As with a lot of rock bands, Catalina Shortwave started in a basement. So what’s special here? Well, for starters, this was a basement in New England, in winter. Unless you’re well heeled, that means it was very, very cold. And very, very wet. That is how Catalina Shortwave started. Cold, wet, and penniless. Their first release, 2014’s Repeater, was produced in a chilled basement on the barest of budgets, which is a nice way of saying that everything they used to make it was begged for, borrowed, or stolen. Repeater was lo-fi and raw, but the band’s songwriting and its strong performances shined. Now comes Catalina Shortwave with its second release, Radio Voodoo: Songs from the Dark End of the Dial, an offering that brings together the pluses of professional production with the immediacy and honesty of the best of DIY. As Catalina Shortwave continues to tour the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States to promote Radio Voodoo, they have been hard at work recording their next release, due early 2016. New avenues will be explored, they say, both as to themes and to their songwriting. Radio Voodoo can be purchased online at Amazon.com, iTunes, CD Baby and all other major distribution outlets. Physical copies of their releases are available at Amazon, CD Baby and at their performances. We caught up with Catalina Shortwave since we interviewed them last in 2014, and it seems as if things are constantly growing for the band – enjoy our interview with guitarist, Martin Stauffer of Catalina Shortwave exclusively here on ET!
Entertwine: Glad to hear from you all again! Whats new since we last spoke with you? Since we’ve gotten a pretty strong following as a result of constantly playing the club scene in NYC, Brooklyn and Queens, we felt the time was right to drop our 2nd album, “Radio Voodoo” and really start riding the wave.
Tell us about the record you released this past fall? I would assume the response has been great considering you’re headed for release #3! “Radio Voodoo” was written in the spring of ’15, recorded in June, and was released September 29th. We did our first album, “REPEATER”, in Dave’s basement straight into Logic Pro. “Radio Voodoo” was done in a professional studio, with a pro at the desk, and was mixed and mastered by top people in the industry. We funded a large part of it by online crowdfunding, which was really successful. The response has been unreal. We’re getting both internet and terrestrial radio play, the fans at shows are really into it- like, singing along into it. Show attendance is up, venues and agencies are coming to us to play, and people are buying the record. We just got out first royalty check; that was pretty awesome.
You’re currently working on your third release set for February, what can listeners expect? How does it differ from the first two? We felt like we needed to dive right back into the deep end of the pool again, and we felt a followup EP was the best way to do it. We had new songs, and we rerecorded a couple from “REPEATER”. There’s a huge release party scheduled at the end of February at a major venue in NYC. There are three new tracks on the EP- One’s a flat-out rocker, one really features our drummer, John Garvey, and one’s really, really spacey.
In between recording, you’ve been busy playing shows. Tell us how that run went! Do you have a tour planned around the upcoming 3rd release? Over the last year and a half, we’re averaging almost one show a week, somewhere. We’re really staying visible, but without saturating markets. We want the shows to really be events- and they are. We’re doing NYC-style showcases in a venue in CT, and that’s gone so well that we’re currently in the middle of a seven month residency there. That’s amazing. It gets original rock out to the people, and we get to work with some of the best bands in the NY area. We have a run coming up that’ll have us at some of the best venues in the Northeast every Saturday night for about two months. We’re booking into the late spring and summer of ’16 now.
Which track would you say is your personal favorite off the upcoming record, and why? When can listeners expect the new album out? That’s hard to answer. It’s like “Who’s your favorite child?” But if you’re cornering me, I’d have to say “Astroboy”. Kind of psychedelic sludge space-rock. The scheduled release date is February 27th, 2016, and the party is going to be at The Delancey in NYC. We have two of our favorite bands on the bill with us- Castle Black and Mora Tau. They’re literally our best friends in the NYC indie rock community.
We’re living the dream. I play guitar in one of the hottest bands around. You know, success can be defined in a lot of different ways, and it means different things to different people. To me, success is getting to do what I love to do- and I love what I’m doing. That we’re making a few bucks is nice, but I’d still do it for free because I love it so much. And a fourth album is in the works!