Catfish & The Bottlemen’s Van McCann says ‘guitar music’s not dead’

Frontman says his music appeals to 'people working shit jobs or on the dole'

Catfish & The Bottleman’s Van McCann has said that “guitar music’s not dead” and that he wants his band to one day “play to 10,000 people at a time”, just like Jay Z and Beyoncé.

Speaking in the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, the frontman expressed confidence in his brand of music and said that as long as fans are interested in the sound then he won’t change it. “Guitar music’s not dead. We’re a guitar band and I fucking love it”, McCann said. “Royal Blood are killing it, The 1975 are killing it. When we write songs, I just think, ‘Are 60,000 people going to want to sing this back to me? Is someone in a nine-to-five job going to feel euphoric listening to it?’ If not, I’m getting rid of it.”

The singer added that he aims to one day play stadium gigs because “you’ve got to be stupid not to want to play to 10,000 people at a time”. He said: “I went to see Jay Z and Beyoncé in New York and the whole fucking city was there. The gig finishes and two helicopters take off. I’m thinking, I bet they’ve gone straight offstage into a helicopter to go and tuck their kid in bed. My goal in life other than music is to have a beautiful wife and kid who I love to bits. If you don’t want to get in a helicopter and fly to your wife and kids, I’ll do it.”

McCann also disagreed with the notion that his band hark back to ’90s lad culture, maintaining that they are just “normal”. “We sit and play FIFA, get stoned and eat Domino’s and that,” he said. “Are Oasis lad rock? Are Arctic Monkeys?… I’m a dead simple lad. I smoke fags and drink tea. I write my songs, I get in the van, I sing as good as I can. The people that get us are not the people that sit at their computers, they’re the people working shit jobs or on the dole, like I was.”

Catfish & The Bottlemen were awarded the BBC Introducing Award at the first BBC Music Awards last night. “It’s madness,” Van McCann said when he picked up the prize. “Alright arena! It’ll go on my dad’s fridge that.” Asked how it was to win the award, he shouted out to 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq, saying, “It’s massive for us. Steve’s supported us since we were 14, so big up to him.”

Catfish & The Bottlemen’s debut album, ‘The Balcony’, was released in September. The band are currently touring the UK, with upcoming dates in Liverpool, Newcastle, and London, among others.