New Jersey's most successful ska-punk combo, Catch 22, was formed in the fall of 1996 when founding members Chris Greer, Ryan Eldred, and Kevin Gunther set out to play a genre of music that quickly became a huge national trend. Through the years the band has changed a few members but the attitude has stayed the same. "Putting out good music and having tons of people around the world singing and dancing at shows is the most important thing to us," commented singer Ryan. The band relentlessly toured for years in support of albums like "Keasbey Nights", "Alone in a Crowd" and "Washed Up And Through The Ringer", and are one of the best-selling bands on Victory. Catch 22 toured with bands like Suicide Machines, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and Pennywise, among many others, and have returned the favor by offering to help younger bands on their way up. In addition to headlining Victory Records Tour 2002, Sum 41, Bowling For Soup and Thursday opened for Catch 22 when they were unknown nationally.
On their first album since 2000, Catch 22 mixes elements of Jazz, R&B, Soul and Funk into their patented ska/punk sound. Jazzy arrangements and chord progressions coincide with heavy reggae and funk influences on "Dinosaur Sounds". "Even though there's a lot of jazz and reggae on the record, the three bands that most influenced the album are Sublime, NOFX and early Weezer" explains Kevin, "Ryan is a huge Sublime fan and he wrote most of the lyrics, and he does almost all the singing on the album."
The recording experience was a major departure for the band, after self-producing their previous albums, they teamed up with Steve Evetts (Saves The Day, Snapcase, Hatebreed). "It was an amazing experience," Kevin said "having a professional with his perspective to help us determine which songs needed development and which songs were ready to go was invaluable. He also made our sound bigger, he added volume without losing tonal quality. We have recorded at Trax East many times, but Steve's knowledge and sensibilities just dramatically improved the overall presentation of the songs."
Catch 22 filmed the video for the first single, "Wine Stained Lips," on Friday, October 3, 2003 with director Major Lightner. "Wine Stained Lips" is a fun, bouncy love song that showcases one of ska-punk's rare guitar solos, making it a stand out cut from an album that is full of infectious songs. Other stand-outs include "Rocky," an upbeat cut that takes it's name from the movie and includes a cool homage to a certain classic rock song; and Motown Cinderella, a big-band influenced song about a love triangle.
Catch 22 are on tour in the United States and Canada this fall in support of "Dinosaur Sounds. The band are at their best onstage, feeding off the crowd's energy provokes fiery performances of their air-tight arrangements Ð their hardcore energy is more apparent in that environment and that is the way the band likes it. "Making a record is fun, and its great to think about the fact that kids have our music at home, but absolutely nothing compares to playing a live show. We never get tired of touring because we have our set to look forward to at the end of every drive!"
Now that the trend has died down, ska-based music can be appreciated as a genre once again. Catch 22 defy the whole punk/ska dictum by continuing to draw large crowds and sell substantial quantities of albums Ð they write great pop songs and play them with such cohesion and conviction that they transcend labels. "Dinosaur Sounds" is energetic and pop-driven with catchy choruses, explosive horn hooks and uplifting chord progressions. Their influences shine through on this album, ranging anywhere from Sublime to James Brown, creating some of their best material to date.