Fans of local band Catholics, and Cuzco out of Charlotte, N.C., awaiting the band’s collaborative split seven-inch record (Refresh Records) will have reason to celebrate when it’s released tomorrow, Fri. March 9 here. The two bands showcase their love for math rock and post rock on the unique new record, which guitarist and vocalist of Catholics Tyler Beall describes as an “existential crisis that you’re interested in having, maybe.”
We asked Beall to dish some juicy tidbits about the new album, letting Catholics’ new and old fans to get behind the scenes in the making of the record. Find out what it took for this collaboration to happen and what you can expect to hear.
How long was the split in the works?
Well, we have been planning it with Cuzco since both bands first started, but the offer came after they signed to Refresh Records and the owner Josh approached us with the idea.
What was the inspiration behind this album?
Just a love story between eight very sweaty and neurotic dudes. Steamy, I know.
Any wild behind the scenes anecdotes you’d like to share?
My favorite thing that’s happened to us as a band, and me personally, was that I approached two of my idols from the bands pg99 and Pygmy Lush with our music, and we are now buds. I want to thank Chris and Mike Taylor for everything; they’re living legends. And we’re smitten to have Chris doing art for us. Much love to both of them.
What is the first single called?
This single is called, “Playback the Reel to Make Time Stand Still.”
For the most part, where was this album recorded?
It was mostly tracked at Truphonic with Elliot Elsey. Other parts were split between my house (Tyler), our bassist’s house (Andy), and Right or Wrong Studios in James Island with Matt Tuton.
How would you describe the sound of this album to a new listener?
We’re somewhere between eclectic/post-rock/math and emo, and with every track want to offer something a little different. For this track it’s a klezmer feel. We wanted that old timey type sound. I was listening to a lot of Pygmy Lush’s “Bitter River,” and a lot of Beach Boys when I wrote the skeleton. We wanted it to have that warm analog sound like a lot of older records.
Who all is in your lineup and did you have any changes along the way?
Our lineup is Tallon Knight on guitar, Andy Krepelka on Bass, Price Smith on drums/production , Tyler Beall — guitar/whatever. We’ve had a ton of lineup shifts. I (Tyler) started the group originally to be a solo project in 2014. I had four drummers, a guitar player (Phil Krause), and a bassist (Bob Thibault) in between then and late 2015 parting ways with each of them until Tallon joined followed by Andy in 2016. We then parted ways with our next three drummers starting at the end of 2016. We even entertained Andy(bass) playing drums until we found a replacement in our friend Andy Munz who was a great fit and is a great friend and guy all around, he’s a total sweetheart, but he was going to move so we had to replace him. Pretty fed up I had a high school friend and old drummer of two of my previous musical endeavors, Price, who attended Berklee college of music come back and take the spot after much begging/schmoozing on my part. And here we are.
Does the split have an overall theme or mood?
Not overall, I can’t speak for Cuzco. To me our side is about time and appreciating or just acknowledging moments that have come to pass. It’s like an existential crisis that you’re interested in having, maybe.
When is the last time you recorded music prior to your new upcoming album?
Before the split we did a single with our old drummer, Austin, who plays in To Forget and Innerout here in Charleston. It’s called, “Love Growls the Unfortunate Truth,” and you can check that out on our Bandcamp. It will also see some love and reworking on our full length we are currently demoing.
Who were the musical geniuses that were involved in the making of the split?
All in all it’s a pretty large list, obviously both of the bands in their entireties, but also on our side of things: McCarthy Fitch (trombone), James Anderson (string arrangements/violins), Heather Buffington Anderson (viola), Lonnie Root (cello), Noah Jones (piano), Laurin McGee (saxophone), Bob Thibault, Graham Spees, and Joanna Delong (vocals).
Gabe Mg mixed it and Dan Millice mastered it at the Engine Room in NYC.
What was it like making an album and collaborating with another band?
I met Will (Cuzco) when he was playing guitar in another Charlotte band called the Business People. We were both on the back patio at Petra’s, and I was talking to someone about how I liked p90 pickups, he overheard and said, “p90s are trash,” and that was that. Since then Catholics and Cuzco have shared several shows and a little weekender. Needless to say it was a dream come true to do a split with one of my favorite bands to come out of the last 10 years — it’s even sweeter that we’ve been buds all along not knowing what each other’s bands would sound like. 11/10 would do again!
Is there anything you would go back and change if you could?
There are a few things we plan on doing a little different on the album version of our track but we were crunched time wise and we wanted to spend the proper amount of time and energy in the mixing and mastering process so that we got something we were truly happy with. But no regrets! Who doesn’t love more than one version of a song they dig?
Do you have any tour dates coming up in particular that you are excited about?
June 19th, 2018 we are supposed to play a show with Shy, Low, Innerout, and Vacation State, that’s going to be here in Charleston. I’m not 100% of where, last I heard Big Gun was likely, but we shall see. Thanks Joe Suthers for looking out!