Thursday 23 August 2018

***CATALYST, THE exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Noise / Sludge / Grunge / Stoner / Psychedelic Hardcore / Experimental
Related artists: Tri-State Killing Spree, The Human Timebomb, Burn/Ward, NemesisterMidnight Drive, Real Talk, Des Ark, Soft TimeIndecent, John Wilkes Youth, Vindication, Slowing, SlurryRescue The Past, Take Down Your Art, A Roman Holiday, BitchmouthCasa Perdido and Heartscape Landbreak.
CountryRichmond, Virginia U.S.A.
Years Active2004-2012, 2016
Song: "Too Big to Fail"
Album: "Swallow Your Teeth"
Year: 2009
For fans ofEdhochuli, Drive Like Jehu, Akimbo, Gospel, Unwound, Karp, Mass Movement Of The Moth, Since By Man, (heavy) Cave In, Ken Mode, Medusa, Doomriders, Aim Of Conrad, Creepozoidz, Maximum R'N'R, Tricky Woo, Every Time I Die, Transistor Transistor, Old Man Gloom and Zozobra aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): McCarthyism / The Perpetual Motion Machine / Sons Of Vesta / No Signal Publishing / Forcefield Records / Robotic Empire / Sieve Sand Records / Aïnu Records / Moment of Collapse Records / Rorschach Records / Electric Human Project / Engineer Records
This post's artist is from the August 2018 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the August 2018 Mix#8 right here or get the new September 2018 Mix#9 here.

Before writing this review I interviewed Eric, the guitarist/vocalist of THE CATALYST. When I sat down to write this I knew right away that I pretty much had zero decent band comparisons, as I had mentioned to Eric in the interview. Enter: My Wife. I asked her to throw out any "for fans of" that she could think of, and she stole the show. It went something like this:

"This has mad Edhochuli vibes. And woah, that bassist sounds like Caleb from Cave In, Zozobra and Old Man Gloom."

Pretty goddamned accurate considering THE CATALYST sounds like THE CATALYST, but those are excellent reference points before I even start. Plus it's a fun little story where my wife puts my knowledge to shame. Man, I love her.

Wait a sec, I think this was a discography review and interview for THE CATALYST, was it not? T'was, I say. So the band started in 2004 and ended in 2012 with some reunion shows in 2016 including Swamp Fest II where I was able to meet and watch the band put on one helluva show. I first heard about them when 'Mariana's Trench' was first released and I fell in love with both the opening track "This Bike is a Gravity Bong" and the art/packaging for the 12". Their first release was 'A Hospital Visit' released on cd by McCarthysim in 2004. The band dismisses it as an actual release as they were still searching for their sound. The EP is unavailable online from what I've seen, so I've only heard "Just Like The Last Scene In 'The Karate Kid'" which is pretty decent, but this review says the rest is questionable. It's definitely much more screamy and metal influenced, and Eric has pointed out that they were heavily influenced by Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

The first release that sounds like THE CATALYST is their 2005 follow-up LP 'Freak Out the Squares'. It's more noise-rock driven than screamy, driving hardcore and less than a minute into opener "Panic Don't Panic" I'm thinking they may have been big Drive Like Jehu fans. "Smoke Crack Worship Satan / The Broken English Breakdown Shakedown" is huge, sludgy and partially obscured within a could of stoner rock. It's also 5:56 in length, followed by the 6:50 "Chronic The Hedgehog", a song that includes the closest thing to singing from the band that I've heard (save their exit song), as well as a very expansive and likely partially improvised midsection. "Three-Ring Binder As Makeshift Monster" has a verse that sounds like a drunken cover of Drive Like Jehu, Bob TiltonDie, Emperor! Die, Twelve Hour Turn and I Hate Myself, and actually sounds pretty cool, which transitions into your typical, awkward, angular and screamy THE CATALYST chorus'. "Thirsty Like Water Thirsty" is a swelling, southern instrumental jam that leads perfectly into the fantastic "Just Like The Last Scene In 'The Karate Kid'" which was rerecorded from the 2004 EP. "Masters Of The Blue Gem Of Phenomenal Ultimate Power" is a song to trip the shit out to, or maybe just play it on repeat while watching The Holy Mountain on mute. Fuck you up. The hilariously titled "Eating People is Easy" is pretty straightforward punk/hardcore in many ways, but the band manages to put a THE CATALYST spin on it and make it a worthwhile listen, if only for its 2:18 tenure. "Jesus Garcia" is a cool closer, but wish it had been switched with the lengthy "Chronic The Hedgehog" which seems like a fitting closer to me...cuz I know everything. 😏

In 2006 the band did a split and tour with Mass Movement Of The Moth and the collaboration couldn't have a been a better fit. 'Two Thousand And 666' opens with a rerecorded and jarring version of "Panic Don't Panic" that'll have you dancing and ingesting questionable substances in no time. In fact, this split is comprised of most of the songs from the 'Freak Out the Squares' LP but recorded a year later. The new version of "Smoke Crack Worship Satan" has a few parts that resemble Gospel and "Eating People is Easy" has a Ken Mode feel to it.

In my opinion 2007 marked a turning point for the band, as they released both an excellent split with Brainworms and their dare I say landmark EP 'Mariana's Trench'. These releases are both the transition as well as the destination point in terms of their fantastically psychedelic, noisy, stoner brooding, metallic concoction of hardcore and rock. "Born With a Buzz" finds the perfect balance between dirty, noisy, riff-laden rock and sassy, screamy hardcore, "Dunna Nannuna" is the band's first real foray into deep and dark metallic hardcore with Michael taking the vocal reigns by using his gutteral bellows. I feel like this song in particular is the precursor to more than one track on 'Swallow Your Teeth' and most definitely the harsh, demonic noise of 'Voyager'. Closer "Song Without Wards" in an instrumental drop of acid to the brain, utilizing the stoner and sludge rock that they had already been developing for a few years.

And that 'Mariana's Trench' 12"EP, that was my gateway. Perhaps the penultimate CATALYST experience is "This Bike is a Gravity Bong", a venomous, swaying and dysfunctional opener that boasts some seriously booming bass and dirty rock riffs amidst screaming not unlike the short-lived Medusa project. The clean transition at one minute is a beautiful break that bounces along with slow, subtle builds which culminate in a burst of glory after an outright stop at the two-minute mark. The final minute and a bit more has Michael ripping the listener to shreds with his growls, embedded within Eric's hoarse crooning and toxic screaming. "Kyle vs. Robocop" is even dirtier than the opener while "Proceed With Caution" is double its length and about half the speed. Closer "Attention Deficit Distortion" exemplifies all of the things that make THE CATALYST great, perhaps not as well as the opening track though, cuz that shit dawg gone stole the show.

2009 saw the release of what both Eric and I agree is the height of THE CATALYST's output, 'Swallow Your Teeth'. Featuring 11 jams spanning almost 40 minutes, this shit'll fuck you up in a myriad of ways. There's definitely a lot to love here, like the balanced attack and worthy opener "I Hate the Future", the amazingly titled "Lars Ulrich's 1986 Funeral", the rollicking "Assholier Than Thou" and the jazzy instrumental jam "Incidental Music"...and those are just the first four tracks! When "Small Town, Big Mouth" hits you'll be sent reeling, cuz that 2:13 clusterfuck is littered with dual vocals and blazing drums, making it an obvious standout. "Werewolves of Washington" is the long, droning, psychedelic trip track, as is expected on any given THE CATALYST release. "Japanese Maple" and "Sterling is a Hole" are short, classic tunes by the band while "42012" is an exceptional post-hardcore/post-rock song that could have showed up on a Pelican or Russian Circles release and no one would have been any the that last minute everything explodes. Speaking of explosions, dear oh dear "Too Big To Fail" is just that, and it be my fucking jam. Oh my god I love this song and after seeing it live with two drummers I became infatuated with it. This is probably my choice THE CATALYST track but I'm not going to go into it, as reading my rant about it would take longer than its 3:19 duration and writing it would take a hell of a lot more time than that. Jam that shit right here or what that shit be jammed live with two drummers right heeya! Closer "A Goodbye Kiss from the Catalyst (You Dog)" is a soaring, epic and lush jam that nearly reaches six minutes, using the first minute as a post-hardcore intro, followed at 1:15 by classic THE CATALYST and by two minutes the song has completely gone supernova. Think Ken Mode meets Rye Coalition and you're almost there.

There was a lull following the 2009 LP, as it wasn't until late 2011 or maybe early 2012 when the 'Aussitôt Mort split' was released in hopes of coinciding with a tour that ended up getting cancelled. It opens with the feedback-soaked, dirty southern hardcore jam "Thumbsucker" that gets pretty fucking heavy in its midsection and their side closes with a danceable punk number titled "Our Silence Is Too Tight".

The band's final recordings ended up being the extremely jarring, heavy and pissed off. As weird as it sounds, this isn't the most important or complete sounding THE CATALYST record but it's still my favourite. The first track "(The Final Voyage of the) Spaceship Catalyst" sounds angry as fuck, heavy and at times downright evil. The second track "King of Swords" is ridiculously heavy and sounds as much like Old Man Gloom and early Cave In as THE CATALYST, and I'm fucking loving it. "Square Waves" keeps the finger on fire as the band wades through thick, sludgy waters and sounds like a goddamn swarm of bees at 2:14. The vocals in "Occult Blood" give me a bit of a Maximum R'N'R feel but essentially it's another venomous and sassy noise-rock/hardcore tune. "Septagon" is the album's lengthy noise track but definitely incorporates a lot of the hardcore and metal associated with the band's traditional sound. The almighty "Jupiter Brain" is next and holy fuck...just look at the front cover and imagine that as sludgy, metallic hardcore and that's exactly what this shit sounds like. I doubt the final Zozobra album was influenced by this song but jesus h fuck me christ 2013's 'Savage Masters' sounds like THE CATALYST worship all of a sudden. "Breathers", like the rest of the record, is pure fire that...could it be? Singing in "Big Bend"? Kinda. "Open High" is another, even darker track (yes, even for THE CATALYST) and the title track "Voyager" is a journey through 7:21 of the most progressive and interesting work they ever did.

Well hot damn, that's a long review. Guess what? This interview is even longer. It's also a much more interesting and informative read. Check out my THE CATALYST interview below with Eric Smith. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and share your experiences and thoughts with us! 💓

exclusive interview
w/Eric Smith

Well then shit, let's start from the beginning. How did you first get into music?
My dad was into rock and roll and had a pretty excellent record collection. I was into Michael Jackson, because I was nine. I used to rush home from school to watch this music video countdown show that was on Nickelodeon back then, hoping to see the video for "Black or White." I was also kind of obsessed with Macaulay Culkin. Anyways, one day, I accidentally saw the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" instead, and it was all downhill from there.

lol tell us more about Macaulay. Was this just based on Home Alone? The Good Son? 😉
You know how pretty much every kid has that movie that they watch over and over again, until they know all the dialogue verbatim? Mine was Home Alone.

Ah that's not too far from myself. When I was 5 I remember someone asking me what my favorite artist was and I said Michael Jackson. I also got hard into Nirvana right around the time Kurt died. Where did you progress from there? Have you kind of hit every genre over the last 30 years?
Nirvana led me over to MTV, which opened the door for me to discover the swell of "buzz bin" bands that were cropping up in that era. Alice in ChainsSoundgardenMudhoneyPumpkinsDinosaur Jr. you know the deal. My pops also let me thumb through his old records. You got your Led ZeppelinCreamBeatlesAerosmithThe ClashSabbathTalking HeadsElton JohnDeep Purple.

My first exposure to punk came when I tried to turn on one of my buddies to Nirvana, and his older brother overheard us. He was like "you know that's actually their second album?" and I'm like "I did not know that. Tape it for me?" So he made me a tape of "Bleach," and -- I don't know if he did this on purpose or what -- the other side of the tape was Black Flag's "Damaged" and a bunch of random Misfits songs.

What drew you to punk?
I lived in a pretty desolate mountain town in West Virginia at the time, and punk was pretty hard to come by. It wasn't until I moved to Richmond when I was 13 that I started getting my hands on the proverbial "good shit."

Richmond sort of famously has one of the best punk scenes in the world. I wasn't even aware of the concept of a "punk scene." The town I came from was too small for cliques. You were either in, or you were some kind of freak, and you sat by yourself, people talked shit to you, you got beat up for no reason. So I was surprised when I got to Virginia and met this whole group of people who had always felt like they didn't belong, they let that alienation come to define them, and it made them something like a family. At the same time, I'm growing up, I'm realizing that the world can actually be a pretty horrible place, and these people seem to be the only ones who notice, the only ones who care.

Those first two years in Richmond were, musically speaking, the most formative period of my life. That's when I started going punk gigs, discovering bands on my own, and making my own music. I was reared in the mid-90s punk and hardcore scenes, so I grew up mostly on bands like Born Against, Charles Bronson, Left for Dead, His Hero is Gone, Dropdead,  Dystopia, Assück, Nausea, that kinda shit. I had a black metal phase. I zeroed in on powerviolence and grindcore for a year or two there. I got pretty heavily into the Botch/Cave In/Converge/DEP wave of metalcore for a year or two. I kind of forgot about rock and roll until I was in my early 20s. Now I can pretty much listen to anything, as long as it smokes. That pretty much brings us up to the beginning of this band.

This is so important and well said, "I'm realizing that the world can actually be a pretty horrible place, and these people seem to be the only ones who notice, the only ones who care." It really describes how a lot of these scenes came together, I think.

What is the "new" Richmond screamo scene like? It sounds like the entire thing is very inclusive and the amount of ridiculous bands is mindblowing.
Richmond, Virginia has, and probably will always have, one of the greatest underground music scenes in the world. Even just looking back on bands I would consider our peers (even though some of them obviously eclipse us) from the years we were really active--Brainworms, Stop It!!, Ultra Dolphins, Inter Arma, Municipal Waste, Antlers, Direct Control, Wow Owls, Cloak/Dagger, Street Pizza, VCR,  the list could go on and on--I feel extremely grateful just to have existed in that time and space. And, like I said, Richmond has always been this way. Just churning out amazing music at a rate that's unrealistic for a town that size. I don't know what it is about that town. Something in the muddy James River water? Relatively cheap rent in a central east coast location? Super competitive art school that everyone drops out of after they start their first band? All I can tell you is it's always been that way, and I don't see it stopping.

What were you doing before The Catalyst?
I was in a couple of bands before. Most notably, Tri-State Killing Spree and The Human Timebomb. I was an assistant manager at a Sbarro and a future community college dropout.

Ah so you know Drew quite well?
Since I was 15, yeah. One of my oldest friends.

Tell us about Tri=State Killing Spree! I'm not aware of Human Timebomb, what was that band like?
TSKS was my first legit punk band, probably most accurately described by some zine as "SLAYER playing hardcore." We were around for about five years, had about ten lineup changes, gave me my first taste of just saying "fuck it" and piling into a van made of and bound towards parts unknown.

Timebomb was seven kids failing to impersonate Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan. We put out one demo, somehow it got some press, I still get messages about it to this day. This was 17 fucking years ago. We were featured on a Lambgoat poll of the "best up and coming tech metal band" along with Ion Dissonance, The End, Crowpath, and As The Sun Sets back in 2001. We came in fifth out of five.

What genre/style would you consider The Catalyst?
So, what genre was The Catalyst? You tell me, I guess. We just had to make some noise, so we did. We never thought that hard about it.

I guess sometimes I kind of make the connection to screamo due to the bands you split with and the labels you were on. I asked because I find it very hard to label your band. The Catalyst definitely had some parts and moments from different genres, but to file you under one would be a little...incorrect. I guess if there was a gun to my head I'd say screamy noise-rock but even that doesn't say enough.
"screamy noise-rock" comes pretty close, but honestly, I wasn't even aware that "noise rock" was a genre for most of the time we were a band. I'm showing my ass a little bit, but, like, I had never heard of KARP or Unwound until people started comparing us to them. We always just considered ourselves a punk band.

What was the catalyst to the formation of The Catalyst?
Kevin and I had been running around in the same circles for a while down in Richmond. He had just dropped out of VCU and was living under a staircase in a mutual friend's basement. Later that summer, I moved up to northern Virginia for what amounted to no real reason. Kevin drove me up there from my going away party, and never found a ride back. He's a drummer, I'm a guitarist, nothing good was on TV, what else were we supposed to do?

lol that's an awesome story. How did you rope other members in? And why the name?
When Kevin and I first moved up there, the only other person either of us knew, Nate, just happened to be a bassist looking for a band. That part was easy. Jamie, we met on our second tour. He was living in Delaware at the time and playing drums in a band called Take Down Your Art. We did a few gigs with them in the Midwest and we really hit it off with him. When we moved back to Richmond in 2005, we were trying to fill rooms in this giant worn-down punk slum mansion we were renting, we asked him to come along, he said "fuck it," and moved down there with us.

Jamie originally joined the band on second guitar, but he still brought his drum kit down with him. We had this song called "Chronic the Hedgehog" which devolved into this extended period of space madness, and would often stretch into ten or more minutes. One day we were jamming on this, and Jamie put his guitar down and got behind the second kit and started smackin' 'em. From that point on, Jamie divided his time more-or-less evenly between second guitar and second drums.

A few months after the move, Nate left the band and we had a series of fill-in bassists. Michael Backus and I had known one another since high school. He was playing in an excellent but unambitious pop punk band called Vindication. One night Jamie and I bumped into him at a bar, backed him into a corner, and demanded he buy a bigger amp and join our band. The first two or three years of the band weren't really that notable... We did a couple of disastrous tours, did a first record where we hadn't really found our sound yet. When this lineup coalesced down in Richmond is arguably the real beginning of The Catalyst.

As for the name, it was honestly the first thing we thought of. If we had known the band was gonna carry on for so long, I probably would have put a lot more thought into it. There are at least a dozen other bands with the name, it's not a very good name. By the time we thought about changing it, it was already kind of too late.

At what point did Nate leave and Michael join?
Nate played his last show with us sometime in October of 2005. Michael's first show with us was in December of that same year. It seems like such a short period of time when I say it like that, but we had a few gigs with our friend Kyle Pedersen playing bass, and a whole east coast tour where Jason Davis from the (excellent) DC band DANKE learned our entire set in an afternoon and absolutely killed it.

Was there a show or a song written that solidified The Catalyst as the entity it became? It sounds like you searched for your sound for a few years.
When we were going through those early lineup changes and writing the songs that would eventually be on "Two Thousand and Six Six Six" is when things started to kind of make sense. If I'm naming a particular song, it's gotta be "Panic Don't Panic." That's when we started getting really noisy and nasty.

By the way, our first record I can't, in good conscience, recommend that you try to seek it out. The first real recording of this band is the demo cassette from 2005. Even this is pretty rough around the edges, but it's a fairly accurate representation of the jams we were sweating out in Richmond basements in the early days.

Which The Catalyst record is your fave? And which song?
'Swallow Your Teeth' is the essential Catalyst record. That's the classic lineup at our peak.
I don't know if I can pick a favorite song! Let's just say "Three Ring Binder as Makeshift Monster" from the Moth split because it is by far the weirdest.

Discuss some of your favorite song titles and why they were named as such.
Song titles: "Panic Don't Panic" was named for a line in one of those joke GI Joe PSA's from the ancient internet ("Give him the stick... Don't give him the stick!").

"Japanese Maple" was named as such to make fun of our friends Antlers for always naming their songs after trees. Also, Japanese maple leaves look like pot leaves. A lot of our song titles were just parodies of other band's song titles: "Born With a Buzz," (Brainworms) "Small Town, Big Mouth," (Minor Threat) "Sterling is a Hole," (Pg. 99) "Werewolves of Washington," (Warren Zevon)

"Lars Ulrich's 1986 Funeral (It Should Have Been You)" is great for reasons that should be obvious. "This Bike is a Gravity Bong" will probably be our lasting legacy, because we printed something like 5,000 of those stickers.

What caused the initial breakup, and what made you reform for Swamp Fest? It was amazing to finally be able to see the band play!
The band ended originally in 2013. We could still fill a room when we played out of town, but back in Richmond we had trouble getting people to come out to our shows. Mostly it seemed like we were being asked to headline shows so people could leave early and catch some sleep. Add to that a few crushing disappointments--US tour with Aussitot Mort that had to be canceled, European tour with Inter Arma that failed to materialize. We rushed the recording of our last album to coincide with one of those failed tours, and when that album came and went without making much noise, I guess we felt like we had made our point. We still loved one another and the music, it just felt like the moment had passed.

Drew is one of my oldest friends, and she was one of the organizers of Swamp Fest. With that in mind, as well as the fact that I really missed my guys and playing music with them, it was hard to say no. We also did a surprise basement show that weekend which was an absolute must. We reunited one last time in 2016 for a benefit that Tim Harwich (Forcefield Records) put together, because we owed him one. That's almost definitely it though. We are old men now.

I geeked out with Michael at Swamp Fest about your tour with Litany Of The Whale, can you comment at all about that?
Litany we met through Paul/The Perpetual Motion Machine, who put out both of our records. We used to go down to Gainesville every October to play FEST, and the year that they played we did a few dates with them heading back up 95 from Florida. Great dudes. Also deeply envious of that Chris Taylor album artwork.

What was your favorite tour and why?
So hard to pick a favorite tour! The tour we did with Moth the summer that split came out was incredible. That was six weeks, all the way across the country and back. Made so many incredible friends who stuck with us through the years. Both times we got to tour Europe were incredible. The first one with Kidcrash was probably my favorite just because I got to see those guys rip it every night, but Jamie didn't come on that tour with us. The second Euro tour we did with the four-piece lineup (figuring out how to fit two drum kits in some of those venues was interesting) and had two hilarious Italian fellas with us the whole way. We never had a bad time on the road.

Goddamn that sounds amazing. Please reveal an interesting story about The Catalyst that has never really been shared online.
I'm trying so hard to think of a good Catalyst story to tell you. There are so many.

Alright, wait, I got it.

The van broke down on pretty much every tour. This is nothing new. We ended up "living" in a couple of places over the years, just waiting to scrounge up the money to repair our brakes, suspension, rear differential, head gasket, whichever treacherous part of our vehicle saw fit to strand us in Houston, Orlando, Omaha, Astoria, whatever. We'd usually be able to beg, borrow, or steal our way back onto the road again. Only once did we have to run home with our tail between our collective legs. This is was 2008.

We had just gotten home from our first European tour with Kidcrash, during which we had traveled with 9 to 11 dudes in a single sprinter van. It wasn't the most comfortable or anything, but man, with gas prices flying through the roof, it sure as fuck made it more affordable.

So, when we got home, we dropped a pretty nice chunk of change on a giant 15-passenger van with only 90k miles on it that was light years ahead of the rusted out old Chevy that had gotten us around the country for the past few years. Our mechanic gave it the thumbs up, and we thought we had solved our van problems for the next decade. Until...

We booked a three week long east coast/Midwest tour with our buddies in Antlers. All eight of us loaded into the van with a ton of gear and headed up 95 north. We played probably three or four really good shows, and then pulling off of the highway in Rochester, the van starts shaking violently and spewing black smoke. We ended up living in Rochester for four or five days trying to sort it out. We had blown a cylinder and destroyed the entire engine. The van was a total loss.

The decision was made at some point that the only way to get the gear back to Richmond and maybe mitigate the loss a little bit was to get the van towed, gear and all, 500+ miles back home, where we'd unload the gear and sell the van for scrap. Me and Wolfgang from Antlers both had AAA memberships, and AAA will tow you up to 100 miles for free, up to three times a year. So while everyone else took a bus back home, Wolfgang and I had this crazy odyssey over the course of three days, 95 miles at a time. We'd have to wait hours at a time for the dispatch to even find a truck willing to tow us to "my uncle's store (or whatever)" which was in a shopping center just less than 100 miles towards Richmond. I was just arbitrarily picking towns out on a road atlas. Along the way, we had a bizarre run in with the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, had a driver blow a weigh station and briefly hide from the highway patrol, and get some punks to come help us push the van out of a Midas parking lot in suburban Maryland. Wolfgang came down with the flu halfway through the trip and I had to physically carry him from place to place for part of the trip.

Oh my lord that is hilarious! Looking back is there anything you would like to change with The Catalyst? What are you most proud of?
Is there anything I would change? Besides the name? Not much. We kind of had a bad habit of rushing into the studio without having fleshed out everyone's parts or finishing all of the lyrics (whoops) but, most of the time, it seemed to work out okay. We never "made it" or whatever the fuck you wanna call it, but none of us ever entertained any fantasies about that happening to begin with. We knew what we were and we loved it.

What are you and the other members of The Catalyst doing nowadays, both musically and in your life?
I moved up to Philadelphia about two years ago after my life sort of rapidly disintegrated. It's different. I kind of like it. I play drums in a post-punk/goth band called NEMESISTERS which is weird but fun. I still play bass in a Richmond-based powerviolence/grind band called BURN/WARD. I never stopped writing songs for whatever would come after The Catalyst, it just never came. These days, I'm mostly just aging semi-gracefully and waiting to find out which one of my organs will eventually kill me. Kevin and Michael are still down in Richmond. Kevin was playing for Des Ark for a while, now he's got a new project going with some old friends of ours. Michael lives out in the boonies with his girlfriend and her dog, and loves it. He's also playing in a pretty great band called Slurry with Brendan and Tyler from Stop It!! and our pal Kyle. Jamie is splitting his time, as he did while we were a band, living in Richmond and abroad. Most recently he was living in Mexico City for a year or so, playing in a band down there called Casa Perdido.

Any last words?
Some final thoughts: I've been saying this for years, but it's especially true now: punk rock has never been more important than it is right now. Get out there and make some fucking noise.


Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2004 - A Hospital Visit cdEP (download here)

2005 - Freak Out the Squares cassetteLP (stream/donate/download here)

2006 - Two Thousand And 666 (Mass Movement Of The Moth split) cd/12"LP (download here)

2007 - Mariana's Trench cd/12"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2007 - Brainworms split 7"EP  (stream/buy here)

2009 - Swallow Your Teeth cd/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

2011 - Aussitôt Mort split 7"EP (stream/buy here)

2012 - Voyager 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)


(2016) THE CATALYST - "Too Big To Fail" live video from Swamp Fest II

(2012) THE CATALYST - "King of Swords" (from 'Voyager')

(2012) THE CATALYST - "Jupiter Brain" (from 'Voyager')

(2012) THE CATALYST - "Thumbsucker" (from 'Aussitôt Mort' split)

(2009) THE CATALYST - "Too Big To Fail" (from 'Swallow Your Teeth')

(2009) THE CATALYST - "Small Town, Big Mouth" (from 'Swallow Your Teeth')

(2009) THE CATALYST - "42012" (from 'Swallow Your Teeth')

(2007) THE CATALYST - "This Bike is a Gravity Bong" (from 'Mariana's Trench')

(2007) THE CATALYST - "Born With a Buzz" (from 'Brainworms' split)

(2006) THE CATALYST - "Smoke Crack Worship Satan" (from 'Two Thousand And 666')

(2005) THE CATALYST - "Panic Don't Panic" (from 'Freak Out the Squares')

(2004) THE CATALYST - "Just Like The Last Scene In 'The Karate Kid'" (from 'A Hospital Visit')


THE CATALYST additional links

Download the 'A Hospital Visit' EP


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