When guitarist Julio Correa and drum sampler Connor McCampbell began collaborating musically, they quickly realized they needed more musicians to flesh out their project. In the spring of 2015, they recruited “synthesizer masterminds” Aaron Chavez and Mitchell Webb, and with the ensuing combination of dance-pop and retro electronic music, R.C. CAT was born.
Story by Kristen Balderas
Photos by Alejandro Diaz
With similarities to Passion Pit and MGMT, R.C. CAT’s sound relies heavily on the production process. Chavez and Webb worked with Correa and McCampbell to produce what they call “electro-dance pop and new-age funk.” All four band members play a variety of instruments, and are always willing to experiment and implement new sounds into their music, allowing for a customizable tonality. Just as important as their musical prowess are the lively personalities each member brings to the band.
Despite only working together for a few months, R.C. CAT has been able to produce quality work at an accelerated pace. After spending the spring performing in local venues such as Spider House Ballroom and university co-ops, they released a lyric video and music video for their single “Pop Music” in July, showcasing their unique style and video production skills.
Never ones to waste a spare moment, R.C. CAT also recorded their debut album in a week over the summer. They holed themselves up in a river house in Bandera, Texas, where, as Correa puts it, “We funked up the record.” As a result of the flooding that occurred in the Bandera area this summer, the band was confined to the river house. “It was a tornado of brisket and beer,” Webb says. They worked on recording every day from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., and spent the remainder of their time watching horror movies and finding ways to scare and taunt Correa.
The guys enjoyed the recording process, but have a deeper appreciation for playing their music live. “Recording is hard and the process is long because it’s tangible,” Chavez says. “Playing a show live is so much fun for us because of the crowd.” The band even uses Chavez’s and McCampbell’s residence — the band’s headquarters — as a place to host shows for friends and fans.
The band finished their self-titled album this summer at the river house, but have postponed the release date, opting to celebrate the occasion with a live show. “Putting it out on the Internet for people to listen to is easy,” Chavez says. “Planning the release party, which is really important to us, is the challenge.” After much anticipation and deliberation, the band finally set a date: this Saturday, Oct. 17. They’ll host a house party across the street from 630 Maiden St. (“It is across the street, but GOOGLE MAPS HATES US,” the band insists on the Facebook event page), where they’ll play the new album live for the first time.
Although R.C. CAT unveils their debut album this weekend, they already have plans to reshape their sound in the future. “We’re looking into being more fancy and adding more drums for me to play,” McCampbell says. “We’re also making a move to be all electronic.” But beyond musical evolution, all four band members also share some big-picture goals moving forward: “More music, more parties, less sobriety.”
An earlier version of this story misspelled Connor McCampbell's last name.