“If one word sticks in my mind about shows in San Diego, it’s ‘sweat.’ We all get pretty soaked during shows, because we love to get into it. But San Diego is always next-level.”
- Saturday, February 1, 2020, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
Jonny Ashburn of New England’s post-rock band Caspian, affirms that when it comes to SD, the six-piece leaves a lot of themselves on the floor. But that’s far preferable to the worst-ever touring stories, which, the guitarist specifies, consist of “mostly long drives and logistical hiccups. Like hitting a deer on the highway at 70 miles per hour, losing a tire on the trailer, missing a flight, or generally just being in a van too damn long.”
“We got chased out of Milan by the Russian mob one time. Not sure what they were doing in Milan other than trying to steal our gear but we didn’t stop to ask. Instead of staying at our hotel that night we had to lose them on the road and we kept going until we hit Switzerland. I remember waking up in the van to the sound of cowbells coming from the field by the rest stop we were sleeping at. That was a strange night.”
The band, playing the Casbah on February 1 behind its upcoming record On Circles, seems resigned to the enigmatic “post-rock” appellation. “I think we’re all done trying to shed the label,” Ashburn admits. “Labels can be useful and people can call it what they want. I personally don’t use it very much. I stick to something like ‘instrumental rock music’ or ‘cinematic rock music.’ Even just ‘rock music’ works for me.”
His own contribution to the music stems from several streams. “I got into Weezer just before high school when the Blue Album came out because they were the nerdy outcasts. My custom license plates in high school read ‘Geekrok’ and I had just got my first guitar.”
“By the end of high school, I was a huge Radiohead fan. They’re such smart songwriters, they keep innovating on every record at every single level, and they put on some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I grew up in Washington DC so I was into a lot of the discord bands from back then. Q And Not U, Dismemberment Plan, and of course Fugazi. And I’ve always had a soft spot for the late ’90s and early 2000s emo music….”