Adrian Cavlan has been playing music in local bands for a long time. Well, there was about a 15-year gap where he wasn’t. But when he returned to music, he noticed that if the leader of the band decided to end the project, a guitarist like himself was kind of screwed.
“I was very tired of being in bands with other people who are the essential ingredient to keep the band going. I was like, ‘If I ever do this again, I want to be that guy,” Cavlan says.
But he couldn’t sing, so what were his options? Then one day a friend suggested he check out instrumental L.A. surf band the Slacktones, and he had an epiphany. If he started an instrumental surf band, he could be that guy.
Songs immediately started pouring out of him. He noticed that all of these other elements like punk and prog-rock were popping out into the mix, too. So he just went with it.
“There’s a lot of shading and coloring that goes on in our music, as opposed to just plain straight, bouncy, fun, surf dance music,” Cavlan says.
The band has been chugging along for nine years, and has written so many originals that it can play for hours. They know some surf standards, too, just in case they get booked for a corporate gig and want to give them some popular favorites.
Over the years, the songwriting has slowed down, but just recently Cavlan has been “visited by the muse again,” and has a whole new batch of tunes to flush out.
“I’m very excited about that. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that prolific,” Cavlan says. “This band is basically a bunch of guys who are a little bit older who still like playing music. It makes it easy if you have friends who are talented.”
INFO: 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. Catalyst. 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $22/door. 423-1338.