Interview With Capstan

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith Clement, the editorial head, how are you today?

I’m doing well! Currently working at home from my computer.

“SEPARATE” Your second full length album is scheduled to be released on July 23rd, can you tell me about the songwriting and production behind the album?

Absolutely. SEPARATE is basically a product of the pandemic, and quarantine specifically. When last March hit, and tours got cancelled all over (including the one we were on), no one had any idea of how long COVID would last, or exactly how bad things would get. For the first handful of weeks, we kind of just waited things out, stayed in touch with our team, and laid low, as everyone else was. But once it became very clear we weren’t getting out of this anytime soon like we had hoped, we all sat down and discussed that this was the time to get working on new material, for whenever we would be able to go in the studio and track a new record. From about April/May time, through the start of November, we treated writing and demoing “SEPARATE” like our full time job, working as a group 30-50 hours a week, with Joe (our lead guitarist and songwriter) extending himself for hours before and after we met daily, making changes and perfecting the groups ideas. In all, we put together about 24 ideas for songs, and narrowed it down to 10 we thought made the cut for the record. For the first time in our bands’ career, we truly felt like we had exhausted ourselves creating the 10 best tracks we’ve ever written, and left no stones unturned. I think we will look back on the pandemic as a major turning point for our band, as we really took a major step back in asking ourselves “what really ARE we?” and how do we accomplish that? It was around October/ November that Fearless came to us and finally confirmed what we had been discussing: It was time to hit the studio. We barely had any time to put the finishing touches on the songs before we linked up with legendary engineer/producer Machine outside of Austin, TX during the month of December, and made the best Capstan record to date. We can’t wait to share the rest of these songs with everyone.

Can you tell me about the design of the cover art and the concept you have put behind it?

We actually had an incredible artist who goes by @phibstuff on IG, who we had been following for sometime, create his own personal depiction in his artistic style of how he thought SEPARATE made him feel. The final product was beautiful, breathtaking, and exactly what we imagined for the record. It is a partial death or separation (if you will) from our old style of art (as represented by the imagery of the Pelican on Restless Heart, Keep Running) and slightly in music, and a rebirth, or step into the direction of growth, and solidifying what it is we are as a band.

The art itself has a single human figure standing in a dreamscape type setting, staring off into the distance, with a sort of overwhelmingly large metallic circle standing in the direction he’s facing. To us, it represents coming face to face with dramatic change, a challenge, or a journey ahead in one’s life, or simply life in general in many ways. It is the separation of the old, and growing anew, but recognizing that none of it is easy, and the hardships we deal with are sometimes daunting to undertake and conquer. Much of this record is about that, and specifically, Joe’s emotional journey the last year or two.

Like you said the album is focused more on new things, you are separating from the last era of the band and moving towards new things and also Joe mentioned about his separation from his ex, so how do you feel connected this must be on an emotional level and be more personal to you guys?

We have always been a band that draws from our joys and hardships in life, whether its current or was something in the past we experienced and learned from. This album still draws from these same, real, raw inspirations as we always have, but has a more refined feel in the ways we think Capstan can be. We will always fall under a “post-hardcore” “progressive” or “punk” vibe in many ways, but we also have recognized our love and desire to fit into more molds, as we are a band that enjoys creating all different types of alternative music. This record showcases those, with more of a mix of metalcore, electronic and pop rock. We are a group of people that believe together, we have no bounds. Why shouldn’t our music represent that?

The album as a whole is done well, the song writing, the musicianship and progressiveness of the sound it’s all awesome. How do you guys as a band feel about the outcome?

We think it’s our best work to date. This and Restless Heart are both great for their own reasons, but we feel like the actual songwriting, the infectious nature of the tracks, the choruses, the way we’ve been able to grow sonically, and even the overall production itself on this record are our favorite to date. We feel like more than ever we can fit in the post hardcore/prog rock mold we were in, but also have extended ourselves into the Architects, Polarius, We Came As Romans, Dance Gavin Dance etc demographic as well.

Can you tell me how Capstan started and how you guys got together as a band?

It’s really a very interesting, and kind of a long story, but in short Harry and I grew up together in the Midwest playing in bands. When it was time for college, Harry moved to Orlando to go to audio engineering school and I stayed in the Midwest to attend Michigan State. While in Orlando, Harry actually met Anthony (who is from Michigan, and I actually used to go see his old bands and knew who he was, which was like, such a sign in my mind) and they started a demoing project together. Scott was a friend of theirs that they asked to join, and they started Capstan. I moved down after college during the first week of 2014 and I believe it was right at the start of 2015 when Joe solidified our lineup/more advanced sound moving forward.

Can you tell me about your upcoming plans and what tours are lined up for this year?

Well, I can’t necessarily speak of everything… yet! But July 23rd we FINALLY get to drop SEPARATE in its entirety! We will also be back on tour the entire month of November alongside Tiny Moving Parts and Belmont. We basically have picked up where we left off as covid hit with these 2 bands, and will be doing the South, West and some of the Midwest. The goal is for 2022 to be our busiest year yet, and push the hell out of this new record, and play the biggest shows we ever have. We believe we were just truly hitting our stride as the pandemic started and derailed so much. We are going to rebuild that momentum and then some.

What was the plan for the release day, have you made something official?

At this very moment, we have a full live stream “show” we will be premiering on July 27th! It’s full production, lights and sound, just like a real show, and we’ll be playing some of the new songs in a performance setting for the first time. Otherwise, we are the type of band to finally be able to sit back and take a breath, have a few drinks and enjoy the fuck out of the fact that our art is finally out in the world.

How was it to work with Silverstein’s “Shane Told” how did you guys get to know each other?

Shane is our boy! All of Silverstein is. They really gave us our first “chance” on a bigger tour, in late 2018/2019 on their When Broken Is Easily Fixed Anniversary Tour, and we learned so fucking much from those guys. They actually asked Anthony to sing on a song every single night (that’s on their full live record from that tour), and taught us what it means to be real, professional musicians. Through that relationship, our team has kept up with theirs, and when the ideas started to come up about features on this record, Shane was our absolute first choice for this part. We think it turned out awesome.

What would be some of the greatest moments you had over the years?

Oh, that’s easy: Being able to be a part of the 2018 Vans Warped Tour for 4 of the 6 weeks of the tour. It was the last full cross country run, and we were on the OWLY.FM stage with so many incredible up and coming bands like With Confidence, Chase Atlantic, Doll Skin, Trash Boat, Grayscale, Broadside, As It Is, Don Broco and more. What an honor it was to be thought of so highly to be a part of that. Another one that instantly comes to mind is our 2019 overseas tour. We played like 9 countries, got to visit like 12-14 and spent an entire month exploring the world because of our music. That’s what this is all about for us.

What would be the message for the fans of Capstan?

The message would be, thank you for being patient with us, through everything. Bands at our level especially were affected during the pandemic because music still has not become a lucrative enough job for any of us to survive on yet. We still have to make money elsewhere and spend so much time doing everything we can to grow our music. I’m sure during the pandemic it felt like we were a little quiet, but it was all for good reason, and everything we’ve been planning. 2022 is going to be our biggest year yet. See you in November, and beyond. Let’s support shows like we never have before, since we never know when it’ll be the last time!

  1. Pretext
  2. Shades Of Us
  3. Take My Breath Away Noose
  4. Alone Feat. Shane Told
  5. Blurred Around The Edges Feat. Saxl Rose
  6. Tongue Biter
  7. Abandon
  8. Shattered Glass
  9. Sway Feat. Charlene Joan
  10. Decline
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