The Cat Empire Welcome New Band Members & Share New Single

31 March 2023 | 2:04 pm | Mary Varvaris

The new song has "got all the elements (and then some...) of a Cat Empire classic."

(Pic by Giulia McGauran)

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The Cat Empire have returned with a short and snappy, brass-led, bizarrely wonderful new tune, Thunder Rumbles

The new song from the iconic Aussie icons was created by legacy members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill and new faces.

Grace Barbe is on bass and vocals, Cuban-born trumpeter and vocalist Lazaro Numa joins the band’s longtime tinmen Ross Irwin and Kieran Conrau as part of The Cat Empire’s horn section, while touring member Daniel Farrugia is an official part of the band on drums. 

Lastly, Neda Rahmani bolsters the percussion section, which is in full force on Thunder Rumbles.

Thunder Rumbles premiered on Double J and reminds listeners why we love The Cat Empire so much. 

Vocalist Riebl said about the track, “It's got all the elements (and then some...) of a Cat Empire classic. A New Orleans-y sousaphone kicks it off, makes its way to a stadium Latin break in the middle, and then keeps flying from there. It's brass-heavy (played by The Horns of Leroy), drum-heavy, and high drama. The lyrics are more or less a brawl of celebration.”

Rahmani added, “This was too much fun to record! The atmosphere in the studio was epic - joining so many Melbournian brass and percussion, with the core Cat Empire band members rocking through to steer and bless the track. Random fact: My name actually means ‘thunder’ in Farsi (language in Iran, where I was born), so this song is very special to me.”

Thunder Rumbles also arrives with a music video, which you can watch below. The clip captures The Cat Empire’s stunning, energetic live show, with an abundance of colour and dynamics. The song itself is a remarkable team effort, with band members old and new shining.

Director Nick Campbell addressed the video, “I wanted to capture the energy of a Cat Empire show, smashing together footage in a vibrant, freewheeling collage. 

"Something about the way the image falls apart just felt right, like a David Byrne video from the 80s. It was a really fun set to be on, the song is a joyous romp, and it was important that came across on camera. The rest of the band was just out of frame, cheering on whoever we were filming.”

The Cat Empire are currently on tour across Europe and the UK.