Talk to enough bands and you’ll quickly learn they all have their favorite disastrous show story. Dustin Strole, lead vocalist for Indianapolis metal-core band Catalytic, is no different.
“At our very first show ever, our drummer’s entire cymbal stand just completely fell out mid-song!” Strole says laughing, when I inquire about his. “He just quit playing, started asking for a Phillips-head screwdriver. ‘Anybody in the crowd got a screwdriver?’”
Catalytic arrived last year with a sound fully formed. Their debut The Voice of Reason earned high praise from IU-Kokomo’s The Forge, as writer Rob Salem praised the production and the band’s songs even as he hoped they’d push beyond their early influences.
“When we started out there was definitely a big Killswitch Engage influence, In Flames, All That Remains, all the typical genre of metalcore,” Dustin Chavez, the band’s guitarist, says. “But now that we’ve finally got a drummer again, we’re definitely getting heavier.”
“Whether you realize it or not, early on you do rely on those influences as your sound develops,” adds Alexander Farrington, who joined the band on drums early this year. “It was a big thing for me, listening to the record. It’s got that Killswitch vibe to it, but you can also tell there’s something more going on there. That’s just the first part of it.”
The band will play a show Friday at the Fifth Quarter Lounge, which will put them in front of an audience primed for an even heavier sound. The venue, formerly known as Indy’s Jukebox, has earned a reputation over the past few months for pushing local acts.
“I just saw Skeletonwitch there recently, and that was really intense,” Farrington says. “It is definitely becoming one of those places you have to stop to hear great bands.”
Catalytic has had more than its share of personnel changes over the past year, and though they are still actively searching for a bass player, the main focus is on honing new demos and bringing Farrington into the songwriting fold.
“We get really excited when we play these songs for ourselves,” says Dustin Strole, the band’s lead singer. “It’s always nerve-wracking when you play a song and you don’t know how fans will react. For me the new stuff is more exciting to play anyway. I get into it more, I think my presence is better with the new music.”