Though born in San Jose and raised in Ben Lomond, Jon Cattivera is now a mountain man of Boulder Creek and the steering force behind Time Spent Driving. Originally one of the rotating cast of guitar players for seminal Santa Cruz punk outfit Fury 66, Cattivera started playing in bands when he was 15 years old. “My first band was called Illiterate—a pop-punk type band—which is how I got recruited into Fury,” he says. Time Spent Driving, which spearheaded the indie/emo/rock sound in the Santa Cruz area, was Cattivera’s baby from the beginning.
“I always wanted to do something that wasn’t so aggressively punk, something a bit more mellow and expansive,” the lead guitarist/vocalist explains. The band also features Steve Borella (guitar/vocals), Jonas Davidson (bass), Dustin Roth (drums) and David Cattivera (piano). Time Spent Driving is one of the few bands from the late 1990s whose gut-churning cathartic live shows, peppered with introspective ballads, also translated well to studio recordings. Their catchy melodic lines, jarring guitar licks and emo-lyrics are perfectly demonstrated on the band’s re-released album, I’m Your Stab in the Back (2007). Despite some opportunities, the band played its last shows in 2002. “I would have just gotten another band together, but, at the time, the kind of music I was playing was not very popular—yet,” explains Cattivera. “It hadn’t broken through to the mainstream; there weren’t a lot of musicians clamoring to play it.” Cattivera now builds websites for Sleepless Media in the Old Sash Mill offices, and after a 10-year hiatus, Time Spent Driving is back behind the wheel. “If I’m going to be playing music at this point, this is the band I want to be playing with,” he says. “It truly is for fun, but we want it to be good and try to make it not suck.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.