Hip hop alternative conglomerate KATASTRO is back in action with the release of Sucker, a 12-track full-length LP, marking number six for this established band. And, if you’ve been really keeping track, that’s one album a year since 2016 (with several EPs and single drops in between)!
Clearly, no global pandemic or quarantine is going to get in the way of this determined band of brothers.
With Sucker out on all digital outlets, a summer tour run down and a full fall tour planned with support from reggae rock bands Fortunate Youth and Artikal Sound System, Katastro is a band making things happen — and quickly! Obsessed with the catchy new album, Top Shelf Music reached out to Katastro to know more about its production, its influences and, obviously, what can fans expect next. This is what bassist Ryan Weddle let us know.
Wow, six full-length albums! What has been your favorite to produce thus far?
- RW: Without a doubt, the latest release Sucker has been our favorite album to create so far. We wrote and recorded it over the span of a year in three locations around Arizona, including a week-stay at a house in the small mining town of Globe, where we did nothing but create music for over 12 hours a day. We had way more time and freedom with this one, and I really think it comes through.
In the album, you elaborate on heavy real-life motifs. Have you been personally dealing with cycles of toxicity since the last album? Or, do you think these toxins surface as a result of growing older?
- It’s a mixture of both — new experiences and reflecting on previous toxic relationships. We wanted to still be raw and authentic about where we are at, but also make an album that made people feel better. It was really important for us to not have this album be as self-loathing as some previous releases. The main goal was to provide a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ type of optimism to get out of those negative loops.
Was the creation of the album a struggle with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
- Honestly, I don’t think this album would have been possible without the pandemic. We got our tour cancelled two days into starting it back in March 2020. After going home and realizing the uncertainty of how long it would last, we reevaluated everything we were doing.
- We wanted to take advantage of the time we had and were able to write over the span of a year without deadlines or any expectations. In the past, we would write and record an album over a couple weeks, at most, so this gave us the freedom to really focus on exactly what we wanted the album to be and release something that was fully thought out. I also think the extended time at home was good for all of us mentally and just slowing things down made the writing process flow a lot easier.
How does it feel to be performing again? Specifically, performing the album for the first time?
- It really feels incredible to be back out there. The first show back after the year and a half off was our Sucker album release party in our hometown, Tempe, AZ. The new album had only been out for a week and I think it was the most nervous I’ve been to perform since we started the band. We decided to open our set with our new single “The Way I Feel” and added an extended pause in the middle of the song to give Andy [Chaves] a moment to talk to the crowd for the first time. When we got to that part, the whole crowd took over and sang the chorus louder than Andy could talk, it was pretty surreal. That was the exact moment we all realized this album was going to completely change the trajectory of the band.
So, what’s next for Katastro?
- Over the pandemic, we took over a local recording studio and have a lot in the works there, but I can’t really reveal any of that yet. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more tour dates and merch drops. We don’t plan on slowing down at all!
Purchase or stream ‘Sucker’ album:
- The Way I Feel
- 100 Rips
- Pocket Fulla
- One Day
- Hotel Lobby
- Too $hort
- Way Too High
- John T.
- Last Call
KATASTRO – “The Way I Feel” official video:
Cover photo by Chris Colclasure