By Wade Millward
wade (at) mapanare us
Rehm and Hart formed Caddywhompus in 2008 following the split of their prior band, Houston outfit, Riff Tiffs. The two have known each other since kindergartenand have played together since middle school.
Since then, the duo have been busy building a strong fan base in the indie music scene. They are out on their 2010 summer tour promoting their sophomore album, Remainder, released May 11. Remainder follows their first album, EPs, a compilation of Caddywhompus’ first EP, four songs from a prior split cassette and two unreleased tracks. This tour started on the West Coast before heading East. Hart says the tour has been a blast, though the group has had the standard brushes with strangeness that come with every tour.
He recalled one odd instance in Orem, Utah.
“We went to this venue it was called ‘The Kage’ with a K and we were supposed to play with these 6 local bands, but then the owner canceled the performance when he supposedly received noise complaints from the cops,” said Hart. “Though, we found out later that this never happened! The venue itself was strange. We were in what looked like a preschool classroom. There were Shrek posters everywhere.”
Sean Hart recounted the group’s experience touring and playing with other bands, including critically acclaimed group The Antlers.
“Playing with The Antlers was cool. I didn’t know too much about them before we met, but Chris owned a copy of their first album [In the Attic of the Universe].” says Hart.
The Antlers jammed with Caddywhompus at the Saturn Bar in New Orleans, the location for the band’s CD release party for EPs.
“The Antlers were super nice and fun to hang out with,” continued Hart, “and the performance worked both ways.”
Hart explained that playing with The Antlers helped to promote EPs, and playing in New Orleans certainly helped the Brooklyn-based Antlers spread their fan base to the untapped South.
Hart also said he enjoyed playing a short tour with Lafayette-based outfit Givers.
“That was really fun.They had their own trailer and a tour van, so it was a nice change to not have to drive to our gigs! We ended up playing a sold out show at Emo’s in Austin; that was great.” he says.
Caddywhompus' Guilt by Nelo Neko Films
“It was really random. They just showed up one day at our place in New Orleans, and for the video they had us play Guilt four times while they recorded in our practice room where we recorded all of Remainder.” says Hart.
Caddywhompus’ first music video was for their song Absinthesizer. Hart explained a friend made it in the library at Loyola University New Orleans, where the band attends college.
When it comes to balancing college life and band life, Hart says that school can wind up taking second place.
“Sometimes, college has to be put on the back burner. Sometimes, we don’t even want to go to class," he says. "Luckily, we attend a music school, so we’re always excused when we have a gig to worry about. We make it work. We don’t do too many shows during the school year, maybe one a month."
The group has really shown their 21st century DIY work ethic with an assortment of online profiles. Rehm updates a Facebook page and a blog while Hart maintains a band MySpace profile. Hart attributed Caddywhompus’ level of success to the word-of-mouth publicity that occurs on the blogosphere, where fans and curious music-listeners can enjoy their uploaded songs. Indeed their whole current record is available free at the Community Records website.
Unlike their debut album EPs, whose 300 copies were produced entirely by the band itself and sold through PayPal. Remainder, as mentioned, is promoted and distributed by Community Records.
The name “Caddywhompus” comes from southern slang meaning “crooked, or uneven.” According to Hart, he and Rehm used to hear their friend’s grandmother use the term. “Caddywhompus” was originally the name of a high school band Hart and Rehm started. The name fell out of use but somehow seems appropriate for their experimental, “crooked” rock sound.
Keep an eye for the band on tour, download the new recording (it won't cost you a thing) and spread the word about the cacophonous, DIY, psychedelic sound of Caddywhompus.