If you’re in the Funk Zone on a Saturday afternoon, more than likely you’re sipping a glass of wine or a frosty beer. In fact, you’re probably having more than one. For those who’ve taken in the ocean air from the patio at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., you’re probably grown familiar to hearing classics from Led Zeppelin or CCR as performed by Santa Barbara trio The Caverns. Sounds by Sam Kulchin, Alyssa Davey, and Maxton Schulte are often familiar, but always unique. Seventeen-year-old Schulte rocks out on the drum kit with confidence and passion unique to his level of experience. Although she began her career as a drummer, Davey now provides the bass lines for most numbers. And Kulchin, the oldest member of the group at age 20, charismatically sings and plucks away on his guitar, grooving to tunes older than all three members ages combined. Below, we get to know The Caverns in three questions.
How did The Caverns come to be?
Sam: We all met at Dos Pueblos High School. I was in a band called Blue Suns that kind of fell apart. Maxton and Alyssa were in The WahWahs and invited me to jam with them. We would just play instrumentals and ‘80s songs. Only around August of last year did we get serious as a band.
Your sets are primarily cover songs. Have you written any originals?
Maxton: Some. We have to adjust when it comes to originals. We’ll have everything and be like, “Oh crap, what are we going to do about the words?” We jam a lot, but most venues want the crowd pleasers. We play covers that we enjoy though: no “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry.
Are your families musical?
Maxton: No. None of our parents play. My dad introduced me to a couple of artists.
Sam: I actually introduced my dad to a lot of classic rock bands.
Alyssa, you’ll graduate at the end of the year. What do you plan on doing after graduation?
Alyssa: I’m going to take a gap year. I’ll take some music classes at SBCC, but only classes that will help with my musical career. My dad is strict with academics, but he’s 120 million percent supportive of this band. It’s crazy. He said I need to continue this.
Maxton: It’s hard for people to understand; being in a band is something that doesn’t count as a career. There are a lot of people who don’t know what they want to do and we’ve known for awhile. I think life kicks in when you’re out of high school — when you don’t have that thing that takes up six hours of your day.
Ideally, what comes next for your band?
Sam: We need to record. Like really bad.
Alyssa: We need to gig a lot to have the money to record. We just need to play a poop load and eventually get some merch to sell.
Have you performed at your high school?
Alyssa: Our age group doesn’t care about the music that we play. We fit at bars and at parties. Our music is for 20 years and up.
Maxton: Yeah, all older people.
Have you had any experiences as a band that really stand out?
Maxton: Alyssa got recognized! [Laughs] That’s how you know you’ve made it. Hopefully I’m next.
Alyssa: It was the coolest thing ever. We also performed with Rebelution and Iration. Iration may want us to perform with them at UCSB. It feels amazing that a band that awesome wants to perform with us in the future.
How did you score the Figueroa Mountain gig? You guys can’t even legally drink.
Sam: We sent in a demo that we recorded right here in this room. It was pretty rough but passable. We were invited to play on a Saturday. We played our first two songs and Alex, who does band bookings, leaned over to us and said, “Do you guys want to come back tomorrow?” It was a good fit!
The Caverns resume their residency at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. (137 Anacapa St.) every Saturday beginning in April. Catch them there on alternating Thursdays as well. For more on the band, visit facebook.com/thecavernsofficial