Original Writeup

BATES Releases Bittersweet Bop of a Single, “Catalyst”

by wpengine

“Catalyst” captures that feeling of wanting to know someone’s every secret and intricacies as the world falls apart and turns to dust

Frontman Billy Miscione met drummer Tyler Katz at a local music show at the age of 17. Acknowledging their chemistry, the two became best friends, and in 2018 formed BATES with lead guitarist Craig Browning, rhythm guitarist Patrick Devir and bassist Jason Dowd. BATES is a genre-bending alt-rock group from Westchester, New York. They bring a mix of powerful chords and funky bass fused with bluesy guitar leads to the table, and create a unique yet familiar rock sound that simply slaps.

BATES new single “Catalyst” starts off with an oceanic-feeling bass and guitar riff which flows into a emo-math-rock feeling groove that then transitions to a more peppy indie beat. 

“Watch the stars fall from the sky

We tame the fireflies at night 

We were free to chase the sunset

A catalyst, to break my heart” 

We are immediately sucked in by the nostalgic-feeling first verse, and soulful, effortless vocals. 

“I wanna give you all my love 

And I know you’ll do the same”

“Catalyst” captures that feeling of wanting to know someone’s every secret and intricacies as the world falls apart and turns to dust, and is about that natural spark you can’t help but succumb to. “There’s no future, only present to be found” speaks to the experience of living in the moment with such a person, because there is simply to other way to be. It details something so raw that you can’t hide from it or pretend it never happened, no matter how it turns out in the end.

 “Catalyst” has a sort of celebratory bittersweet feeling, and has  ‘twin flame’ written all over it. But like the seasons, the “changing leaves” fall down, and it comes apart as naturally as it once came together. The jammy chorus finally fades out and the song closes with a pure-sounding organ line. 

For more, be sure to also check out some of Billy Miscione’s covers, such as his acoustic version of Radiohead’s “Creep”. https://www.youtube.com/c/IAmBillyBates/featured as well as the band BATES website https://batesofficial.com/home 


Is the catalyst a real person? If so, what was you experience with them like? What’s the story?

Many of us yearn to be in a romantic relationship with someone. To know what it’s like to love and be loved by someone. Sometimes our first romantic relationship goes in a direction that leads to a heart-sinking breakup. Experiencing romantic love for the first time could also mean experiencing for the first time the potential heartbreak that could come with it. The feelings you experience after a breakup are the catalyst for discovering yourself. The feelings you now know exist, become tools you can use to make yourself stronger. The process can be slow and painful, but that’s the catalyst that allows the journey of healing and self-discovery. Everyone has their own catalysts, and we hope the song reminds you of the catalysts that helped shape you into the badass you are today.

“Catalyst” feels celebratory, but the lyrics are so bittersweet. How did you feel when writing this single? 

There’s a lyric towards the end of “Catalyst” that sums this up perfectly. “It’s better to love than to never love at all.” That line alone reflects on the good times of something that is no longer there and the music is a vessel for that celebration. It was a time when I was reflecting on the past and feeling nostalgic. When writing this song, I was thinking about stories from the guys in the band, as well as my own, and in thinking about those days, I only remembered the good parts and didn’t let the bad details get me down. It was about being happy in the moment, and that’s all that mattered.

Where was your cover photo for the single taken? The way the light hits the water is so beautiful. 

Our childhood friend Greg Scibior (@grog.phot) has taken all of our album and single artwork so far. This particular piece was taken in Garvie’s Point Preserve in Long Island, NY.

What was the first part you wrote for “Catalyst” and how did the song blossom out from there? 

Jason brought the bass line to the band, and I remember Billy, Pat, Jason, and Craig took a swing at adding guitar parts to it. He had the song written out from top to bottom. Jason’s bass line was super melodic, so our goal was to add to that melody and just build around it. From there, we filled out the rest of the song and created a structure for it, and from there we allowed it to bloom.

Your self-titled album was stellar. Do you have any plans for another full-length album? 

We do have plans for a follow-up to our debut full-length. In fact, we’ve been recording new music for the past 3 years. We were hoping to release these new songs earlier, but unfortunately, we came across challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic separating us for a prolonged period of time, and the fact that one of the studios we were recording in had to close up shop, forcing us to record in our homes. Fortunately, with the release of Catalyst, we are happy to report that we are back on schedule and are looking to finish our second record by early 2023.

What sounds or feelings are you planning to cultivate next? 

We as people are constantly changing and growing from our experiences and we try to show this with our music. This upcoming album will show a wave of different sounds and emotions inspired by various genres and life events.

Last but not least, a fun question! Do you have any funny stories or inside jokes from BATES studio sessions or performances? If so, I’d like to hear about one!

Yes! When we get the chance we like to hang out and go on hikes. It doesn’t happen as often as we would like because of our busy schedules but there was a time when all of us went out for a hike at Mt.Beacon. Craig and Tyler are avid hikers, but Billy, Pat, and Jason do not hike as regularly. Mt. Beacon is a fairly difficult hike and Tyler kept telling us we were nearly done just about every 15 mins or so. We finally reached a plateau and think we get some rest when Tyler says, “Alright let’s keep going there’s more!” We walk further ahead and see the steepest part of a mountain that we have ever encountered. The three of us (Billy, Pat, and Jason) just look up at this thing with the most pained face imaginable. Eventually, we finished the hike and played “Sweet Victory” from Spongebob at the top of the mountain for the glory of completion.

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