• NEWS &
  • GIG

back to list

Don Caballero perform Halifax 22 Sept

By Administrator

Pittsburgh band Don Caballero play the only Canadian gig of their tour in Halifax! Supported by Tomcat Combat, Contrived and Special Noise, the show takes place 8pm at St. Matthew’s United Church Halifax, Nova Scotia.

About Don Caballero: Some people start bands because they feel they have something to say. Others see band formation as a guaranteed path to free drinks and unprotected sex. When Damon Che formed instrumental crunch-rockers Don Caballero 15 years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he had significantly different plans. “The only plan we had at the time was to come up with music we liked,” he says earnestly. “The reason we ended up the way we did was because, in our estimation, [the music] wasn’t ready yet. The opportunities to record kept coming up, and we didn’t want to waste them, even if we didn’t have our craft entirely up to specifications yet.”

Che might have had reservations about the preparedness of the music, but nobody was really prepared for the kind of efficient instrumental urgency DonCab generated. Mike Banfield’s crunching guitar riffage and Pat Morris’ bass underpinned everything so that Che’s indefatigable complexity—i.e., drums as lead instrument—was front and center. The band was instrumental by default, wielding a technical proficiency that could rival the staunchest prog outfit, but instead choosing to deliver a far more visceral impact.

Of course, like most things genuine and exemplary, DonCab were greeted by blank stares and confused looks similar to the ones a dog makes eating peanut butter. An early supporter pleaded them to participate in a city battle-of-the-bands contest. When the leader of the judging “panel of experts” heard two minutes of the band’s first single, he lifted the needle and said, “These guys need to go back to Songwriting 101.” Fortunately, Songwriting 101 got brushed aside so DonCab could expand to a quartet, adding guitarist Ian Williams; sign to the Touch And Go label; and head off to Chicago to record their 1993 debut album, For Respect, with Steve Albini at the controls. Many a fanzine writer and alt-weekly-residing tastemaker began describing the band’s complexities and Che’s rhythmic prowess as “math rock,” a term that, to this day, sits uneasy with the drummer. “I think we got to much credit for those particular aspects of the band,” he reflects. “We did have many twists and turns and hard-to-follow time signatures. But we were a much more simplistic mechanism compared to great bands like Breadwinner or Confessor. Much respect to them—I hope they’re not mad about it!”

to top of page