There aren’t many bands with lead singers who drum. The list includes “Phil Collins, Don Henley, [the Band’s] Levon Helm, and the guy from the Romantics. I watched all the biographical documentaries on those guys. One of the few other bands around now that I can think of with a lead singer/drummer is a Pittsburgh metal band called Code Blue,” says Matt Caskitt about his trio Caskitt.
As Caskitt sees it, his chance to lead the band from behind the drums is justice for all the years he had to watch self-absorbed frontmen.
“Call it drummer’s revenge. I sat back there for years with no control. I wanted that recognition. Maybe I am that vain.”
Caskitt, 33, moved out west with a hardcore screamo band from Denver. He then hooked up with two different now-defunct local bands he would rather not name.
“Since I started this band, not one of my ex-members have come out to see one of my shows,” he says of Caskitt, which released its first vinyl LP, Old Fires New Frontiers, in September. “If they gave a shit and wanted to call me a friend, why not come out to a show?”
Caskitt admits he caused some grief when he balked just before one band left for a tour.
“They had a two-month tour booked, but it didn’t look like it would make any money. For them it was a vacation. But for someone like me who doesn’t have a family in San Diego, I need to work. I need to pay rent. I can’t go out on tour and come back broke as shit,” says Caskitt.
After he left those local bands, he moved to a different music scene (“L.A. put a bad taste in my mouth”) and then decided to move back to start a new local band on his own terms. I already had ‘Caskitt’ painted on my drum cases, so I stuck with that for a band name.”
- Thursday, February 9, 2017, 8 p.m.
4757 University Avenue,
Caskitt calls his band “punk rock,” but I note that the band seems to straddle both punk and rock.
“When I tell people we do punk rock, I can tell their brain goes either to the Ramones-type bands of the ’70s or the Blink-182 boy bands of the ’90s. Steffen [Long, Caskitt guitarist] has an extensive knowledge of metal, but our music transcends a lot of that guitar-obsessed metal. When we play, it’s with punk bands; rarely do we play with a metal band, even though we sound heavier and more technical than most punk bands. We get compared a lot Propagandhi, who do a more progressive and technical strain of punk.”
Oceanside-based Caskitt, which includes bassist Jesse Hernandez, appears February 9 at the Tower Bar with the Bombpops and Squarecrow.