Katastro: It Was a Bummer When the Clubhouse Shut Down

Categories: Q&A

Tonight, Tempe natives Katastro will be returning to the Valley from their new home in Huntington Beach to play a local show for their eagerly awaiting fans at Marquee Theatre. While the band will always support the city from which it came, the four funk, rock, and hip-hop artists headed for California two years ago in search of musical stability and a culture that would allow their audience to expand.

So far, the West Coast transition has worked out well for the four aspiring musicians and lifelong friends -- vocalist Andy Chaves, guitarist Tanner Riccio, drummer Andrew Stravers, and bassist Ryan Weddle -- who made the move as their support system in Phoenix collapsed with the closing of the Clubhouse, their staple venue, and alternative radio station 103.9 turning contemporary.

Up on the Sun spoke with Katastro drummer Andrew Stravers before the band's headlining show at the Marquee, to welcome them back to Phoenix, talk about the opportunities they have found in the Golden State, and the new music in their arsenal.

Tell me about the opportunities that California offers Katastro.
There are more shows to play and a large variety of markets that we can hit. There are so many cities in California and different areas where kids come out and see shows.

What would you want a new listener to know about yourself and the band?
We always make music that we really enjoy, and we just hope our people do too. All the music is always changing for sure.

Is the whole band from Tempe?
Yes, all of us are. We grew up together. Andy, our singer, and our bassist have actually known each other since they were born because their parents went to church together.

How did you decide you wanted to play music?
I started playing drums when I was 13 after I went and saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I decided that was what I wanted to do. All of us started playing around the same age, but we didn't really hang out with each other. I was in different punk rock bands when I was growing up and playing in my garage.

Who is your favorite drummer?
I'd probably say John Bonham. If I had to pick one, that's who it would be, because of his overall style.

Are those the type of musical influences you bring to the band?
Yeah, some of them. We all definitely have different stuff. Ryan, our bass player, came from a big jazz background. He was offered a scholarship to the University of Memphis, but we were really going at it and doing stage shows and touring so he decided not to do it.

Andy started rapping when he was 12, so he has a hip-hop background and brings that to the band. Tanner has a really cool classic rock and psychedelic style on the guitar. It's really a fusion of jazz and rock with funk and hip-hop.

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Would go to this show, but it's at the Marquee and security are very aggressive. It's not worth getting frisked and hassled just to see a show and have a good time.

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