Three years after the release of their debut full-length The Voice of Reason, local melodic metal band Catalytic are back with a new album, The Fall. It’s the first of two concept albums the band plan on releasing, with the second part, The Rise, anticipated to be available this time next year. Indy Metal Vault had a chance to speak with guitarist Dustin Chavez about their history, why Catalytic chose to release two concept albums, thoughts about Indy’s music scene, and what they are doing next on their musical journey.
Indy Metal Vault: Tell me a little bit about yourself! What is your background with music? Who did you grow up listening to? Were you always interested in music? Any instruments?
Dustin Chavez: I started being serious with music when I was 16. I joined a small local metal band and we lasted a couple of years. I learned a lot about how to NOT run a band ha! Growing up I was into pretty much AC/DC and Gun’s N’ Roses, Slash is my hero! I’ve definitely always been interested I did choir and was in a trio for a short amount of time in elementary school and then went on to play clarinet and trumpet. I didn’t even touch a guitar until I was in high school.
IMV: Who is Catalytic? How did you all form and what is the band’s story?
DC: Catalytic is just a bunch of dudes who love to play music and travel. We’ve grown into a family now, and there isn’t much we don’t do together in some way. We formed back in 2013, with Dustin Strole, James Donner, Myself (Dustin Chavez) and two others, Jason Dinwiddie (Black Dahli) on drums and Josh Tienken on bass. The name honestly came from us arguing a lot and it was the only name that the majority of the band agreed that we liked haha! No special meaning, we just happened to like it at the time. Not so much anymore haha! We’ve had a few lineup changes since then which consisted of Jeremy McCombs on drums and Jesse Curtis on bass. Alexander Farrington left and came back due to school, and Derek joined us in 2015.
IMV: What made the band choose to hone in on melodic metal? Did Catalytic develop their sound over time or did you all know what you wanted to play from the beginning?
DC: Well we’re all big fans of the genre or became fans over time. I had a vision of what I wanted to play years ago, but it was finding those like minded people who wanted to play the same style. I don’t really hear a lot of the style we play around Indy and if they are around please show me, we need friends haha. But seriously we play with bands that are the complete opposite of us that it really doesn’t matter, good music is good music. I prefer different genre shows anyways. It allows us to play for crowds we usually don’t see.
IMV: Who are Catalytic’s influences? What can fans expect to hear in your music? Particularly in your upcoming albums?
DC: That’s difficult to answer. We have so many influences from rock to death metal, anything in between really. It’s not just one specific group or groups. The upcoming album The Fall has so many influences. Obviously we have Killswitch Engage, but we’ve branched out to Darkest Hour, Trivium, In Flames, Black Dahlia Murder and so much more. I’m really excited to show how far we’ve come along in four years.
IMV: It’s been three years since Catalytic has made more music. Was the band on some sort of hiatus?
DC: Line up changes are never fun haha. We haven’t been on a hiatus, we just haven’t had a solid crew to get it going. We’ve been hard at work on these two albums The Fall and The Rise over the last year though. That’s a reason we’re coming with two albums. We feel we owe people for how long it’s taken for us to release new music.
IMV: You have two albums coming out? Is Catalytic releasing The Fall and The Rise together? Are these concept albums?
DC: Voice of Reason was a great album but we rushed it and did that album in three weeks. We definitely want to be happy with the albums. So right now The Fall will come out and The Rise will come out around the same time next year, we hope. They are concept albums having to do with exactly what they say. The stuff happens though our lives (The Fall) and overcoming those situations (The Rise).
IMV: What was the recording process like for the albums? Where did the band record? How does it differ from past experiences in the studio?
DC: This time in the studio we’ve been on it. Never settling for “oh that was okay.” And then keep moving to get it done. Spending the money to not settle sucks but we want these albums to be great, not just okay. We recorded with Brian Thorburn (Bone) and Threshold Studios. Recording with Bone has been such a different experience for me personally. He knows exactly what to do and when to do it. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s like he can get into your head. I’ve had ideas pop up and then he’s already through that idea in without me saying anything. He just knows.
IMV: How do you think Catalytic grown and improved since the making of The Voice of Reason?
DC: From my viewpoint, head over heels better than Voice of Reason. I hope everyone feels the same.
IMV: Is Catalytic preparing shows for the upcoming album(s)? What kind of stage presence can a potential fan look forward to seeing?
DC: As of right now we haven’t planned anything. We want to get the album and then say it’s here at whatever show it happens to fall with. CD releases are just a waste of money that we don’t have.
IMV: What are some of your thoughts about the Indy metal scene?
DC: Honestly for doom and death it’s definitely picking up. Indy is a rock and hip-hop town and there is nothing wrong with that but I wish people would come out more. That’s kinda why we haven’t played here that much. The two shows we have played have been big. I want it to get better here but I guess we’ll see as time goes on. Mona DeMaggio over at Taps Live and RJ Wall with Dahlia Presents are doing great things for us around here and they always give locals a shot. These people rule hard in the metal scene.
IMV: Besides the album, is there anything else you guys are doing or looking forward to in the near future?
DC: Touring. I’m so ready to go. We’re ready to go.
Want to check out Catalytic and get notified when The Fall is released?:
Catalytic’s next show will be Friday, September 1 at Taps Live with Hallow Point, Only Human and Empath.
Check out the event page here.
Show starts at 10 p.m.
$10 / 21+