Melbourne’s Catholic Guilt


We were lucky enough to have the fellas from Melbourne band ‘Catholic Guilt’ pop into our ‘Miscellameous‘ podcast studio to go head to head in a battle of Anime knowledge!

After the guys finished trying to out do each other in this epic battle, we threw some questions at them to get some insight into who is ‘Catholic Guilt’.

Check out all their answers below…

So let’s start from the top who are you? 

We are Catholic Guilt, a two-piece folk-punk band band from Melbourne.
Our lineup consists of Brenton Harris (vocals) and Bryce Novotny (guitar/vocals/occasional facial hair).

We play honest music for the internally conflicted masses.

Very nice! So how did the two of you meet?

Catholic Guilt officially formed in late 2016. The two of us making music together had probably been an inevitability since we first met at an all-ages show on the Mornington Peninsula twelve years ago, it just took a while for the stars to align, or perhaps more accurately for our respective attempts at post-hardcore, hardcore and pop-punk stardom to internally combust.

Where is home for you two?

We’re both Mornington Peninsula kids (well, Frankston to be specific, but that still counts, right?) originally but we both packed our bags and moved to the inner-south sometime in the last decade. So let’s just say Melbourne.


Ok so who plays what part in the band? 

In terms of performing live, Brenton sings, tells stories and moves somewhat rhythmically to the music while trying to work out what to do with his hands and Bryce plays guitar, sings and takes good natured cheap shots at Brenton’s expense. In terms of a writing context, we both contribute guitar parts, melodies and lyrics, dependent on the needs of the song.

A typical example of this would be Brenton ‘writing a new song’, showing it to Bryce and Bryce saying ‘that’s not a new song, that’s the same song, those are the same chords’ and working his magic until it is actually a new song, not just in terms of lyrics and melody, but instrumentation as well.

Ok so we have to ask, how did you come up with the name Catholic Guilt?

Brenton came up with the name, he’d been holding onto it for years, waiting for the right project to use it for.

Ok now that we know who came up with it, is there any specific meaning to it?

The notion of Catholic Guilt, is the often undue but near constant feeling of remorse or guilt for one’s own existence. The overriding sense that no matter what you do with or in your life, it’s never ‘good enough’ to make up for the ‘blessing’ that you’ve been granted. So even the smallest infraction or perhaps perceived infraction comes with this intense sense of uncleanliness or unworthiness. It tends to manifest itself most commonly in Catholic’s, hence the name, but variations of the condition can be seen in most dogmatic religions.

Given both of us could be defined as atheists with Christian or in Brenton’s case specifically Catholic backgrounds, the constant weight that culturally conditioned guilt still plays in our thought processes is both infuriating and fascinating to us. A lot of the lyrics for the early material touch on these concepts, on us coming to terms with our own actions and emotions and identifying where certain life experiences and our reactions to them have lead us to as people, and how we can move on from those experiences with a less conflicted and more positive state of mind.

The name also conjures images of priests doing inappropriate things and the past and current wrongdoings of the church, and offers up thousands of years of iconography to pillage, so that’s pretty dope as well.

If you had to sell your music to someone by describing it, how would you go about it?

The pretentious answer would be that we are two best friends writing honest music for the joint purposes of fun and catharsis. That music has always been a coping mechanism and a primary sense of joy for us both and Catholic Guilt is our attempt at presenting ourselves as both people and musicians in the most truthful manner possible, without regard for specific genre classification or alignment.

The reality is though that we’re just another two hardcore/punk scene kids who found out that our scene grew up and got mortgages and left us behind, clad in flannel shirts with an acoustic guitar in hand trying to find where we belong. If you want to know what that feels and sounds like, listen to our songs.

Every act has their influences who are yours?

Of all the questions you get asked as a musician, this is probably the easiest and the most difficult to answer at the same time. The easy answer is to say we sound like the combination of all of the music either of us has ever listened to and loved, thrown into a blender and pureed until only the most dominant influences are left as one easily digestible dish known as Catholic Guilt. The difficult answer is to narrow that poor excuse for a metaphor down into a list of similar sounding acts, but we’ll try.

Against Me!, Frank Turner, The Wonder Years, The Menzingers, The Smith Street Band, The Mountain Goats, Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine, Brand New, A Death in the Family, Thrice.

That’s a hell of a list but I like it!

If you could have any musician in the world feature on a Catholic Guilt track who would it be and why?

We’ll choose one each. Bryce’s choice is Soupy from The Wonder Years which is solid and potentially attainable. My vote would have been for Chris Cornell, and I would have insisted on being in the room while the vocal was tracked, but as that’s no longer an option, I’ll settle’ for one of my favourite artists and people in general, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! Oh and if Brendon Urie or Hayley Williams want to lend their pipes to a tune, we wouldn’t complain.

Ok another standard band question for you, what is the best gig you’ve played so far as Catholic Guilt?

They’ve all been great for different reasons, but either our first gig at The Reverence Hotel with Joe Guiton and Jo Neugebauer because you never forget your first, or our show at The Creators Lounge with Jess Porter and Rian KF. I guess you could say Footscray has been good to us.

Also do you prefer intimate set ups or would you like a bigger room with a hyped up audience?

We only really have experience playing in intimate setups as Catholic Guilt, so until we know otherwise we’ll say intimate set ups! If anyone wants to book us to open up an arena show so we can find out the answer, we won’t complain.


Do you have any new stuff in the works? Anything for us to get excited about?

We’re currently in the planning stages to record our debut studio EP in September which will be out sometime towards the Australian summer. We’ll be filling out the sound quite a bit with some additional instrumentation and we’re putting together a list of potential guests to pop up on a track or two, so stay tuned to our social channels as we’ll be posting a studio diary as we go.

Lastly, what gigs do you have coming up and what are your social links?

We currently have three confirmed shows coming up but we tend to add new ones every week or so, so if you can’t make it down to one of these, or you do and we somehow blow your mind and you want to experience it all again, then follow us on our socials and we’ll be sure to let you know when they are.

Sunday August 20 @ Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick.
w/ Jess Porter and Cranes Against Clouds

Sunday September 10 @ The Reverence Hotel, Footscray.

Sunday October 1 @ The Corner Hotel, Richmond.

Socials are as follows:

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

YouTube –

There’s an official lyric video for “Disconnect”, a CATholic Guilt feline fanclub video slideshow for “Sad States” featuring pictures of cats that our fans or “faithful” as we call them sent in, and a cool little introductory documentary named “Introductory Rites” that a couple of RMIT Students, Jordan and Amber put together for us, as well as some live footage.

We also have merchandise including bottle openers, stubby holders and these dope “Disciple” tee shirts that you can see being modelled by ourselves and our respective other halves below.

Those are available at our shows or from;
Which is where you’ll also find our debut three-tracker “Penitence” for free download!