The band itself
Short version for sloppy journalists: Cats on fire is a indie group from Turku, Finland. It was formed Autumn 2001 in Vasa, also in Finland.
I'll try to review the history of the band in an objective manner...
During Christmas 2000, a band called The Remington Programme split. I was a member, and I remember that it was due to severe differencies in our philosophies regarding music we had to go separate ways. Andy, the singer, gave me a good advice, although, at the time, I thought it was mean: "Well, maybe you should start a band of your own, with your friends with more similar opinions". Back then, I thought he was stupid not to follow the path I thought we had chosen from the beginning and instead embrace the idea of a tedious boy band in search of a record deal. I can't say I look at it in a radically different way now, but some things cleared up. Firstly, I was not (am not) very good at accepting the things that don't go my way. Neither was Andy, and in a way, that's all very well. As long as we shared common views, it worked. Secondly, I am sort of glad that he did what he did. Although I can't say that I care much about their type of music and mentality (it just isn't very interesting!), the idea of someone knowing exactly what to do and doing it is nice.
Anyway, I started looking for these friends he had spoken about, and after some looking around, I found Kim. Although we were both kind of diffuse about it, I think we shared some common ground when it came to musical style and philosophy. This was in Autumn 2001. Kim did his civil service (as the opposite of military service) in a christian school (he lied about his faith to get in!), and they had a room we could practice in. I had some ideas for some songs that I had written during or after that depressive summer, but it was kind of hard to get anything done, since we where both kind of shy.
We were still searching for members, and a few people came to rehearse with us, but then dropped out. We still didn't have any songs.
It would take some compliments on my voice and my song ideas to give me the courage needed to actually get some songs together. During this time we got a steady line-up: I decided to play acoustic guitar, Kim to play electric guitar and Tina to sing. Henrik was with us on piano, but later dropped out. We asked Ekin to join us on drums and Kenneth on bass. At this point, the idea was for both Tina, Kim and me to write songs to the band and sing. Tina wrote a pair of songs before the first gig, but it was me who ended up writing all the songs. I may have done something unappropriate, but suddenly, I was a leader of some sort. The band was still in its infancy, and quite democratic, but still, I wrote the songs and secretly and accidentally decided upon many things. I still wonder what would have happened if Kim or someone else would have not let me take the driver's seat.
Anyway, it was in December we played our first concert. We tried to be as un-ROCK as possible and I think it worked.
I think it was my unwillingness to compromise and "slow down" that led to Tina's departure soon after the first concert. It was hard keeping a band together, and it wasn't working. Tina has still sung on almost all of our recordings, and remain a close friend to the band.
Soon after this, we recorded a song that would become part of our first demo. Ironically, it was Andy and Marcus, my former band mates, who helped us.
We played in Jakobstad and luckily caught the attention of Le Futur Pompiste, who has since helped us in many ways. Johan, member of Le Futur Pompiste (and, you sometimes forget, Kenneth's brother) decided to help us record the rest of our demo.
The Poppaloora festival later that year was our biggest accomplisment thus far. Philip and Janne, who had ideas of starting a small record label contacted us, and we decided to release a seven-inch ep. Again, Johan helped us with the recording. I took quite some time to get it out, but in March 2003, it was ready. Elva Records was the name of the label.
Meanwhile, we had enlisted a new drummed, Johnny. Ekin had decided to take a year off (everything) in Umeň, Sweden.
Quite soon, we started to record our second single. This was Summer 2003. In the Autumn, both Kenneth, Kim and I moved to ┼bo. Ekin returned, too, and we were back to our former line-up. Things were to change, however. First, I asked Ville if he would come and join us on organs and piano and such. Then, during christmas (a dangerous time for bands), Kim quit the band. He wasn't interested in our music anymore, and wanted to do something on his own. We asked Ville to play guitar with us, and he approved. We then thought we had a steady line-up, which we had, for some time. We toured with the Swedish band Laakso, along the coast of Finland, but then something happened again. Ekin decided to quit. He wasn't interested in the music either. We quickly decided to replace him with Henry, which proved to be successful.
I hope we are on somewhat steady ground now. At least I think we are better than ever. But the thing I'm most happy about is that Cats on fire have always contained the idea of doing everything without irony. The mentality of the band has maybe been too serious sometimes, and it is quite serious to me personally, but rather that than being nothing at all.