Ska pirates capture the Warehouse

By Chris Tihor

Get ready for pirate-core to hit Calgary. Well, sort of.

While the Mad Caddies will probably play a song or two about pirates when they play Calgary on their "It’s Too Cold to Tour" tour, pirate-core is just a joke genre coined on the internet from the title of their latest release, Rock the Plank.

The seven-piece Santa Barbara, California act, who describe themselves as a "dixieland influenced reggae-ska-punk band," haven’t needed any genre labels to attract fans. The success that they’ve enjoyed is entirely due to extensive touring, fun-filled music and energetic shows.

While still in high school in 1996, the band members borrowed money from their parents to record their first demo tape which soon found its way to Fat Wreck Chords owner Fat Mike.

"We just wanted to record all the songs we had to document what we’d done," says Mad Caddies guitarist Sascha Lazor. "I never actually thought that Fat Mike would like our band." Three full lengths and one EP later, the band has a worldwide following and no plans to slow down.

One of the main challenges the Mad Caddies now face is making all fans happy with each new record.

"With every CD that we’ve done there are people that complain that it wasn’t like the last one, and then there’s people that say they’ve never really liked us but like the new CD," says Lazor. "I don’t think a band like ours can really please everyone because we always play whatever we feel like at the moment."

According to Lazor, with so many ska bands on the scene, the Mad Caddies put in extra effort to make sure that their sound is unique.

"There was a zillion ska bands in Orange County and we thought that it was stupid that every band sounded the same. It was such a trend," says Lazor. "We decided to use the things we do well to sound different and not worry about being stuck thinking we had to sound a certain way."

Contributing to the band’s unique sound is the wide variety of music that the seven members of the band listen to.

"Right now I’m listening to a lot of reggae and dixieland jazz," says Lazor. "Our bass player is a huge fan of ’70s punk, our singer’s been on a country kick recently, our trumpet player loves jazz and our drummer loves Slayer, and that definitely shows through in our songs. We wanted to let all our influences come out in our music to make our band different instead of playing just punk rock or ska."

With the band’s RV generator breaking down just as they left California it may soon be too cold to tour, but don’t count on that taking any of the fun or the energy out of the Mad Caddies.

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