Don’t let the name fool you, Bubble Cats is tough. Tyler Riggs, Anthony Doyle and brothers Jordon and Joel Bocek have been packing punches in the Portland music scene for about fifteen years. With blood-soaked riffs and inherently humanizing lyrics, Bubble Cats new three-piece EP “Hiss/Purr/Mew” will turn that scream inside your head to a catchy tune. Unapologetic, unassuming and laced with distortion- Bubble Cats is addicting. But be weary, headbanging is a hell of a drug.
Garage-punk and metal influences are definitely prominent in all three pieces of the EP, but here at Rip City Review, we’re less concerned about where your influences come from and more concerned about where your influences take you. And Bubble Cats is going places. Badass places.
We got a chance to talk to Tyler and Jordan about the new EP, being musicians in Portland and how dogs are definitely better than cats.
Rip City Review: What’s on the table next for you guys?
Tyler Riggs: We just finished recording our third EP. We’re going to do a triple-EP release April 6th. Making shirts, playing shows. Trying to get everything in order for the release party at Troubadour Studios. It should be a fun show, Wooden Indian Burial Ground is playing with us.
RCR: What do you guys like about being a part of the Portland music scene?
Jordan Bocek: I like that there’s something going on every night of the week
TR: I like the diversity of the scene, not that I’ve been an adult musician in any other city, really. I guess I lived in Arcata [Humboldt County] for a while, and it’s kind of a college town. Lots of weed. But not too much going on musically, at least not as much as Portland.
JB: I like the fact that pretty much everyone and their brother is a musician in this city. It’s great, it lends itself to diversity.
TR: It can be hard to stand out in this city, just because everyone is a musician. You go to shows and half the people there are already in bands.
JB: It’s the whole guitar player lightbulb joke- how many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb? 21. One to do it, and twenty to say “ I can do that.” I don’t think it’s negative thing, it’s just that everyone at shows is listening to the music in an analytical way.
TR: Playing for a crowd of non-musicians is almost sort of a foreign concept to us, it’s a different reaction. Musicians will always talk to you about technical things. But if you play in another town that’s not Portland, people say things like “you guys fuckin’ rock!” I’m not saying either is better, they’re just different.
RCR: Do you guys get asked about your band name a lot?
TR: Yeah. People hear our name and have these expectations of what we sound like. It’s pretty funny. We picked that name because we thought it was fun. We were thinking of doing something with cats for a while.
JB: Cats are better than dogs.
RCR: No, cats aren’t better than dogs.
JB: I’m sorry, it’s true.
TR: Woah, we’ve hit a sensitive topic. I think I’ve always been in bands with weird names. I was in a band called Jesus Burger once. Things that don’t seem too pretentious. I want to have fun with music, and I want people listening to have fun with our music too. What we’re writing about may be serious, but we want to have fun with it.
RCR: Any musical inspirations?
JB: I’m inspired by bands that have a lot of fun on stage.
TR: Because there are so many people that put a lot of passion into their music, it’s inspiring. It makes us want to get better and rise up to the challenge.
JB: I think a lot of bands play off each other.
TR: In a way, I kind of think of it as a friendly rivalry. I see our friends play big places, then we want to play bigger places too. We need to start doing what they’re doing.
RCR: If you had to make a musical love child with another PDX band, who would it be?
JB: A Happy Death. They just vibe so hard. It’s good energy.
TR: I really enjoyed watching Tiananmen Bear last night. They have aspects of their music that I would want to meld with ours. Plus the frontman is just crazy. An amazing songwriter too! Whatever he’s having, I’ll have too.
RCR: What do you guys like about living in PDX?
TR: Cheap rent! And the seasons, minus winter.
JB: I just like that it’s a friendly place to live. I love the Northwest, I grew up here. Except Washington, where I’m from, is a little bit sharper around the edges.
TR: The people here are pretty much amazing across the board. If somebody is into something, there’s somebody else in the city who is into that as well.
RCR: Any final words?
JB: If you hear one song from us, it’s not going to sound like something else we’ve done.
TR: That’s a good point- we have a game plan to release an EP quarterly…forever.
JB: Or until we kill each other or die in a plane crash.
TR: We want to pair our songs down into smaller sections. All of our songs don’t really fit together on one record. Maybe someday we’ll do that, but we’ll probably end up in fist fights.
Bubble Cats play their next show 3/11 @ White Eagle Saloon w/Jolliff at 9pm. FREE! And make sure not to miss their next EP RELEASE PARTY 4/6 @ Troubadour w/Wooden Indian Burial Ground & Lithopedian at 9 p.m ALL AGES AND FREE!