Box Of Cats is a record label founded in 2015 by a collective of friends and producers who go by the names of Wongo, Kyle Watson, Tom EQ, Jeff Doubleu, Marc Spence, and Jak Z. The label acts as a home for the guys’ own productions as well as contributions from their homies, and through 23 releases thus far, the group pushes a fresh, fun take on house music falling in line with labels like dirtybird and This Ain’t Bristol.
Geographically, Box Of Cats is all over the place. Some folks are in the UK, one’s in Australia, one’s in the Netherlands, another is in South Africa. That’s made it difficult for all half dozen of these guys to get together, but they are in constant communication regarding releases on BOC — all of which need unanimous approval from the group. The latest release — out for free download today — is the third installment of Box Of Cats’ Litterbox compilation and features 13 new originals from BOC crew Wongo, Jeff Doubleu, and The Potato Heads (aka Tom EQ + Jeff Doubleu) as well as folks like Dilligas, Jay Robinson, and Mancodex.
With the compilation out this morning, we opened up a group chat on Skype with four of the six founding members to discuss the origins of Box Of Cats, plans for the label this year, DJing naked, and much, much more. Oh ya and also everyone was actually naked while we did this group interview. A personal first for me.
Stream all of Litterbox 03, download it free here, and read on for the hilarious yet informative Skype chat in full below.
Jonah Berry: nice to connect gents!
Tom EQ: Now then Jonah!
Kyle Watson: Yo Jonah!
Jeff Doubleu: Hello!
Tom EQ: we were just wondering if we had to put clothes on
Jonah Berry: hahaha naw were good
Jonah Berry: I’m naked at the office
Tom EQ: haha
Jeff Doubleu: allright lets get those cameras on then
Jeff Doubleu: hahaha
Kyle Watson: everybody’s naked and it’s totally not weird
Jonah Berry: “A Totally NSFW Nude Interview with Box of Cats”
wongo matt: Hahaha
Tom EQ: tbh we get so many naked pics of wongo its actually a surprise to see him clothed
wongo matt: NSFWBOC
Jeff Doubleu: yeah its matts bday in australia right now hey!
Jeff Doubleu: should we sing?
Tom EQ: no way! Happy birthday!
Tom EQ: Jonah is this the first interview youve done where everyone is naked?
wongo matt: Thanks dude
Kyle Watson: happy birthday matty!!
Jonah Berry: i have to say this is the first. happy it was with you guys
Tom EQ: (kiss)
Pictured: Wongo (birthday version)
Jonah Berry: alright then lets get it going
Jonah Berry: someone or everyone tell me why and how box of cats started
Jeff Doubleu: tom can take this one!
Tom EQ: Lol
Tom EQ: yeah so it started a long time ago really
Jeff Doubleu: he is the oldest and wisest
Tom EQ: we pretty much all crew from a label called Jack Union that was run by a guy called hijack
Tom EQ: and after that finsihed in say 2010? 2011?
Tom EQ: we kinda went off and did our own thing, weve all been mates for years, and weve all djed together
Tom EQ: all round the world
Tom EQ: and it got to late 2015 and I was speaking to a few of the boys saying “i miss the old jack union days”
Tom EQ: it was a crew, a clique, we bounced each other you know
Tom EQ: shall we do something?
Tom EQ: and everyone was up for it
Tom EQ: so we had a quick skype meeting, decided to do something
Jonah Berry: so everyone was on board from the beginning then? any stragglers come on later?
wongo matt: Marc spence lol
Tom EQ: Marc was the last yeah
Tom EQ: but he was still in from the beginning
wongo matt: Marc was and really still is the only person since the jack union days that has come through with his own flavour and take on the 05 era
Tom EQ: true
Tom EQ: Marc didnt actually qualify coz he wasnt on Jack Union
Tom EQ: but he is so sick we allowed it
Jonah Berry: fair enough
Pictured: Marc Spence
Jonah Berry: so was the idea more for a label or a collective? or both at the same time?
Tom EQ: he’s also kinda the eye candy
Tom EQ: along with me
wongo matt: Kyle?
Kyle Watson: The idea was always to put out music as a collective
Kyle Watson: So kind of a new age record label I guess
wongo matt: Initially a platform to release our own stuff I think, but then it grew bigger than that quite quick?
Tom EQ: yeah with no commercial ties
Kyle Watson: Right now it’s about getting good music out to people for free with no strings attached
Kyle Watson: cos there is so much good stuff out there
Jeff Doubleu: Yeah i think what makes it unique as a label/collective is that its run by friends that all make music and have great input in everything we do
Jonah Berry: you guys are simultaneously releasing on other labels all over the world, how do you decide which of your stuff goes to BoC?
Kyle Watson: Wongo!
wongo matt: For me personally I think in today’s market it’s totally cool to be on multiple labels rather than stick to one, but then it’s also not cool to release on the same label too close to your last release. So I really do it by regions ha. One for australia, one for usa or Europe and then one for boc
Jeff Doubleu: yeah think we all kinda do one once in a while, theres no pressure on having to release everything on BOC
Jeff Doubleu: we use our facebook group to make polls for all the demos we get and make ourselves which works perfect!
Tom EQ: but we have a rule, every one of us has to say yes to a track for it to get released on BOC
Tom EQ: even if its one of us
Jonah Berry: so its all a democratic process then?
Jeff Doubleu: yeah!
Tom EQ: totally
Kyle Watson: yep
Jonah Berry: is there a certain sound you feel best represents BOC
wongo matt: Hmm
Kyle Watson: tricky to pin it down!
Jeff Doubleu: i think we keep it kinda playful but credible
Tom EQ: yeah good one
Kyle Watson: I guess it’s stuff that’s kinda a bit left field, quirky
wongo matt: Yeah I think fun is a good way to put it
Kyle Watson: yet still within the formula to work well on a dancefloor
Tom EQ: dancefloor friendly
Jeff Doubleu: yeah
wongo matt: When going through the demos I am really just hunting for something that doesn’t sound like a kyle watson rip off lol
Tom EQ: haha
Kyle Watson: lol
Tom EQ: we got a lot of them
wongo matt: Good 85% are
Pictured: Kyle Watson
Jonah Berry: what would you say the ratio is for releases on the label from you guys / other people?
Tom EQ: 30/70 ?
Jeff Doubleu: Yeah we get so many demos, that lately its been more of a platform to support new artists!
Tom EQ: yeah and you start some new tracks, get some fire new demos from artists aroudn the world and think, i need to up my game, these demo’s are better than what im doing
wongo matt: Yeah 30/70 feels right. The other thing is, it’s free music so although it would be great to release more of my own stuff on there, I do make a living from majority of my tracks in different ways so I don’t hurt myself because of it
Kyle Watson: we get some really great music coming through
wongo matt: Bedroom producers definitely are killing it
Jeff Doubleu: Especially the litterbox compilations are mostly other artists bringing a great mix of different cool tunes!
Kyle Watson: names we’ve never heard of are making some really interesting music at the moment
Tom EQ: yeah we had this one 17 year old kid from Brazil called Sterium. His latest ep just made me want to stop producing it was that good
Jonah Berry: you guys have your next comp coming out this month ya? who are you guys stoked to release on that one?
Tom EQ: MANCODEX!!!
Tom EQ: love that track
Kyle Watson: the Macnodex jam is great, reminds me a bit of Oliver $
Kyle Watson: *Mancodex
wongo matt: Yeah also LOtheif is on there
Kyle Watson: And I’ve gotta admit, LoThief is making some really cool stuff
wongo matt: Dilligas
Jeff Doubleu: yeah and Jay robinson’s tune is cool as well
wongo matt: There’s 10 tracks on this next one
Tom EQ: yeah that Jay Robinson track is sick
Jeff Doubleu: pretty much something for everyone on this one yeah!
Jonah Berry: do you guys all get to toss in a tune for this one as well?
wongo matt: I will be
Jeff Doubleu: Yeah and we might still add tunes to it, nothing is ever really set in stone with us hahah
Tom EQ: has spence got one in this one? or is it the next litterbox
wongo matt: Next
Kyle Watson: Nex
Tom EQ: ah yeah
Kyle Watson: ye what mongo said lol
Jonah Berry: got it
Kyle Watson: *wongo
Jonah Berry: mongo is his side project
Tom EQ: it is a big one this one though, kinda like an easter present for our fans
wongo matt: We usually sign off on things only a couple of weeks before release
Kyle Watson: haha
wongo matt: Haha my brain is mongo
Tom EQ: Mongo is just on the weekend
Jeff Doubleu: both naked all the time though
wongo matt: Correct
Pictured: Jeff Doubleu
Jonah Berry: has anyone here ever DJd in the nude before
Tom EQ: lol
Kyle Watson: haha
Tom EQ: wONGO
wongo matt: Yes lol sadly; I also djed in my undies after having a Viagra as wellTom EQ: generally doesnt dj with clothes
wongo matt: Once lol
Kyle Watson: No but I did once take over once from a DJ who played his set in just a Speedo
Jeff Doubleu: haha i think this is an easy yes for most of us
wongo matt: I’m fucked
Jonah Berry: hahaha
Jeff Doubleu: i once had Wongo over in holland, he lost his underwear during his set…
Jonah Berry: please tell me how that happens
Kyle Watson: I generally keep my pants on in public and let Wongo/Mongo handle that
Tom EQ: its a skill that takes years to master
wongo matt: Legit once at a sweat it out party; my wife followed me around picking up my cloths behind me lol
Tom EQ: yeah she’s a keeper
Kyle Watson: respect
Jeff Doubleu: I think its part of his breakdance routine
Jonah Berry: so do you guys often use this group as a way to get feedback on your own tracks? lots of WIPs floating around your Facebook group/emails?
Kyle Watson: Not enough of them!
wongo matt: Yeah not enough. But I know there’s like 6-10 solid jeff doubleu tracks in the group and they still aren’t out!
wongo matt: There’s one similar to Azzido da bass – dooms night that he just won’t finish!
Tom EQ: yeah and i was over in holland last week in the studio with jeff, so theres another one coming too
wongo matt: Jeff is seriously a super power that doesn’t want the world to know
Jeff Doubleu: haha yeah, i drop loads of tracks i start in our poll group!
Jeff Doubleu: and we finally did a new Potato Heads EP last weekend yess!
Tom EQ: we need to send it to the poll for approval
Jonah Berry: so Tom + Jeff = Potato Heads?
Jeff Doubleu: yes!
wongo matt: Yeah, they sort of filled the gap hijack left when he stopped
Kyle Watson: for years!
wongo matt: As potato heads
Jonah Berry: are there any other collaboration / collaborative projects that have come out of this crew?
Tom EQ: me and Kyle have also released as TK
wongo matt: Marc and I have done 2 collabs which we haven’t finished just yet
Kyle Watson: shows how far back we go!
Jeff Doubleu: yeah and me and Kyle did one tune a long long long time ago for jack union
Tom EQ: yeah i first met kyle in Johannesburg in 2010
Tom EQ: sorry 2009
Tom EQ: we recently had our 8 year anniversary
wongo matt: Because we are all in different counties it does make it hard, cause I love collab if in person
Kyle Watson: we did, Facebook even told us
Kyle Watson: kisses
Jonah Berry: have you guys ever all been together at the same time?
Kyle Watson: no
wongo matt: No
Kyle Watson: could be dangerous
Tom EQ: no, but we have all met each other mostly
Jeff Doubleu: unfortunatly not yet.
wongo matt: Sounds so bad when I think that
Tom EQ: yeah it gets a bit crazy if just 2 of us meet up
Jeff Doubleu: haha yeah!
wongo matt: Id love to organise a box tour
Kyle Watson: except for that time Tom and I ate steak off a spade in Africa way back in like 2008
Tom EQ: we are thinking about ADE
Tom EQ: mmm steak on a spade
Pictured: Tom EQ in 2010
Jonah Berry: who is the most dangerous person in here to party with
Kyle Watson: wongo
wongo matt: Stupid question
Jeff Doubleu: wongo
Tom EQ: or the time wongo got me so wasted at his gig i went back to the wrong hotel and demanded to speak to the manager when my key didnt work
Jeff Doubleu: hands down
Jeff Doubleu: haha
Tom EQ: wongo
Kyle Watson: wongo x 1000000
wongo matt: But I’m 30 now. Things are gonna change..
Tom EQ: hahahahahahahhahaha
wongo matt: No 18 year olds wanna see a 30 year old naked in a club
wongo matt: That shit scars
Jeff Doubleu: i bet we’ll get random pictures from you tomorrow, drunk in a zoo or something
wongo matt: Lol
Jonah Berry: sounds like a solid bday
Jonah Berry: who’s the “dad” of Box of Cats?
wongo matt: Hmm
wongo matt: Tom?
Kyle Watson: hmm
Jeff Doubleu: as in an actual dad? haha
Kyle Watson: Jeff now technically haha
Tom EQ: Actually strangely
Jonah Berry: feel like every group has a dad role
Tom EQ: wongo keps us all in check
Kyle Watson: I’d say Wongo
wongo matt: Tom – dad , jeff – mum , kyle – older brother, marc – middle, wongo – young . Jakz – distant cousin
Kyle Watson: he’s always on top of everything
Jonah Berry: lol so your dad is dangerous to party with got it
Tom EQ: yeah he gets mardy with us if we miss a release
Tom EQ: sends me and Jeff reminders
Tom EQ: have you done this, have you done that
Kyle Watson: for a man who takes his clothes off most weekends he’s actually pretty responsible
Jeff Doubleu: haha yeah hes the one that kinda is able to control the chaos i guess haha
wongo matt: Haha I have like natural anxiety that drives my determination lol, so that anxiety sometimes helps keep
Then in check lol
Tom EQ: yeah, but then at a party that all goes out the window
wongo matt: It’s my release
wongo matt: Lol
Jonah Berry: “not tonight guys dad’s on a heater”
Tom EQ: hahaha
Jeff Doubleu: haha pretty much yeah
wongo matt: Hahahaha
Jeff Doubleu: mostly itll be more like “listen cunts im drunk AF!
wongo matt: Yeah the cunt word gets thrown around allot by Aussies
Tom EQ: its pronounced KAAARNT
wongo matt: ^
Tom EQ: it means friend in australian
wongo matt: Unless it’s a girl, then you might be speaking about her genitalia
Jonah Berry: how often do you guys like to release stuff on the label? whats coming up next after the easter comp?
Tom EQ: matt
Tom EQ: seems strange typing matt
Jeff Doubleu: lets go with Dad from now on !
Kyle Watson: i’m sticking with mongo my Skype keeps autocorrecting and i’m too lazy to figure out how to change it mmkay
Tom EQ: i bet hes tying with 2 fingers
Tom EQ: typing
Kyle Watson: that’s right
Tom EQ: or 1 finger and sayign the letter as he hits it
wongo matt: We are backlogged really bad haha; to the point where we are creating such big compilations. I think ATM we are set back till August with a release every 3 weeks. Our July litterbox compilation is almost full already. Nick Olivetti and sly turner is up soon which has been slaying in my sets. As well as Litek from U.K. With an EP, Jay Robinson L.A cruz as well as a release from Your Move which is a secret alias of one of the BoC guys
Tom EQ: yeah every 3 weeks, we did do 2 weeks, but we couldnt handle to the pressure
Tom EQ: with special litterboxes dotted around
wongo matt: Yeah
Tom EQ: its gotta be fun and the 2 weekly schedules where zapping the fun out of it
wongo matt: Correct
Tom EQ: and we do have a lot of fun doing this
Jonah Berry: it seems that way!
wongo matt: Yeah as you can see from this chat, it’s hard for us to come up with simple answers sometimes lol
Jonah Berry: could you guys see a Box of Cats tour any time in the next few years?
Kyle Watson: that would be awesome
Tom EQ: yes that would be wicked
Kyle Watson: I do think it would be really tricky to organize something like that
Tom EQ: its just so hard for us all to be in the same place at the same time
Jeff Doubleu: yeah would be sick! but logisticly might be difficult
wongo matt: 100%, I guess Europe would make the most sense $$ wise
Tom EQ: yeah we need to talk about ADE guys
wongo matt: Yeah I might be keen for ade
Jonah Berry: ade would be rad
Tom EQ: yeah and we can all stay at Jeffs
Kyle Watson: party at Jeffs house
Jeff Doubleu: yeah ADE would be ideal for us to do a label night!
Tom EQ: promoters cough cough
Jonah Berry: OK before I take up too much of your time. how about we finish with everyone just saying what their favorite thing about BOC is
Tom EQ: The best thing about Box of cats is the vibe, and that everyone is down with it from all over the world
Kyle Watson: The thing I love most about BOC is the fact that we get to send great music from great producers that may not have been heard of before out into the world, without being tied down by the business side of sales, distributors, etc
Tom EQ: totally
wongo matt: Wongo: the best thing about BOC is that we have created a community of likeminded artist and punters looking for no stress music that’s still danceable, injecting more fun back into the music industry
Jeff Doubleu: For me it’s the way we work together and how we are building this label from the ground up! Getting better everyday!
Kyle Watson: and also that occasionally we get awesome selfies of mongos chest hair
Tom EQ: being “free” means total creative freedom, without needing to look at a commercial aspect
Jonah Berry: nailed it
wongo matt: Yeah I like that, free isn’t the price of the music, it’s how the music is released
Jonah Berry: ay
Jonah Berry: nice motto
Jonah Berry: y’all are awesome really appreciate you all finding a time to chat even though you’re in a bunch of crazy time zones
Tom EQ: yeah thanks for takign the time Jonah, appreciate it man!
wongo matt: Lol
wongo matt: Yeah Jonah your the man
wongo matt: Appreciate the love NEST show us
Jeff Doubleu: yeah big up!
Kyle Watson: Thanks Jonah nice to hang
Kyle Watson: thanks for showing interest in BOC!
Jonah Berry: anytime guys. mongo i wish you the best on your bday. everyone, stay rad stay naked
Tom EQ: haham have a great day!
Tom EQ: catch u later guys x x
wongo matt: Haha mongo here we go
wongo matt: Birthday suit all day
wongo matt: Thanks Jonah, have a good day x
Jeff Doubleu: sweet! is anyones laptop burning their balls as well?
Tom EQ: yeah