INTERVIEW WITH CAPSTAN
By Stephanie Stevens
CAPSTAN are coming out hot with their newest album “SEPARATE”! The band is from Orlando, FL and took the last year or so to really focus on their sound and came out of the craziness of 2020 with ten massive tracks that will be turning a lot of heads in the music world. One listen to the first single ‘SHADES OF US’ introduce the growth and refinement; the groove, bold hooks and distorted feel that aligns with playful yet seriousness throughout the track is an ear catcher! But you dont even get the gist of it until you really open the package and see what else is inside “SEPARATE”! The albums diversity is pure magic. Take the aggressive yet melody driven ‘ALONE’ featuring Shane Told or the jazzy, uplifting, buoyant and melody induced ‘TAKE MY BREATHE AWAY//NOOSE’. Two different avenues but that signature CAPSTAN sound is in it all. ‘SWAY’ bleeds with prettiness as does ‘BLURRED AROUND THE EDGES’. Then the band gets loud again with ‘TONGUE-BITER’.
“SEPARATE” is purely electrifying with sound ‘n’ emotion. The band is creating this modern pop edge but can still kick you in the gut with some heavy vibes and moods. So excited to see where this album will take the band in months to come.
I had a chance to ask guitarist Joe a few questions about some of the tracks on the album, working with Machine and how it is being on Fearless Records.
Q: In 2020 what was the biggest growth and learning factor you learnt about your band CAPSTAN?
A: I really think that for me, personally, it was learning how to write a complete song in a cohesive manner. I approached the songwriting for our new record, “SEPARATE”, very differently than I had for past releases. So, while it was quite the learning experience, and could be frustrating at times, I’m very happy with the final product.
Q: Did you all take the time also to look into your musical abilities and work on learning more and growing as musicians while preparing for what would be the newest album “SEPARATE”? If so, what was the biggest thing you learnt from that?
A: Absolutely. Although maybe not musical abilities in terms of performing on an instrument, but certainly as it pertains to writing a song and solving the puzzle of what it needs to become a “banger”.
Q: I want to jump into the album because there is so much goodness coming from it. One of my favourite tracks is ‘TAKE MY BREATH AWAY//NOOSE’ and the line “eat my fucking heart again” is so good. Tell me how that line came to be and the overall theme of the song?
A: Thank you so much! That track is all about a toxic relationship, and I tried to capture that feeling of still being in love with a person who has repeatedly hurt you, and who you know will continue to hurt you. The verse lyrics are all references to bad reactions or stark contrasts between two things that may not necessarily be harmful or lethal on their own. It’s analogous to two people, neither of them specifically bad nor wrong, but who bring out the worst in each other.
Q: Getting to work with Shane Told (Silverstein) must have been amazing. He has always been such a great interview. Describe his work ethic and what you took away from that experience? Also why did you pick the song ‘ALONE’ for him?
A: We unfortunately were unable to have Shane be a part of the studio recording process with us, due to quarantine and him living in Canada. He recorded the parts on his own, and he absolutely killed it for us and delivered super quickly! When we were discussing potential features as a band, Shane’s name had come up a few times, as we have been fortunate enough to tour with Silverstein in the past. We all unanimously agreed that ‘Alone’ best fit his style and voice.
Q: On ‘SWAY’ you had Charlene Joan appear on the song. How do you feel a mood changes when a female artist puts her touches on a song and have you guys ever collaborated with other female musicians?
A: ’Sway’ is the first track we’ve ever done with a guest feature performed by a female artist, and I would like to say that it’s one of my personal favourites on the record. When I wrote the song, it was always with the idea of it being a duet in my mind. It worked out rather perfectly that our good friend Charlene Joan, who is another local Orlando/Central Florida artist, was more than happy to lay vocals down for it. Check her out on Spotify!
Q: ‘BLURRED AROUND THE EDGES’ has a different feel on the record and seems a different type of emotional. Was this a harder song to finish and how was the process on this song and working with Saxl Rose?
A: ‘Blurred Around The Edges’ was actually the last song that I wrote for the record and was in fact quite easy to finish. I was deep in a state of depression at the time, and the words and music for this one was simply a natural release of what I was feeling. I’m very pleased to have had Saxl Rose featured on the track, he plays so expressively and really made the part much better than I had envisioned it. The idea of the saxophone feature was, essentially, just a melodic easter egg, but I wanted it to be played by a different instrument, not a guitar. The melody of the saxophone section there is a reference to the track ‘Shattered Glass’ which deals with similar lyrical subject matter.
Q: What was the major goal in the studio with Machine for this record and do you feel it went more smoothly than past recordings and what song after you finished was a WOW factor for the whole band?
A: We had always been so impressed by Machine’s versatility, and the diversity of his discography. It was absolutely the best recording experience that we have ever had. As we began the process, our primary goal was coming up with a lot of fresh production ideas, little things that make a record more cohesive. Machine is well known for, and prides himself on, his abilities as a producer, and he certainly did not disappoint. I think that one of the tracks that popped off the most after some of Machine’s input was ‘Alone’.
Q: What made you guys decide that your first single would be ‘SHADES OF US’ and how have fans reacted to that track and now the whole album?
A: I think that all of us agreed, pretty much right away, that ‘Shades Of Us’ was the strongest track on
the record, and so we wanted to lead with it. Fan support for it has been amazing so far and I’m so thankful for everyone that’s listened and is still listening!
Q: Fearless Records has been an iconic label for some major bands in the past. How does it feel being with them and who are some of their current or past labelmates you guys’ love?
A: Capstan had always described Fearless Records as our “dream label” so to speak, primarily, because of their amazing roster, but they’ve also been so good to us as a band! We were beyond ecstatic when they first offered us a generous deal in 2018. Sharing a label with some of my favourite bands, such as August Burns Red and Underoath, still feels a little surreal!
Q: Since the album just released do you have any touring plans or are you waiting on road life for a little longer?
A: We finally get back out on the road this November! Come see us in a city (hopefully) near you!
Q: Do you have any words for your fans or new listeners just getting acquainted with your band?
A: Thank you so much listening, I hope you stick with us!
Q: Anything I missed that you are either gearing up to release or do that we didn’t hit upon?
A: Shameless self-plug – any guitarists reading this, we now have complete guitar tab transcriptions available for “SEPARATE”! You can get a copy of it online, and everyone that we sell equals a day that I don’t have to eat Top Ramen (Noodles) for dinner.
CONNECT WITH THE BAND:
‘Take My Breath Away//Noose’ (Official Video)
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.