AN INTERVIEW WITH…BILLY BIBBY (FORMER CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN)

Over the past year, Catfish and the Bottlemen have gone from strength to strength. However, former guitarist Billy Bibby is embarking on his own new musical journey.

 “We are currently booking the tour in for early next year” he says, smiling
somewhat confidently. The “we” he is talking about are a band he has recently put together. However, there are both pros and cons of going back to being in a band.
He says: “On my own I know that I have more freedom to do what I want
without asking anyone else.” He laughs as he continues: “Obviously there’s less equipment to set up which is nice, on the other hand though being in a band is great because you’re never alone on tour. I don’t like being on my own much.”

“It would be easy for Bibby to completely replicate the sound that gained him a gold certificate for his parts on Catfish and the Bottlemen’s debut album The Balcony. But there is something different with this project. “I tend to see it [the new sound] as a more current country rock feel with a slice of pop thrown in there for good measure because I’m a sucker for a hit.” Who isn’t, though?

Back to the subject of the new band, Bibby is massively confident
in who he has recruited. So much so that he may take a step back from his usual lead guitar position. “I have written most of the lead parts for my songs so far, but the guitarist I’ve got on board now is the dog’s bollocks and I’d be a fool to attempt the solos.”

He points out importantly that: “I’ll still be set up as a solo musician, but with a backing band behind me.” Generously adding “I just don’t like to think of them as a backing band and I will treat them as I did like when I was in a band.”

Since going solo, Bibby has played his own live shows. These include shows at iconic venues such as the Camden Barfly. As any musician will tell you, that is a pretty special place; Bibby is no different. “

Playing Barfly again was great because I’ve played that place many times before. I’ve enjoyed every time stepping on that stage and performing for the London crowd.”The setup currently for this musical adventure is very much
DIY, as it was before Catfish and the Bottlemen became one of the biggest names in British music. He accepts the way things are, though, saying: “I have a lot to learn as a solo musician trying to make it in this industry. But I’m learning day by day and my ambition is to replicate and go better than the success of my previous achievements with Catfish.”

Fortunately, Bibby is still able to call being a musician his profession and not just a hobby. “I’m working very hard every day to put myself back in a position where I can achieve some success that I’ll be content with.”

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