advancement of a particular career within the industry. This behaviour is rife, even within Scotland and it's shameful. Another little girl, boy or band: primed, pushed, broken and binned for a quick buck and another step up the ladder. Rinse and repeat until you have another smug careerist with diabolical taste calling the shots and perpetuating the hell that some of us call the UK Top 40.
3. What encouraged you to get involved with this year’s Wide Days?
Clearly, we're just smug careerists positioning ourselves for maximum profit! No, we've just always liked what Wide Days does. It's important to not just encourage folk to take their next steps within the music industry, but to educate and empower them to be able to do so on their own terms.
Also, as far as I can see, the industry needs as many passionate and innovative people it can get. I mean, look at the charts, look at record sales. Is something not quite right? I'd say so. Wouldn't you? If so, how can we change that? What comes next? I think anything that enables and encourages that discussion is a very good thing!
4. Which music industry figure would you like to see at Wide Days, and why?
Brian Eno, without a shred of doubt. Enormously influential and consistently innovative; not just as a producer, but as a musician, an artist and a thinker. Cracking style too.
5. Apart from Wide Days, what else have you got planned for the coming months?
Singles. Tours. Festivals. Fun. Album #1.