Bands looking to create a BUZZ should take note of Caspian. The Beverly post-rock sextet wanted to do something epic to surprise their fans, so they held a listening party in late August at T.T. the Bear’s Place for their new record, Waking Season, promising nothing more than “a few surprises.” These types of events usually mean a T-shirt giveaway, maybe an open bar for the duration of the record — whatever. But Caspian consider that stuff duck soup, and brought down their gear under the wink-and-a-nod reasoning of “in case the CD player breaks.” The equipment worked just fine, but there was another machination in the works: Caspian stormed the stage and performed a shocker of a set that left those in attendance blown away.
“That was an amazing night,” guitarist Phil Jamieson says over the phone in the midst of a six-hour drive from Indiana to Michigan. “It felt like a wedding or something, it was incredible. We thought it would be cool to have a listening party, get some people together, and hear the record over the stereo, and then do a surprise performance. To present it to those people for the first time was really special to us.”
Jamieson says the experience “put gas in the tank” for the instrumental band’s lengthy road jaunt that kicked off mid-September with Minus the Bear and has them stopping at Royale tonight (Thursday) before heading over to Europe through late November and then breaking for the holidays. “The reaction from people and support we felt . . . it was really humbling and overwhelming, man. It was exactly what we needed to inspire us for what we’re about to do in terms of campaigning nonstop for this record.”
Waking Season, Caspian’s third full-length and first off Triple Crown Records, is a staggeringly good album, probably the best the genre has seen since Mogwai got loose with Mr Beast six years ago. It pushes the boundaries of sound, taking the familiar inroads of the sublime and ethereal (“Akiko”), while at the same time daring to reach for crushing, almost metal-like crescendos (“Fire Made Flesh”).
“We were completely consumed with inspiration,” Jamieson says. “We felt like we were pushing the band in a direction that we had wanted to take the band into, and it all sort of coalesced into this idea of awakening into a new era, a new season for our band. We’ve been through some storms, we’ve spent a lot of time on the road, and it can definitely be emotionally and physically exhausting. When you get spit out on the other side of an experience like that, which we were, it fills you with a lot of self-reflection and you want your music to properly communicate all of the things you’re experiencing.”
CASPIAN + MINUS THE BEAR + CURSIVE :: Royale, 279 Tremont St, Boston :: September 27 @ 7 pm :: 16+ :: $10 :: 617.866.8933