INTERVIEW: Matt Caskitt of punk band Caskitt
MC: Steffen, like me, grew up all over as a kid. I believe he lived in El Centro, CA and even Italy but did spend some formative years in San Diego. And Jesse is from Riverside, CA.
KW: How old are you guys?
MC: Jesse is the youngest, Steffen is the second youngest, I’m the oldest.
KW: What bands got you into punk rock?
MC: For me, Bad Religion was a big influence. I loved how they played fast and melodic music with powerful political ideas and observations being sung over it so beautifully. When I discovered Propagandhi at 15 years old, their albums really spoke to me and were constantly out-rotating any other album. And I looked forward to each release very impatiently.
KW: What bands did you listen to before punk?
MC: Pearl Jam was the first band I listened to that wasn’t “my dad’s music”. My dad is very into music and introduced me to so many great bands and artists (Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Police, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Heart, etc.. But being eight years old at the height of their success, Pearl Jam seemed to belong to me. My first show was Pearl Jam/Bad Religion at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado during Pearl Jam’s ‘fuck ticketmaster tour’. Changed my life for sure.
MC: No. I wanted to play drums ever since I can remember, but the elementary school concert band director insisted I play trumpet. I’m actually glad I didn’t start with drums because learning how to read and write music for trumpet is much easier than drums/percussion. I may have given up drums, had they been my first intsrument. I begged my mom for a drumset at 11 years old. She bought me a snare drum and stand and said if I played that every day, without collecting dust, she’d consider buying me a drum kit the next year. Needless to say I beat the hell out of that thing and held her to her promise.
MC: At first, music seemed like a chore. An after school class I had to attend at the insistence of my mom, to keep me from getting into trouble. So I couldn’t care less about progressing or learning. But music was always there for me when I seemed to need an escape from personal chaos. When I first started playing in bands, around 14 years old, I think we did it as something to do when we were too tired to skateboard any more. It was a way to burn off excess energy and express ourselves as fast and loud as possible. Then one day, playing in bands, touring and going to shows became my lifestyle. The friends and relationships I’ve made because of it, have defined me as a person and given my life purpose. Without music, I wouldn’t be here. I’m an old chestnut but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
MC: Steffen and I were playing in this metal band that wasn’t super serious. Just a fun way to escape from jobs and grown-up life; like most bands, right? I played drums and Steffen was the lead vocalist for this 6 piece band. When I found out he was a much better guitar player than metal singer (lol) I talked to him about starting a punk band. He agreed and we started hammering out some ideas I had and put together a six song EP. Then it just progressed from there. Three years later, we’re about to release our 2nd full length.
KW: Had you guys been in bands prior?
MC: I’ve played for so many bands and artists but none that anyone would recognize or really worth mentioning. Steffen played for some local bands in El Centro and San Diego but I forget all their names. Jesse actively plays in two other amazing bands, New Way On and Old Rivals. His cousin, Jacque Mendez of New Way On, sang back ups on the song “Short Shorts” on our new album. And one of Jesse’s other cousins, Adrian Mendez also of New Way On, helped with group vocals on the new album.
KW: You live in LA now, does that hinder things or slow things down at all with Caskitt?
KW: How does the writing process generally work with the band and is that the same process used for the songs on this new record?
MC: Without promising or announcing things that aren’t confirmed. I can confidently say West Coast tour in November. And Europe next year. We plan on touring as much as possible on this new record and won’t record another album until we’ve logged another 50,000 miles on the van.
KW: Anything else you want people to know about you, the band, or anything else you’re working on?