The Mad Caddies and Ulysses S. Jasz Join Forces

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us again, and as we prepare to drink
and pay tribute to Irish culture, an important question must be
asked: How important is St. Patrick’s Day to the Mad Caddies? “We
have a pretty good Scotch-Irish contingent in this band,” muses
trumpeter Keith Douglas. “It’s my dad’s birthday,” exclaims
guitarist Sascha Lazor. “It’s really just another excuse for us to
get wasted,” vocalist Chuck Robertson declares, “and you can quote
on me that.” But tomorrow night promises to be more than just an
“excuse” to have a good time, as the Mad Caddies will be joining
forces with James Joyce house band, Ulysses S. Jasz, to put on a
special concert at SOhO.

At first glance, a show such as this may seem a little odd; what
do a bunch of young punk rockers have to do with a group of
polished, elderly jazz aficionados? Anyone familiar with the
Caddies’ blend of punk, reggae, ska, and jazz understands that the
pairing isn’t so unlikely. “Even though many of us haven’t gotten
to play with a real jazz band … most of us are influenced by early
jazz,” says Lazor, who likes to turn Louis Armstrong horn licks
into punk rock guitar riffs. “So even though the guys in Ulysses
are older, there’s a common thread there. Plus, these guys use shot
glasses as mutes for their horns. I hope I can be doing that when
I’m 65!”

In addition to opening the show, members of Ulysses will be
joining the Caddies onstage to re-work a couple of old jazz
standards and even some tunes from the Caddies’ repertoire.
According to Lazor, the experimentation will all be in the name of
fun: “SOhO is a venue that’s not really conducive to a punk rock
kind of show, so it’s a chance to do something different and have a
good time.”

The Caddies are currently in the middle of intense songwriting
sessions and will enter the recording studios next month with the
aim of putting out a new album later this year. Thus, hungry fans
can expect to get a preview of new material tomorrow night. “Right
now we have about 13 songs written,” Lazor says, “and we’re
definitely looking forward to playing three or four new ones.”
Fellow band member Douglas hints at nervousness about the upcoming
show, but is playing a local show really that worrisome for a band
that’s toured around the world several times? “The local shows are
the worst for me because we’ve got all friends and family there. I
actually get nervous,” Robertson says. “We’ve played in front of
30,000 people and not been nervous at all, but 300 in our hometown
and I’m stressed.” But despite pre-show jitters, the following year
looks to be an exciting one as the Mad Caddies approach their 10th
anniversary together. After having sold more than 300,000 albums
worldwide, the Caddies have proven they’re a reliable cult-favorite
and rumors abound that major labels are attempting to woo the band
away from Fat Wreck Chords, the independent label that has released
their six previous CDs. While keeping tight-lipped on any potential
label change, the band doesn’t rule out any possibilities while
praising the continued support it receives from Fat. However, the
Caddies are explicit in their resolve to not deviate from their
eclectic take on punk rock, with bassist Mark Iversen saying,
“People like the spontaneity of not knowing what’s around the
corner and I think it’s healthy and broadens the appeal of the
band.” Robertson chimes in, adding defiantly, “We have a lot of
fans who don’t follow trends and really appreciate our music. The
ones who were with us at the beginning are still with us


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