The new group Endcastle leans on the experimental rock side, but they try to keep songs under 10 minutes.
Dennis Sheridan attended many shows in the Louisville DIY punk circuit while he was in high school, but never picked up an instrument until he was in college. When he finally did, it was an odd choice for a punk rocker.
“I had a friend at the time who played in the marching band. She left a trumpet at our house. I never knew how to play an instrument before then and the trumpet that she left there was all beat up and no one cared about it — so it just stayed there. I made some sounds out of it, and one day, on a whim, I was probably 19 years old at the time, I decided I was going to learn to play the trumpet. I went into a local music shop and I accidentally met the chair of the Louisville orchestra who taught there. He gave me lessons,” Sheridan said.
What followed was a somewhat meteoric rise up the musical ladder. He was quickly offered a stipend to join Bellarmine University’s pep band. Not long after that, the great Louisville horn player shortage paid dividends once again when Sheridan was enlisted by locals Skam Impaired. He soon grew tired of the instrument, primarily due to the fact that “it’s very obtrusive to practice” and started down the long road of guitar playing. With Sheridan now in the songwriting driver’s seat, two more projects followed — the experimental Blue Goat War, and the shoegaze-leaning Follow That Train.
The latter had solid regional success and ended up signing to (now Vista-based) Darla Records in the mid-2000s. They opened shows for My Morning Jacket in 2007 (Sheridan is a high school chum of MMJ’s Jim James) but flamed-out quickly as Sheridan was juggling raising kids and touring for the first time. A handful of years passed and Sheridan settled into a comfortable career as a freelance software developer. An old itch to move to California still needed to be scratched though.
“I think it started because one day when I was 20 or 21, I got done snowboarding and rented The Endless Summer II. I think it had just come out. I watched it and I just fell in love with the whole idea of just sort of living your life based on catching these waves and living and working around that,” Sheridan Said.
He now lives in Oceanside, surfs weekly, and has a new band, Endcastle, playing gigs around town. The new group leans on the experimental rock side. Sheridan credits his bandmates with helping him to prevent all his songs from “being 10 minutes long.”
“It’s that balance of not over-thinking it too much,” Sheridan explained.