Ibiza Music Interview: Warren Cahill, Rat on the Roof

White Ibiza Summer Party: Rat on the Roof

Warren Cahill is the lead protagonist in the musical collective Rat on the Roof. The band is playing live tonight at the White Ibiza Summer Launch Party, in the beautiful gardens of Atzaro. His guitar playing style is hard to describe as it is truly as mesmerising to watch live as it is hypnotising to listen. With this in mind we asked Warren to provide us with some video footage of him playing, some taken by friends, some by passers by, to give you a taster of what to expect. But we weren’t going to let him get away that easily so we threw in a few questions too!

Warren, you’ve traveled a lot. Where have you visited that has influenced your sound and very distinct style?
In the last year I spent a total of 10 months in India alone which was probably the biggest influence for me. I had some truly great experiences along with some awful gut wrenching ones that I’d best not go into here! The highs and lows all contribute and inspired me to achieve what I’m trying to achieve. I spent most of my time in Arambol and Anjuna, and I also went to Mumbai where I taught guitar to kids for five weeks. After that, I went back to the UK and gained the courage to busk in London, Manchester and Ibiza this was kind of the beginning for me. I returned to India with (fellow bandmember) Elliot to practice and be free and just nail the guitar 24/7.

This was my first ‘big’ video. It was filmed when I was busking on Bricklane, London by a completely random gentleman. Things got crazy when it shot up to 75000 views:

What would you call your/Rat On the Roof’s style?
I’d say its acoustic funky fingerstyle/freestyle guitar with a touch of soul inside. I love the harmonic sounds of the guitar you could say they are kind of spiritual. They give me goosebumps and they make me feel funky, that’s the feeling I search for. I’m also the first person I have seen with this style… well I’ve not found anyone else yet, who elbows the guitar to create a bass sound. I love all the random sounds you can make on a guitar, people restrict themselves by playing in the normal way but there are so many more sounds which I believe haven’t been found yet. I’m on it though.

You get a lot of attention online, people seem to love sharing videos of you playing live. How does it feel to see videos of you playing being viewed by people all over the world?
I actually find it kind of embarrassing, yet it makes me feel really good. I love people who come up to me the street after I’ve played and just shake my hand. That means a lot to me as I’ve been playing guitar in my bedroom for the last 13 years and now it’s finally paying off!

This was a live performance I did alongside my partner in Rat on the Roof, Elliot in Goa:

You are playing all over the island this summer – how did that come about?
I first came to Ibiza in 1998 and worked at the bottom of San Antonio’s West End in, wait for it… Koppas! I then went on to PR at other random sales and marketing jobs until 2007 for Retro, Privilege and many more. I always got sacked mind you. I’ve always loved Ibiza – it has something that draws you in. Ibiza was actually the reason why wanted to travel to India in the first place. To try and find the same vibe during the winter. Something was calling me back this year and I’ve returned. I’m ready for it, I want to settle here.