Volume 94, Issue 99
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Seven guys + (ska/punk) = Catch 22
Gazette File Photo
By Beth Martin
Catch 22 has risen to fame so fast, they can no longer be considered, as their latest album suggests, Alone in a Crowd.
Just two short years after the band's formation in 1996, Catch 22 began touring. Two full length CDs and three years later, the self-described ska/punk band from New Jersey will head up the SnoJam 7 bill with bands like Against All Authority and AFI. As bassist Pat Kays explains of the band's rise to fame, "We are a really hardworking band we just played as many shows as we could."
On tour, Catch 22 has been to both Canada and the United States. "When we tour in Canada, the kids are so excited and into the music," Kays says. "In America, they only go to shows to hang out with their friends." While Kays feels that touring is fun, he also finds there is a lot of waiting involved. "We always end up waiting because somebody is always late showing up," he says.
The story of the band's signing to Victory Records is almost like a rock and roll fairy tale. After sending a demo tape to a death metal label called Toybox Records, Toybox owner Sean Bonner heard the tape and played it for hardcore label Victory. The very next day, the band heard from Victory and a couple of weeks later, was signed.
Kays says he always wanted to be able to make a life out of touring in a band. A classically trained pianist, Kays joined the band as the bassist about a year after their first CD, Keasbey Nights was released.
On their newest CD, Alone in a Crowd, Catch 22 combines many different types of music, from swing to jazz to hardcore. Kays accounts for this by noting the different tastes of band members. "There are seven different guys in the band who each have their own type of music and we try to represent everyone," Kays says.
Showcasing his own eclectic tastes, some of Kays' favourite bands include 311, Cake, NOFX and The Beatles. Although having such varied musical interests within a band can sometimes cause conflict, Kays explains it was best to try not to fuse the styles into one central type.
Although Catch 22 is a rising ska/punk band, Kays doesn't think the genre will be the next big thing. "Ska was really popular for a while, but I think its popularity is shrinking," he says. However, one wouldn't guess it from the band's busy tour schedule.
After playing a few shows in Virginia and New York, the band will be in Canada tonight and tomorrow with SnoJam 7. Afterwards, they will play more shows across the US before joining the European Deconstruction Tour with Pennywise and Sick of it All in late May.
Kays describes the songs on the new album as a mix of love songs and fun songs. "Bloomfield Avenue," for example, was written about singer Jeff Davidson's girlfriend.
Other songs, like "Point the Blame," were written as fun songs, and include lyrics that refer to popular jam bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead. "I used to be a big Phish head when I was younger," Kays reminisces.
For anyone wondering, Catch 22 is named after both the book by Joseph Heller and the popular cliché. As far as the title for the CD goes, Kays explains, "It's like when you go to a show and all your bandmates are off doing other things and you're standing at this show, alone in the crowd."
The members of Catch 22 are balls of energy onstage as Kays warns, "Fans should expect to have the best time they've ever had!"
SnoJam 7 rolls into DV8 tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20.
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