"I want to be going on tour, recording albums and having millions of fans who adore me": Meet Michael Catton, the singer with Iron Maiden in his veins and the 80s in his music

Michael Catton sitting on some stairs
(Image credit: Nikola Majkic Photography & Video)

If Steven Tyler and David Coverdale co-fathered a child, it might have been Michael Catton. Armed with a microphone, the softly spoken 32-year-old transforms into the sort of rock singer you didn’t think existed any more – a flamboyant, joyously larynx-shredding force built by years on the grass-roots scene of his native Denmark. 

Observers of that scene may recall his old band Tainted Lady, but it’s Catton’s solo debut, Point Of No Return, that really shows what he’s made of. Co-masterminded with Glenn Hughes guitarist Soren Andersen, it’s stuffed with ear-worms that call to mind the 80s at their brightest and riffiest – music that Catton has adored since his teens. 

“I was really into eighties glam bands like Whitesnake, Steelheart, Winger,” he says. “All the guys with big hair, those are the guys I idolised as a teenager, so I think that naturally came out of me in this process.” 

The son of an English father and a Danish mother, Catton was born in Castle Hedingham, Essex before moving to Denmark aged 12. Alongside learning Danish (he’s now fully bilingual), he developed his voice through church choirs and singing along to his parents’ Michael Jackson cassette. “And when I was twelve my dad gave me a Who CD, which got me into rock.”

It was Guitar Hero on PlayStation that introduced Catton to the heavier, shinier 80s stars that he truly fell for, and ultimately fed into his own music, initially with a high-school band. In his early twenties he fronted the Iron Maiden tribute act Some Kind Of Maiden. 

“I learned that is fucking hard,” he says with a laugh. “Bruce Dickinson’s vocals are right on the verge of what I can do. It’s so high, so powerful. I learned to pace myself in a live situation. And I’ve got a lot of those Bruce movements in me as well, just because I’ve idolised those guys for years.” 

From there, a chance performance on stage at a Kip Winger concert – after an ultra-enthused Catton showed up several hours early, and was introduced by the venue owner – made its way onto YouTube, which was seen by Tainted Lady. Impressed, they asked him to be their singer. Club shows and festivals across Europe ensued, along with two albums. 

Then, in 2020, Tainted Lady called it a day just as Catton graduated from his Masters degree, ready to throw himself into band work. Initially despondent, he was called up by Soren Andersen, who suggested making something together. Now with a new live band and tour plans on the horizon, Catton juggles music with a day job in wind energy. 

“I enjoy engineering,” he says, “but it doesn’t give you the same rush as standing on stage in front of a couple of thousand people, playing music that you’ve written. That’s what I want to be doing: going on tour, recording albums and having millions of fans who adore me.” 

Point Of No Return is out now via Mighty Music.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.