Chris May, commonly known as Chris Catalyst aka Robochrist was recruited as The Sisters' second guitarist for the 2005 Tour and has since been a steady member of the band. Besides his activities within The Sisters of Mercy, he formed his own band Eureka Machines in 2007 and started a first solo project in 2016.
Before that, Chris Catalyst had been kicking about Leeds' music scene for several years. Given the incestuous nature of said scene, it can hardly be surprising that someone who had worked at Joseph's Well, the notorious setting of the 1997 Near Meth Experience gig, would years later join The Sisters of Mercy as a guitarist.
Chris had also worked with then Sisters-guitarist Adam Pearson at Adam's studio in Headingley, Leeds, before. Together they played a one-off gig by The Elvis Presleys From Hell in 2005. A video of this is available on YouTube. A full list of Chris' musical activities can be found here.
Chris Catalyst also initiated a Fundraiser Gig for the former long-time Doktor Avalanche nurse Si Denbigh at Leeds Brudenell Social Club on November 27th, 2016. He himself opened the show with an acoustic set, followed by The Membranes and the Utah Saints, who did the DJ-set that evening. As special guests, Near Meth Experience were seen on one of their rare and special days off. For more information see FB Events and The Heartland Forums here and here.
In 2019, Chris Catalyst did not tour with The Sisters of Mercy as he was involved in other activites, but it is commonly understood that he did not leave The Sisters of Mercy.
In 2016 between touring with The Sisters of Mercy and Ugly Kid Joe and apart from his endeavours with the Eureka Machines, Chris Catalyst started working on a solo project. A PledgeMusic campaign for an album was launched and a first song, Sticks and Stones, including a video produced by Thunder And Lightning was published in October 2016. A second song and video, Same Old Sun, followed two months later. The resulting album was Life Is Often Brilliant.
In parallel to the release, Chris introduced his new website, featuring the album lyrics and a blog with an extended review of The Sisters' 2016 November Tour. Life Is Often Brilliant was issued with on February 2nd, 2017 and since 31 March 2017, it is commercially available from common sources like Amazon or iTunes.
In February 2020, on the occasion of his 40th birthday, Chris Catalyst released the two-track EP Happy and a video of the title track to celebrate the event and to thank all his friends and supporters. The EP is available for free download or a sum of your choice at Chris' Bandcamp page.
Corona times, online streams, "Quaran Tour" & other releases
When the corona crisis hindered musicians worldwide from touring
in spring 2020, Chris Catalyst looked for other ways to please his
audiences. After a first free or pay-what-you-will stream on Facebook
@ChrisCatalystMusic on March 22nd with all donations going to
British food bank organisers #Trussell Trust, Chris has been doing
a whole series of live gigs from his home @You Tube on Sundays
with 50% of the proceeds going to another charity each time. Similar
events are taking place on instagram during the week. Please check
here if you like to contribute to current or former donations.
In September 2020, Chris compiled a digital mini-album of acoustic reworkings of stuff released earlier for his' first solo CD. The
album was titled Life Is Sometimes Acoustic and was much appreciated by Chris' online-stream regulars. Around that time
the regular online gigs were given the name "Quaran-Tour" and the release of a later CD featuring the best of the songs of all
streams envisaged. The last online gig (for a while) was streamed in mid-October, though Chris Catalyst would not let Xmas
pass without a two-and-a-half-hour Christmas-Special stream and an according song to bring pleasure and joy to his followers.
However, before that, in November 2020 another six-track compilation of acoustic versions of Eureka Machines songs titled Acoustic Machines was issued; and a further digital acoustic mini-album followed at the beginning of December. The latter one was called Can't Believe It's Still Acoustic and shows Chris' lovely cat Rose on the cover. All these acoustic EPs are available for purchase and prior listening @bandcamp including various special offers for all Chris Catalyst and Eureka Machines releases on Bandcamp Fridays, when Bandcamp waives it’s fees to give musicians the full purchase amount for any release purchased those days.
January 2021 saw the release of the promised "Quaran-Tour" compilation, which turned out to be a double-CD featuring the best acoustic tracks played during all online-streams from March 2020 on. The Very Best of Quaran-Tour and some according facemask merch is exclusively available from the Chris Catalyst online-shop. Any profits from this endeavour will be split 50/50 to Cancer Research.
A new solo album - KALEIDOSCOPES
On January 10th, 2021 the first online stream for this year followed (see above), while Chris was also working on a whole new solo-album titled Kaleidoscopes. As a first preview on this album the video Make Good Art was produced and released on January 22nd. It samples on the Commencement Speech @University of the Arts 2012 by English author Neil Gaiman, approval to use it for his video. But not only the content, the music, too, differs clearly from what was known from Chris Catalyst so far and the video was nominated among Classic Rock Tracks of the Week.
The second Kaleidoscope pre-view video-single The Ride was introduced on 26 February 2021. Both the new tracks as well as all former official Chris Catalyst solo projects can be found @spotify, too. Kaleidoscopes was released on 2nd April with pre-sales starting on March 12th, 2021 @musicglue, which you might want to check for all necessary info on formats, bundles and stuff. The album itself is, however, also available @Chris' bandcamp page, just like the according Acousticoscopes compilation released on 5th July 2021. One day later the final 'single' video from the Kaleidoscopes album, King Of Everything was presented @YouTube
Apart from playing guitars with The Sisters of Mercy, Chris Catalyst is also a founding member of the Eureka Machines. Various promo videos about the band do exist, for example this one titled Chris Catalyst Cribs. More videos from the band can be viewed further down this page
After two earlier CD-album releases, Do Or Die (2008) and Champion The Underdog (2011), the Eureka Machines launched their first Pledge Music campaign featuring their third album Remain In Hope in October 2012. The campaign reached its target amount within 2.5 hours. Remain In Hope was released on February 21st, 2013 and is available for a listen at email@example.com
In 2014 the Eureka Machines started a further Pledge Music Campaign for their fourth album, tentatively entitled ‘BRAIN WAVES’, that also included a double DVD featuring 6+ hours of live and promo footage from the former six years. All of the band's albums are available from their online merchandise store, where you can find shirts and stuff as well.
BRAIN WAVES was released on March 26th, 2015 and, most remarkably, entered the BBC UK Rock Album Charts at No.3. Everything you need to know about the album, the recording process, the artwork, etc. PLUS various sample tracks can be found @EUREKA MACHINE'S BRAIN WAVES MINI SITE. An offical Brain Waves Video was also produced, see down below...
To celebrate the end of the Pledge campaign of 2014, and to look into the future, the Eureka Machines did a "frankly embarrassingly huge interview with the nice people at Team Rock, in particular with Matt Stocks, see Do or DIY - The Story of Eureka Machines... Due to the fact that the Pledge Campaign has long finished, the album is now available here or here.
Another pledge campaign for a fifth studio album VICTORIES and the 2CD-album RARITIES, a "double-disc compendium of rare stuff" was started in January 2018. The according Pledge Music campaign reached its goal within hours after the start and both albums were released at the beginning of March 2018. Enjoy here on the right side their video for the track Misery from the album Victories. Some tour dates followed in September 2018.
During the following years, the Eureka Machines went on tour in Scotland and England again and produced an according tour video of their song 'Revolution (see here on the right side). For detailled and up-to-date information on possible live appearances after the corona-crisis, please keep an eye on Eureka Machines' Official Gigs Site or their page on facebook. Chris Catalyst and the Eureka Machines can also be found on Twitter @Chris Catalyst and Instagram.
Eureka Machines albums, EPs & CD-singles so far
As with all pledge campaigns various additional compilations were given away for pledgers only, this selection is not complete. However,
on the occasion of one of the corona-related Bandcamp-Fridays on 5th March 2021, the Eureka Machines released another live album
featuring their legendary gig at their favourite venue, The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on 22 November 2014.
Eureka Machines Videos
Further External Links
Some interviews with Chris Catalyst:
- June 3rd, 2014 from Cack Blabbath about the Eureka Machines gig at Sonisphere and more here...
- March 7th, 2014 with The Midlands Rocks ...
- March 2nd, 2014 conducted by Johnny H for Uber Rock Online Magazine ...
- May 3rd, 2015 with Chris by ÜBERROCK's Ben Hughes...
- April 24th, 2020 - Podcast Interview "The Moment of Proust" by Elliot Vaughan, Episode Two
Other informative links:
- Chris Catalyst @Twitter
- Chris Catalyst's YouTube Channel
- Chris Catalyst's Discography @discogs
- Eureka Machine's Discography @discogs