Cathercist: Live from The Rail Club

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“Oh no! We’ve broken your phone already!” Taylor says as my cell phone went crashing to the floor. After a long day I was finally able to sit down with Taylor Roberts (guitar) and Zack Sawyer (vocals) of Cathercist and we were already breaking things…

You recently got an endorsement from Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars, how did that come about?

[[ Taylor ]]
Daniel and I  just got an endorsement from Ernie Ball. In 2008 we played the Taste of Chaos show, winning a battle of the bands competition through Ernie Ball. That was actually one of the last years that they did the Taste of Chaos tour and I was the only one in the band at the time. Basically, I ended up getting an email address from a guy named Derek at Ernie Ball that year. I just kept in touch with him over the years, anything from a “Merry Christmas” to “Hey, how are you doing, do you still remember us? We’re still going…” Just kept an open line of communication and once we got on with good management I sent him an email saying just that, and the fact that I had just bought a John Petrucci Reserve guitar… “I absolutely love this instrument! Is there any way you can put these in our hands so we can be seen on the road with them. I would love for our band to be endorsed.” He ended up replying back and told me to send our manager his email. Eric called me no more than 30 minutes later and said, “Are you ready to have the most raging boner ever?” YES. “We’ve got you guys endorsed and they’re sending you 2 guitars each” And I was like “ahhhhhhhh” *In a high falsetto voice*

So the ideal situation of networking played our in your favor!

[[ Taylor ]]
That’s one thing about our band… we WILL remember you. Every show we go to or anything we do, the people that we meet we try to keep in touch with. Whether it’s 6 months to a year down the line.
[[ Zack ]]
We are also participating in one of Ernie Ball’s battle of the bands right now to play “Welcome to Rockville” in Jacksonville, FL.
[[ Taylor ]]
Actually, we’ve been going back and forth (entered the contest yesterday) between the number 2 spot and number 3.

So how’s that feeling?

[[ Taylor + Zack ]]
Pretty gooood. *laughter*
[[ Zack ]]
We’ve always done really well in Ernie Ball’s battle of the bands competitions in the past. Out of all the battle of the bands we’ve ever participated in, it’s the one that seems to be the most fair. Granted we’ve never won (Taylor starts laughing in the background) … and we’ve never won any other of the battle of the bands that we’ve played either (said with a big smile on his face)
[[ Taylor ]]
Our thing is we don’t really like to do contests like this all the time because it can get so trivial and can create a lot of bitterness among everyone. Our main goal is, even if we don’t win, people saw us. It’s an exposure game. If we can stay on that front page through the entire competition, people are going to see the name Cathercist. “Well why are these guys on the top featured bands?” In the end, they’re gonna hear our music, they’re gonna find out where we are, how to pick up our music…. and like I said, it’s all a networking game. An easy outlet to get exposure. Ernie Ball has always done a great job of giving bands exposure they need and it’s a wonderful tool if you know how to use it.

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I’ve never gotten the chance to talk to a band about networking, because you know, in high school and colleges around the nation, they are teaching these skills in the business world…. they say whenever you go to a job interview, always send a thank you note. Who’s to say this can’t parallel for bands and how they conduct their business? So what would your advice be to a band to network but not to be overwhelming?

[[ Zack ]]
One thing you want to recognize is that your reputation precedes you. When you start working with new people, chances are, they already know if you’re a pain in the ass to work with or not. We see that all the time. We’ve made a lot of our progress through friendships we’ve created just by being easy to get along with and easy to play with and tour with.
[[ Taylor ]] 
That is a good point, um, it’s like the saying goes, you’ve got to be nice to everybody because you don’t know who they know or who they are. The people you see on the way up are the same ones you see on the way down. That’s been our motto: We want to be that band people want to play with. In Corpus Christi at Zeros, we made family. We didn’t make friends, we didn’t make fans, we made family down there. That’s our angle. Even if we become the next biggest stars, we don’t want to just go back to our buses after a show, no, we want to be the guys that come out and hang out with everyone (like Taproot). Those guys! The nicest dudes in the world. Zach and I listened to them growing up and we were really scared about meeting them, and they are just like “Hey guys what’s up?” We want to do that for others too.

Have there been any bands you’ve come across that have just absolutely killed it for you? (No name dropping!)

[[ Taylor + Zack ]]
(Heavy laughing)
[[ Zack ]]
There has been in the past…
[[ Taylor ]]
Good Lord, yes.
[[ Zack ]]
At the same time, we’ve met bands where we thought surely they hate us, cause they act like it, and a year later we find out that they actually like us.
[[ Taylor ]]
You never know, you may have just caught someone on a bad night.
[[ Zack ]]
That’s one thing people do fail to realize is that, when they do meet musicians, they have a prior thought about them because they may have heard they are a downright asshole, but really, you don’t know anything about that person and their day or what they’re going through. It’s really not fair for some people to just believe those things.
[[ Taylor ]]
It’s one of those things where…
[[ Zack ]]
You just have to always wear a smile on your face.
[[ Taylor ]]
Right, we’re in a band together, the five of us, constantly, we get to a venue, we have to talk to people, we have to be nice to people, it’s not that we don’t want to, we obviously want to makes friends/family on the road, but we never really get time to ourselves. Even at the hotel room, you cram five dudes in there and every now and then it’s like dude, just give us five minutes alone. and that’s where what Zach says goes into play. You don’t know anything about that person, you don’t know what they’ve been going through, what their day has been like.
From a lot of laughs and finishing each other’s sentences like an old married couple, interviewing Zack and Taylor was wonderful. Cathercist is not only a talented group of musicians, they are 5 individuals who have a great head on their shoulders. This will surely help them pave their way to stardom. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the ones headlining festivals down the road.



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