Cat Piss are noisy, Cat Piss are funny, and Cat Piss are named Cat Piss.

I first saw the band at Pageturners Lounge during the bar’s tenth anniversary show last year. They played during the day and introduced themselves as The Kris Lager Band, a well-established Nebraska band they sound nothing like. They then proceeded to rip through a noise set with a good amount of groove mixed in that found the door person walking to tables with a plastic jug of ear plugs that myself and other patrons happily accepted.

During that set, the band’s sense of humor and numerous sources of inspiration and chemistry with each other became apparent. Bands like Minutemen were an obvious comparison point, but then they mentioned from the stage being influenced by James Gang, the band Joe Walsh fronted prior to The Eagles, and I figured they were joking. They were not.

In June 2022, Cat Piss released the album “Cat Piss Rides Again” online. The name borrows its title from The James Gang’s 1970 album “The James Gang Rides Again.” The band will release the album on vinyl on February 3rd at Reverb Lounge. Performing with them will be Those Far Out Arrows and Bad Bad Men.

I talked with Cat Piss band members, vocalist and bassist Sam Lipsett and vocalist and drummer Nate Wolf via Zoom. Guitarist Casey Plucinski joined in toward the final moments of our conversation. Cat Piss formed three years ago, through a mix of attending high school together, playing shows at DIY venues such as Lucy’s Pub and touring with each other in other bands. “I went on tour with Casey’s other band Garst” said Wolf. “We wanted a band that is more out there and more humorous. We just knew that Sam was that guy, as he is a fellow noisemaker.”

“Cat Piss Rides Again” was recorded with Ben Brodin at ARC Studios here in Omaha. I asked them about their experience in the studio and Lipsett stated, “It was kind as relaxed as it could be, but kind of stressful as it is not cheap. Stressful, weird and really fun. Ben made it easier. We only got into two fist fights. Last time was four. So, we cut that in half.” I asked who wins the fights, “Usually Nate,” according to Lipsett, “He has the reach, it is crazy.”

The last time was an EP called “Zeppelin four pt II” that the band put out to help get them gigs. It may be difficult for someone booking a show to get a feel for what a band called Cat Piss is going to bring to their stage or corner of their basement. I asked the band if the name had caused them any grief and Wolfe responded, “People are weird about the name. People take you less seriously because of it. Everything that the name has brought we didn’t think about. People think we play way differently because of our name.” Lipsett adds, “People always think they have heard of us.”

The band has a prominent humorous side, both on stage and on their recordings. I asked them about the balance between humor and serious playing. “For me,” stated Wolfe, “not to make a pun, but it helps to take the piss out of the musical content. Some of our music is nasty, but I don’t think having nasty, vile lyrics would be true to us as people. The humor is more so not in the words, but the concept of the lyrics.”

Lipsett continued, “We had a lot of ideas of things that are funny, and it has kind of become a thing for us. We take this very seriously and work hard at it, but some of this shit should be funny. It helps balance out a lot of other stuff we do. Why should it not be funny?”

Cat Piss performing live. Photo courtesy of the band.

The members of Cat Piss claim influences as diverse as The Minutemen to jazz music. “The big point for us was jazz”, said Lipsett. “We like jazz, but I can barely play it. We all find common ground in Guided By Voices, Shellac and Motorhead.”

The album has moments of pure noise freak-out, but also songs like “Christopher” that would make any older indie rock fan swoon with nostalgia. All three members of the band took turns at songwriting and the songs’ subjects range from a fictional story of scrappers smelting down The Sower atop the Nebraska State Capitol to guitarist Plucinski’s gaming habits during a Covid lock-down. Towards the end of the album is “Funk 69”, a classic rock-influenced track that is surely a live favorite and a nod to James Gang’s high-water mark “Funk 49”.

The show at Reverb Lounge will feature Those Far Out Arrows and Bad Bad Men. “Bad Bad Men is my dad’s band,” says Wolfe. “They are not on the bill because my dad is in it. They have an amazing rhythm section and it is amazing that my dad is doing live music again and doing what he loves. It is the Laughing Hyenas meet Budgie.”

When asked if we can expect a loud show at Reverb Lounge, Lipsett responded with, “We have played shows where we bummed some people out with the loudness. We are becoming softer as a band and as individuals.” I would still pack the ear plugs.

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