CatRhythm. Eric Hofmans
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: 1957 Chevy Appache Pickup, Clickzoombytes Interview, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, Elvis Rromano, Eric Hofmans, Fabulous Fifties, Gene Vincent, Jump Blues, Rebel Without A Cause, Rockabilly, Rockabilly Romania, Trei Ceasuri Rele, Tumbling Tones
CatRhythm is Romania's first rockabilly-jump blues band: a four piece combo with a jumping double bass, hard hitting drums, razor sharp guitars licks and a sexy lead singer, who will send you back to the fabulous fifties
On the May 14th, 2013 ClickZoomBytes Interview Show, hosted by Romanian Rock Radio, we had a Live Chat with Dutchman Eric Hofmans, leader and guitarist for CatRhythm.
CZB: How did you get here from Holland...
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well you book an airline ticket and you fly directly to Cluj LOL… No, I got a job offer in Cluj.
CZB: And what was your first impression of the Cluj music scene when you first got here?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): There is a lot of talent in Cluj, however it is mostly underground because radio stations in general don't support other music than let's say the Kiss Fm "music".
CZB: …and how did you decide to start the FISRT Romanian Rockabilly band?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well, I have been playing rockabilly for more than 25 years in Holland/Europe. It is like a virus that does not stop, so I searched and got my band together.
CZB: Your mother was a huge Elvis Presley fan. Do you have all the Elvis Presley albums and which is your favorite one?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Yes, she still is. I don't have them all, however the SUN album is still my huge number 1.
CZB: You started out with your brother in a rock band. What year was this happening in and what was the name of that band?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): I started in 1987 in a rockabilly band with my bro. The band was called The Tumbling Tones.
Rock music is different from Rockabilly :)
CZB: How would you explain the difference to people?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well, put in a time frame Rockabilly started in 1954/1955; Rock music evolved from it later. Rockabilly is a typical mix of Black rhythm and Blues and White Country music. In those days there still was a huge difference between what black and white people appreciated.
CZB: There is no real Rockabilly scene in Romania. How have you been building up your image in Romania since your debut on April 20th, 2009 at Diesel Club?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): There is a small scene in Romania. However not to be compared to other places in Europe.
CZB: There was an online radio station transmitting from Timisoara: Trei Ceasuri Rele, that only lasted a couple of years.
Eric: We try to establish our image every time we have a concert, We use social media for promoting ourselves and our friends from Rockabilly Romania help us with that.
CZB: Rockabilly Romania is a website from Brasov?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Rockabily Romania is the website from Brasov. However it mostly promotes Pshychobilly which you cannot compare with Rockabilly.
By the way, a common mistake in Romania is that people confuse psychobilly (more punk related) with rockabilly Mostly because of a lack of knowledge.
CZB: What does it mean to be a Cat in CatRhythm?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Cat is typical for 50's slang; a Cat is a cool guy.
CZB: You did a Rockabilly Picture Show at the Cinema Victoria movie theater in Cluj (10.02.2012), playing a live soundtrack for the Rebel Without a Cause movie. I didn't make it there. What was that like? How long did it take for you to prepare for this?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): it was different. They showed rebel without a cause and we played at the after party; great fun playing at an old theather like that it had just greeat atmosphere. The audience was great, dancing and having fun …nice memories.
CZB: You played at a New Year's Eve gig in Brasov (Cerbul Carpatin) on December 31st, 2011. How would you compare playing at Parties with playing in clubs?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): …Old billboards make the atmosphere great…
As we enjoy playing music, we like both.
Of course, you have different audiences but as our kind of music is timeless and happy, this music gets everybody in the mood to have a great evening.
CZB: At that New Year's Eve gig in Brasov I heard that Nico acted out her music, doing a PLAYBACK gig. How did you feel seeing this and what do you think has to happen in Romania for this music mockery (that we see happen in far too many places) to stop?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well ,sometimes at TV you will do playback just because they are not always equipped to do live music. However, at a concert, as a musician, in my opinion you should always play live. I would not do otherwise.
CZB: On Thursday (May 16) you will be doing some Elvis songs along with the gypsy singer Elvis Rromano at the Tranzit House in Cluj. Have you done something like this before with CatRhythm in Romania?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): No, not with CatRhythm in Romania. We are really looking forward to be onstage together with him.
CZB: Is there talk about furthering this collaboration with Elvis Rromano?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Let's see how this works out. We did not rehearse together, so we just go blank on stage :)
However, never say never.
CZB: What do you enjoy most about the 50s Rockabilly fashion or lifestyle?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): The thing that is classy is it has a huge flair and it has proven itself in time. I guess I was born in the wrong decade; pop music started in the fifties… actually all music from then on.
CZB: Romania didn't partake in the Rockabilly 50's lifestyle because of the political walls after the war. How do you see old and young people taking on to what you are doing here?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well, everywhere we play, people recognize the music. We only have positive comments afterwards form young to old people. We just need to make it HIP in Romania so let's start a Rockabilly Revolution.
CZB: Do you fancy owning retro stuff? What would your dream car from the 50s be?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): My favorite would be a 1957 Chevy Appache Pickup (see attached photo below) and yes I have a lot of fifties thing in my house …and still looking to get more and more and more.
CZB: Is there a social or cultural leader from the 50s you would recommend for people to read about and discover?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): Well of course you begin with the classics… Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando… and then you read about Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and of course Elvis.
CZB: Your double bass turned metallic blue during the past couple of months. How did this happen?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): We thought let's give it a typical fifties look, where techno colors were huge, so I asked a friend and he made it beautiful. It even sparkles but that is only for the people that see it during a concert so be in the club at the Tranzit House on 16th May.
CZB: After the gig on Thursday (16.MAY) at Tranzit House Cluj, where can fans go to watch CatRhythm play LIVE during the next few months?
Eric Hofmans (CatRhythm): There are still some dates to be confirmed however everybody can join our Facebook fanpage and we will keep everyone updated on coming events.
Thank you Eric for your time.
Our thanks going out to Robert Benedek at Romanian Rock Radio for hosting the ClickZoomBytes Interview.
Interview conceived by RiCo.
On Friday, April 20th, 2009, CatRhythm played for the first time in Club Diesel, in their hometown, Cluj-Napoca. We exchanged a few email questions prior to the show with band leader and Dutchman Eric Hofmans.
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