Catz ‘n Dogz (Pets Recordings): “I guess we are just doing music because this is how it is”
Wednesday night in April. Our reporter Mareike Köhler is on her way to Farbfernseher, a small club in Berlin-Kreuzberg, to get to know Voitek and Grzegorz aka Catz ‘n Dogz. The two young Poles, signed by record label Pets Recordings, have released a two-part compilation with the likes of Till Von Sein, James Yuill and many more. In our interview, they tell us the story about how they met and how they got their stage names.
trndmusik: First of all, tell us where and how you guys met.
Catz ‘n Dogz: We met in Stettin. About nine years ago. Then we started to exchange music and make parties together. Very unspectacular and simple. Furthermore, our hometown only has half a million inhabitants. So it was easy to find people with the same kind of sound.
trndmusik: When did you decide to move to Berlin?
Catz ‘n Dogz: I (Voitek) moved to Berlin already six years ago. Grzegorz just moved here about six months ago. We were always using Berlin airport from our hometown. A bus to the airport runs every hour. Anyway, the trip always took us two or three hours. That’s a lot of time, actually. All the time back and forward.
trndmusik: But you don’t live in the same flat, do you?
Catz ‘n Dogz (laughing): No, no, definitely not. That would be horrible. (laughing)
Catz ‘n Dogz: Yeah, because we already spend so much time together. That’s why we call us Catz ‘n Dogz. It implicates that we argue from time to time. We travel every weekend, spend time in the studio together, share rooms and so on. It’s enough time. Living together would not be cool. Same district yeah, but that’s enough. Nevertheless, we like each other.
trndmusik: You have been producing music for a very long time now. Is it still your one and only passion?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Sure. That’s why we play here (Farbfernseher) tonight for hundred people. Greg’s and my life have always been full of music. So it is kind of natural that we have to do something with music all the time. When we were younger, we had a lot of friends who exchanged lots of vinyls. And I (Voitek) was singing in a choir for seven years and started making music when I was about 15 or 16 years old. So, I don’t know, if it is our passion. It is our life. We made a radioshow at our hometown and then started to make parties together. We have always been into music. And from that point, where we were able to live from the music, we quit our other jobs.
trndmusik: What kind of jobs did you quit?
Catz ‘n Dogz: I (Grzegorz) was studying Public Administration and working in a City Hall. I (Voitek) was studying Marketing and Computer Science. And then I was working for Siemens and in a Supermarket as well.
trndmusik: Do you want to mediate something special with your own music?
Catz ‘n Dogz: To be honest we are just doing what we feel in a certain time. Behind our music there are simple life stories and temporary influences. We are constantly changing and never really stay for a while with one style. So the answer is: no, I guess we are just doing music because this is how it is.
trndmusik: Are there many differences between making parties in Poland and Germany?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Actually, I (Grzegorz) think there are a lot of differences in making parties around the world and Berlin. Because Berlin is a very special city. There are lots of people who are really into this kind of music. And most of the parties are succsessful and crowded. Yes, I (Voitek) totally agree. In Warsaw, Poland it’s okay, but in smaller citys you sometimes have to make an effort.
trndmusik: Now let’s talk about your recent label compilation. How was the idea born?
Catz ‘n Dogz: The idea is actually related to Farbfernseher. My friends from Kreuzberg and me used to come here at the beginning. When the club opened. This was our spot. Then our friend Anastasia said ‘Friends Will Carry You Home’ would be a nice name for something. So yeah, we made the compilation ‘Friends Will Carry You Home’ and now ‘Friends Will Carry You Home Too’. And the idea of the tracks – It’s just our passion. Sort of DJing without mixing. Pick up favourite, unreleased tracks from your friends and put them on a compilation.
trndmusik: Listening to Chmara Winter’s Dive and Trikk’s Floorwave shows a big difference.
Catz ‘n Dogz: We always play here and there. It’s not like we just hang out with people who are listening to Techno. We have friends who make Hip Hop or like different sounds. We like it the variety.
trndmusik: How long have you worked on this compilation?
Catz ‘n Dogz: We needed about six months. It was a lot of work, because we wanted good tracks. And asking our friends to make music that they have never done before for the second CD, took its time. Also, we were sending a lot of reminders. Creating progress is difficult and everybody is working in a different way. Sometimes you work on a track for four months. But we are happy with the result.
trndmusik: What were the reactions of your friends when you asked them to make music they have never done before?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Most of the guys were very happy, because they like to make new experiences. When you ask people, if they want to create something completely different compared to what they usually do, you will probably get a positive answer. Because it is interesting to do something what other people don’t expect you to. Especially with musicians.
trndmusik: With this compilation you said you wanted to show that your label isn’t just a House music outlet. Do you think you had enough House music releases in the past three years?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Yes, I (Voitek) think so. Our goal would be to release less but with better quality. It was actually very hard to be self confident with a label. Now we will focus on certain artists and certain releases. We want to push the artists we are already working with and want them to release more. Like Blckshp for example.
trndmusik: Which tracks on the compilation are your favourites?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Voitek: Mine would be Tom Demac – Emerge (feat. Phil Kay).
trndmusik: My favourite track from CD 2 is Mask by Maribou State&Pedestrian. What were your thoughts when you heard it for the first time?
Catz ‘n Dogz: Ok, so literally I was in the bathroom and this track played randomly from all the demos I got. So I run quick from under the shower and was like: WOW. Definitely one of the best tracks we’ve ever released.
trndmusik: Will there be a prosecution of Friends Will Carry You Home Too?
Catz ‘n Dogz: There will, for sure. But not next year. With this form of compilation we actually said everything we had to say. Right now we want to focus on albums and certain artists.
The interview was conducted by Mareike Köhler.