Work Ethic Breeds Success For Cat Empire

So what would cause the six-member The Cat Empire to forego the balmy 32 degrees’ centigrade temperatures of their native Melbourne Australia to plunge into the frigid climes of a sub-zero degree’s Canadian winter? It’s called a work ethic and it’s something Felix Riebl feels committed to doing as the band launches their eighth studio album `Stolen Diamonds’ with tour stops at Toronto’s Danforth Theatre Thursday, March 7th and Kitchener’s Maxwell Venue Friday, March 8th followed by a six-date swing into Western Canada with dates in Chicago and Minneapolis thrown in for good measure.

“It’s been that work ethic which has sustained us over our eight-album career (stretching back to their 2003 Cat People debut)” explained Riebl over the phone from Melbourne before setting off on a brief Australian tour prior to their Canadian engagement. “We spend a year working on a new album, inject as much energy as we can into those sessions and then we hit the road.

Difficult to describe and impossible to categorize, band members Riebl (percussion, lead vocals), Harry James Angus (trumpet/guitar), Will Hull-Brown (drums), Jamshid Khadiwhala (turntables/percussion), Ollie McGill (keyboards) and Ryan Monro (bass guitar) produce a musical palate of jazz, ska, punk and rock with a heavy Latin influence.

Originally a three-piece band (Riebel, McGill and Monro) which blossomed into its current six-piece lineup as the band hit the studio to record their 2003 self-titled debut, is an Australian band, It has always been necessary to establish themselves overseas.


Their first breakthrough was at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland where they played 16 straight nights between 3 am and 5 am. “I think we had 10 people at the first show but by the end of the 16 nights, we were packing the place.

Likewise, when they first arrived in Canada to play at a 300-seater venue in Montreal. “The place was packed to overflowing and we couldn’t figure out how these people knew about us. We had no airplay and no record label here at the time. But then we found out that someone had obtained a bootleg copy of our six-track demo titled “Live At Adelphia” and had been playing it for his friends. That support was developed strictly by word of mouth.”

Riebel can remember when they had major label support (EMI/Virgin) for their first two albums; “Cat Empire” and “Two Shoes” (2005) “Both albums went double platinum In actual sales and we shipped crate-loads of CDs all over the place. But as digital took over, we now operate our own indie label (Two Shoes) and use new releases to drive our live performance. We’ve always been a band that could execute a great live show”.

He credits producer Jan Skubiszewski for developing the band’s sound over the past three albums (`Steal The Light’, `Rising With The Sun’ and their latest opus `Stolen Diamonds’ which together come across as a trilogy of releases.  “There are more complicated parts to our new album but I believe the band has flexed its collective muscles and created music that we are excited about performing live.”

For the band’s complete tour itinerary please link to

Check out the 360 series of clips HERE
Pre-order Stolen DiamondHERE.
The Cat Empire Canadian Tour Dates 

March 7, Toronto ON – Danforth Music Hall  
For tickets click here.

March 8, Waterloo ON  – Maxwell’s Music House
For tickets click here.

March 12, Winnipeg MB – Burton Cummings Theatre
For tickets click here.

March 14, Edmonton AB – Winspear Centre
For tickets click here.
March 15, Calgary AB – MacEwan Hall
For tickets click here.

March 17, Vancouver BC – Commodore Ballroom
For tickets click here.

March 18, Vancouver BC – Commodore Ballroom
For tickets click here.
March 19, Victoria BC – Royal Theatre 
For tickets click here.

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