RGM Introducing : We interview Amercian band Castaway Radio 🇺🇸
What made you decide to start the band?
We spent our early high school years going to local and friends’ shows in and around our hometown of Pearland, Texas. There seemed to be every musical genre out there, but it still felt like it was missing something. We started with a bunch of covers and slowly inserted our own materials into the local music scene as the new indie rock band on the block.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Austin and I are brothers…so we’ve been stuck with each other since the get-go. Grandma gave Austin his first piano lesson when he was around 10 and then he taught me what he knew. We loved the musical part of it, but it did not fuel any real passion; our piano teacher saw it and pushed us to learn other instruments. Clay is a multi-instrumentalist and picks up anything he tries – so far bass, drums, piano, guitar…next?
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
“How would you define your music?” While our music falls under an umbrella of a general sound, we like to think that we are diverse enough in our song writing for each one to stick out and appeal to someone different. So when asked, we just sit there and make them listen to it and see if one sticks.
Do you sign-up to any conspiracy theories?
The creator of Fritos trademarked the smell based on the smell of his own dog’s toes.
What support is out there for new artists in Houston?
The rock scene is making a comeback here and we are starting to see some things happening for artists from the Houston area again. Definitely seeing more music festivals, new outdoor venues around town and more local bands coming out.
What useless party trick/talent do you have?
Austin can juggle (only three balls at a time, nothing crazy).
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
We played this really small stage venue called Jet Lounge that was maybe a meter away from the bar. During the closing song of the set, I stretched my leg out to stand on top for the solo. I almost fell but the crowd pushed me up onto the bar. I got them clapping along and finished the song dancing on the bar.
What was the worst experience on stage?
We were playing on an outside stage for a fundraiser when one of the catering food trucks plugged in to our extension cable, blew something electrical up, and all our equipment on stage lost power mid-song. Holden just kept drumming…not sure he even noticed.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Holden played the guitar like Jimmy Hendrix when he was little…not as good, just as backwards. He is left-handed and now plays the drums right-handed. To be fair, I had actually never seen a left-handed drummer before I had started ( I know it sounds unlikely but I promise it’s true ) so the only role models I had at the time were right-handed drummers…
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
Clay, because he’s either unusually early or really, really late.
When it’s the latter, we’ve started using his new nickname “Clate”.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
Well…Holden is our drumming diva – most equipment, least effort. Clay is either eating, making room for food or telling the others how hungry he is.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
Austin because he would actually pay the bail. He would be mad the entire drive back, go to bed mad, and still be mad despite your story.
Holden would say, “I got you”, take a nap, forget to set a timer and you’d be stuck there another day.
Clay would most likely forget to text you back, but he “had a good reason”.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
If you take your time and do it right, no one will question that you deserve to be on the stage.
What’s your biggest achievement as a band?
This past summer we played a music festival all the way in Asheville, North Carolina. We were the only band that played all 3 days of the festival, technically opening for bands like Atlanta Rhythm Section, Pure Prairie League, Firefall and The Babys.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
We tend to think it’s our refreshing version of rock n’ roll being reintroduced to people after years of pop/rap dominating the spectrum. Our brotherly connection provides interesting musical synchronicity which is perfectly complemented by Clay’s steady bass. We try to make instantly learnable and likable tunes that are perfectly suited for outdoor venues, which are now popping up all over Houston.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
So, Clay can master songs, like he does producer work, and I have been asking him for the last nine months to master one of my beats (made for fun). He said he would do it for free, so I was like “cool, no rush.” But it has been nine months. And he still hasn’t done it. I have reminded him multiple times. I don’t think he ever will at this point.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together.
We had taken a trip to San Antonio, TX for everyone’s birthday. We rented scooters to get around town. But, Clay’s phone died and would not activate his scooter so he had to ride on the back of Austin’s. Holden then decided he was the navigator getting us back to the hotel…as well as the beer courier. Holden was practically flying down the sidewalk until he hit a hole; then he hit the ground rolling. While the rest of us were concerned, we went right past him to rescue the beer that flung into the streets. What had made it so funny was Holden’s face, sitting there realizing that we had checked on and rescued the beer…before him.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
A few singles, actually, along with a lot of new music that we’ve been planning and waiting to put out, and we’re excited to finally be doing it. Like any song, it’s definitely a culmination of our bigger influences like Jack White and Royal Blood and could fall right in the middle of that spectrum. We can’t wait to release it!
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album?
It’s been a long journey, but we are finally putting together something that we know will be our best music to date. We hope our themes and messages transmit to the listener in the same way we have experienced them. We always try to write songs that can be relatable to anyone at any time and be something that will still stand the test of time.
What is the recording process like?
In the past, we’ve gone down the path of “ready, fire, aim” and spent time deconstructing because of changed minds or mixed feelings. This time we are trying to be far more proactive. Things like noting songs and their sounds that influenced each track individually, pre-recording a “live” album so that we hear and agree to the flow, and focus on one song at a time instead of speed-running through each instrument.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album?
We are still in the recording process, and while it’s almost all planned out, we do have a few songs that we’re sort of writing along the way. We did that with the song Good Stuff and it ended up being the title song of the Good Stuff EP.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
I think there’s always something that you might hear or think of way after the fact, but at some point you have to get out of your own way and head and say it’s done. You don’t want to overcook the food.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Our plan is to record and finish the album and get back into some of the greater Houston venues now that things are opening back up. Breweries really seem to like us, so we think it may be time to even hit towns outside of the Houston area and spread the love!