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Getting To Know: Cate Le Bon

By Cate Le Bon; photo by Piper Ferguson; self-portrait by Cate Le Bon on January 9, 2014


Getting To Know: Cate Le Bon



It’s not a collaboration, as such, but I would give
 my left eye to be Ariel Pink’s guitarist.  


Nicolas Cage. 


With Stephen Black, my bass and sax player, whilst he emphatically mimes his parts up in your grill and tells you he plays all the best bits on the record. It really sets the tone.  


At Red 7, Austin, Texas. After a momentous amount of whiskey sours, I attempted to play a guitar solo on the shoulders of a poor woman who had looked much stronger from the stage. She went down like a sack of shit, as did I.


After a series of unfortunate events and bad decisions, my bass player Steve and I found ourselves in a sublet in Bushwick, rooming with a gay couple who were clearly batshit crazy. With no other option, we decided to stick it out for one night. How bad could it get, really? As Bill tore around the front room shouting for whoever was in the flat to show themselves, just minutes after meeting him, we knew we were in trouble. With no other way out of the flat other than through the main living space I decided to calmly approach him. He stood with his partner Pat in front of the gas stove with every ring burning on its highest setting and the door open with flames licking the ceiling. They were not cooking. I asked if everything was OK. Pat turned to me and suggested that I should probably go back to my room. We knew then that we had to leave this place immediately. Whilst they argued and tussled in their bedroom we tiptoed through the living room. Just like in a bad movie, their bedroom door started to open as we were creeping out. I remember, so well, Steve’s face crumpling under the sheer terror seconds before we bolted like terrified animals, throwing our bags and guitars down the stairs. We did not stop until we’d reached the subway platform. Unfortunately for us, it was April Fool’s and it took us a long while to convince anyone we knew in the city that we were not pulling the proverbial leg.


Nicolas Cage. 


We no longer have to share beds, baths and bread on tour. 

Cate Le Bon's 3 musical inspirations

Brighten The Corners
The first album I truly fell in love with, aged 13. It was the first time I felt like I had found music that was me and mine and I wanted to be Steve Malkmus. Sometimes I still do. 

ANDY VOTEL/Selda’r Selda
At the beginning of my 20s, I had become despondent towards music. I was hungry for something new to inspire and nourish me musically but didn’t really know what I was looking for, so knew not where to find it. Cue record collector extraordinaire Andy Votel. He opened a door into a world of music that was exactly what I had been craving. Of all the music he introduced me to, Selda’r Selda was the most inspiring and like nothing I had heard before or since. It really crawled under my skin.
 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Before Today
About three years ago, I found myself bored of music again. There wasn’t anything new I was hearing that was exciting to me until I happened across Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Before Today. In an age where imitation and revivalism seems to be dominating new music, is it a treat to listen to an artist who encompasses all the exciting bits of almost every genre and pieces them together in a way that is truly unique, inventive and wholly genuine. There is very little that is more inspiring than that. He is a true genius in my eyes and they are thin on the ground these days.


This article is from FILTER Issue 54