Taking 5 with Cat Empire Frontman, Felix Riebl

Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

Talking solo work, new music and dancing with Felix Riebl.

Jas: We were so excited to hear your new EP Lonely Truth, Felix! It’s a very emotional listen. Was there a defining moment you had whilst recording the EP?

Felix: Riding a motorbike at high speeds on the roads from Dili to Bacau in Timor Leste, and not falling off.  That was probably the defining moment.

Jas: It was mentioned that your debut solo work came after a very emotional time in your life, what was it like trying to find your footing as an artist amongst all the chaos?

Felix: I think that statement came from the album Into the Rain.  And yes, at that time I was heartbroken.  But heart-break is generally boring for those not directly involved, so I'm not going to dwell on that one today...  In terms of footing, and chaos, and music, I've always liked the metaphor of dancing, because it generally involves one foot following another and so on.  I think the Brazilians refer to it as 'controlled falling' - that more or less sums up my life in music so far, whether it’s slow, fast, quiet, loud...

Jas: There’s a very different vibe to Lonely Truth in comparison to your previous work, it’s almost like a nostalgic lookback…did taking a step back from Cat Empire allow you a less confined space of creativity to work within?

Felix: I think creativity finds itself in both bands.  Maybe the way Lonely Truth differs from The Cat Empire is in the performance.  It's very loose and rambling, it was played in one take, we didn't even mix the thing because we lost the session and only had the rough mix.  That's a different approach to what I'm used to with the [The Cat Empire] guys.

Jas: What’s had the biggest impact on your song writing?

Felix: Repetition. Live music.  The country.  Art. Love. Travel.  Habit. 

Jas: If you could describe the sounds off your new EP as a type of food, what would they be?

Felix: Dark rye bread and butter.  Maybe some honey.

Jas: And where to next for Felix Riebl?

Felix: Two new albums - The Cat Empire's is out in March, mine's out in August.  A lot of touring. Some time in the country, some time in the waves.  

Listen to Lonely Truth below. The EP is available for purchase via iTunes here.