Q&A with Capstan: "We Are Doing Things Our Way"
Unconfined by one specific genre, Orlando quintet Capstan are blending elements of pop-punk, prog and post hardcore to create a sound that is entirely unique to them. That's what happens when you combine a physics major, music producer, guitar virtuoso, profound lyricist and hockey enthusiast who (on top of being capable of drinking an absurd amount of beer) are determined to follow their own path as musicians. The band, who have been together since 2013, but finally perfected their lineup only two years ago recently found their perfect home in newly founded record label, Adventure Cat Records, who share Capstan's goals and aspirations, allowing them complete creative control of their music.
Last month, Capstan debuted the music video for their hard-hitting new single, "Elysian Fields," and with plans to release a new EP and announce some exciting tour dates soon, you're going to want to be familiar with them before the new year. We recently talked with the band's Andrew Bozymowski about everything Capstan - from their origin story to Adventure Cat Records to their plans for the new year. Read more and listen to "Elysian Fields" below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Capstan for any readers who might not be familiar?
Capstan is a progressive post-hardcore quintet that was formed in Orlando, Florida, where we all currently reside. Scott, Anthony, Harrison and myself (Boz) are all born and raised in the Midwest, which makes Joe the only true Floridian in the group.
I think how we came together is kind of interesting, so I’ll touch on that briefly: Harrison and I grew up playing in bands our whole life together, and while I was in school at Michigan State, Harrison relocated to Orlando to study Audio Engineering. While in school here, he met Anthony (who was in bands I used to go see growing up in Michigan, ironically, but had since relocated to Florida for the same reason as Harrison) and Scott, who both had similar interests and influences in music. From there, the demo days of what is now ‘Capstan’ were born. I graduated from MSU in 2013, and after visiting these guys down in Orlando on multiple occasions, decided to move here in early 2014 for the sole reason of joining the band and pursing it full-time. It wasn’t until 2015 when we met Joe, discovered he was the best musician we had all ever met, and that the current lineup of Capstan was cemented as what it is today. We all still don’t exactly understand how we found each other, but are so thankful it happened.
You guys all kind of come from different backgrounds (both musical and not). How do you feel that this affects the way you guys write together and the chemistry you have?
This is something we actually talk about all the time. Capstan is absolutely a product of our own personal influences and who we are as people. But what’s apparent is we are all VERY different individuals, with our own polarizing personalities. The sound we’ve kind of created as our own really stems from each individual’s musical backgrounds, everyday interests, and the role we each play within the group. We describe ourselves as Megazord from Power Rangers, where we each have such an important role to play to create this undefeatable robot together. So if one of us wasn’t here, we aren’t the complete version of Capstan (and wouldn’t be able to defeat giant monsters and save humanity together). We are very different from a lot of bands because every one of us plays such a big part. We all know and accept and flourish in the roles we have, which has created this insanely productive and well-oiled machine.
I feel like a big problem bands have when writing is trying to conform to one specific sound or genre, but you guys are literally doing the opposite. Was this a conscious effort or something that just sort of happened when you started writing together?
This is another thing we talk about all the time. While there are bands out there trying to BE like somebody else, we are just trying to be ourselves. It’s not necessarily about “doing our own thing”, but simply writing what we love and want to hear out of music we enjoy. Collectively, we want to challenge what you think this vein of music can be, and take it further than what’s been expected for a long time now. We want to push the boundaries and avoid limiting our creativeness - and ourselves for that matter. I think every one of us is a little sick of a lot of the new, “popular” music coming out nowadays, just because bands tend to follow suit and recreate what’s been hitting. We are doing things our way.
You guys recently announced your signing to Adventure Cat Records and released your new track, “Elysian Fields.” As one of the first artists to join Adventure Cat Records, what really drew you to them?
Adventure Cat is this really new and exciting record label, full of people who have all worked with bands of many different sounds in their own, respective capacities, for over a decade now. Just getting to know the team over there; building relationships, discussing strategy, and nuances of the industry, or what they’ve done with the bands at KMGMT - or groups years before that - has been a breath of fresh air. We feel like they’re on the forefront of new ideas and some really huge things in this industry. They’re also really allowing Capstan to BE Capstan, which was one of the most important things we could’ve imagined. It was a perfect match for where we are as a band.
What inspired “Elysian Fields”? Can you tell us about the song?
‘Elysian Fields’ is a song that comes from the core of every one of us. While it doesn’t exactly refer to one specific person or situation, it really touches on all of our own experiences with death, and in particular, suicide. It is about never knowing how someone is feeling until it’s too late. How you wish you could go back and change a situation to gain a different outcome than the one you’ve been left with.
With “Elysian Fields” out now, can listeners expect to hear some more new music coming soon?
Yes, absolutely. At the time of this article, we can’t yet speak of the new songs, but we promise you they are coming soon. And they’re going to rip your heart out. Can’t wait to show you.
What would you like listeners to take away from “Elysian Fields” or your music in general?
Our music is going to hit on all different levels. We like to speak about an array of topics, perspectives, and feelings overall - anything that is truly thought provoking. We want our songs to take people to new emotional highs and lows, and potentially change the way you feel about a situation going on in the world around you, or a moment in time you experienced. Something that will either break you down or give you hope when you feel like everything is against you.
Do you have any other big plans coming up before the end of 2017?
There’s a lot in the works for Capstan over the next few months, before we hit the holiday season. We’ll be releasing a lot of content, information the new record, and hopefully unveiling news on some potentially groundbreaking tours for the band. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@capstan_band) to keep up with all the goodness that’s on its way!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’re all big fans of cracking open a cold one(s) with the boys, so come out to a show sometime and share a beer with us! Don’t ever be afraid to say hey, we’re always looking to connect and make new friends!