We're residing on the edges of Americana, just seems the safest place for what we do, really.
Every good band has a story, something that marks their territory in the landscape of worthwhile artists, and deepens their connection with their fans. American Catapult has been living out their story in unlikely places over the last few years, choosing to take their alt-country/roots rock songs to any place that would give them permission to play, and even a few that wouldnt.
AmCat, as their friends call them, reside happily on the outskirts of Americana music, and have taken to showing up for impromptu shows in places like rest stops, bartender schools, abandoned airfields, and laundromats. We have found over time this incredible difficulty in finding decent places to play out, says Tom Townsend, guitarist and lead singer. It became our mission to get out of our little rehearsal space and find an audience, any audience even if that meant playing during the spin cycle at a local laundromat full of strangers. Just hearing AmCat play live reveals how quickly they would win over a crowd wherever they are. Their music is as timeless as American music gets, as free and optimistic as a scene from Athens in the 80s, and instantly accessible.
Their latest release is Trees of Mystery, an 11 song compilation driven by the unknown open roads that theyve seen before them in travels and in life. It was recorded in order, from first track to last, and with a cohesive spirit of adventure and marvel throughout. We had laid out all the songs we wanted on the record, set them in order, then set out to record them that way, just to say we did it. There was even an intentional effort to finish all of side one, then work through all of side two till it was done, as if it were vinyl. I guess that dates us some, but some of our favorite records sound as if they were made that way, and that was our tribute to them.
This time, given, standing / A slow burn, is never for nothing / This time, newness, knowing / Its already done, and still worth doing. This Time, opening track from Trees of Mystery
Trees reveals some of the mature pop/rock sensibility that AmCat possesses in spades, a personal work that is still inviting. It should come as no surprise that when American Catapult finds themselves on much larger stages, playing for people who actually paid to come hear them, that they will come across as four guys who still get great joy out of playing their music together. The audience will be a bonus. And when many more people get a hold of Trees they will instantly want more of the same (already in the works) and AmCat will be happy to oblige, even if that means playing in their front yard or parking lot. Discover more about American Catapult and decide for yourself if their story is worth sticking to.
We do play live. It's just that many times we're doing it for ourselves. Lately we've had much more opportunity to play for others, and in actual venues too, not just laundromats and rest stops. And yes, we like it very much, wish we could do more. The part we don't like is somehow convincing club owners & others to let us in to play, that's something we wish we could pay someone to do for us, because we're not very convincing I guess. Not for lack of effort, certainly. As for the special moments, they are whenever we play out nowadays, pretty much.
The cool thing about playing in a group is that you all come from different influences and hopefuly create something unique. I (Tom) have been listening again to some of my classic country influences like Charley Pride and Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell. But also, REM, Tom Petty and Counting Crows have had some impact in my growing up. I would say the Beatles, but who doesn't. I listen to bands like Wilco & Son Volt for inspiration all the time. I could write a singer/songwriter song each day of the week and twice on Sunday, but that would be a boring (and lonely) career choice.
I (Tom) am currently playing a Gibson SG through a VOX pedalboard powered by a Marshall preamp. I like to pretend I am playing through a 4x10 Fender Amp though sometimes, or a VOX AC30.
Well, we're just grateful you're paying attention of you've gotten this far. Thanks, please buy our record Trees of Mystery, so that we can make another one soon!