Interview: Mad Caddies

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interview by James Wright

“Oh, I love Canadian beer,” raves Mad Caddies guitarist Sascha Lazor. “I’m partial to Moosehead or Keith’s, but I love Canadian beer. Beer is good,” he says with a laugh.

Sascha has more than Canadian beer to smile about. His outfit, the Mad Caddies, have just released their groundbreaking 4th album entitled “Just One More”, this past spring. The album is an eclectic mix of musical styles, combining the likes of ska, reggae, punk, hard rock and swing.

Founded in the early 90’s when Laznor decided to start a jazz band, the Mad Caddies sound has always been a combination of musical styles. “I’ve always liked the 20’s and 30’s jazz, so I was going to try and start a traditional jazz band,” Sascha remembers. “I play the banjo as well, so it was going to be this horn, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, drums, banjo, and a tuba or stand-up bass or something. We were just going to do covers of 20’s and 30’s songs.” Despite having intentions of starting a jazz band, something completely different was born. “In band practice one day, we started playing some songs that I had written, and we thought it sounded pretty cool. It sounded kinda like punk-rock and that kind of vibe.”

Sascha is quick to point out that the band’s sound is not contrived in any way, “We just wanted to make music that we liked and listened to. We wanted to do something that sets us apart, whether you like it or you don’t like it.”

From there the band took to the road like marijuana takes to potheads, touring non-stop. Constantly being on the road allowed the band to develop a rather large following, but not without a price. “In the beginning, we never paced ourselves, so by the end of three months, we were like, ‘Oh my God,'” recalls Laznor. Since then the band has ironed out their touring difficulties and have once again begun touring relentlessly. “When you’re on the road, you wake up around noon or one o’clock and you stay up until three or four. The one thing that we never used to do is take advantage of fun things. If we had a day off, we’d just go to a bar and drink. Now, on our days off, we’ll rent a jet boat, go out on a lake or something like that.”

The band’s latest offering, “Just One More”, is ironically named after a bar the Caddies frequent when home from the road. “This is a bar that’s kinda in a neighborhood that we like, right by a nice sushi restaurant and the bartender and all the staff are super cool. It’s kinda become like a second home to us,” explains the Caddies six-stringer. “We spent a lot of time there, it’s where the locals go to hang out when they want to drink.”

With such like “Just One More”, could the Caddies have a hidden message? “It doesn’t mean that this is our last record, it’s just one more drink, just one more day, just one more.”

With an affinity for Canadian beer and an album named, “Just One More” you might think the band is partying like Motley Crue circa 1983 but apparently the band has toned down quite a bit. “We used to party all the time. We still have our craziness, but we’re a little more responsible these days. We still like to have a good time, though.” Good times were on the menu this particular night as the Caddies were partaking in some “fun”. “We’re sitting around right now, drinking Bloody Mary’s. I was just down at a bar with our guitar player and Chuck is drinking Heineken and playing video game Black Jack.”

Drinking aside, the album is the Mad Caddies’ most diverse offering to date. “We didn’t try to go for anything more original with this album,” explains Lazor. “We just tried to write better songs. I really think that we did that.” From the punk rock fury of ‘Contraband’ to the acoustic beauty of ‘Good Intentions’ this album touches on the listeners heartstrings and fills their head with ear candy.

Being so dynamic with their music, it would seem only logical for major labels to come knocking on the door. “We’re happy where we are. As a band, we needed a couple of records and a couple of years to grow. Some of our older records are a little bit more scattered,” says the guitarist. “Now, we’ve found our sound and our label has pretty much let us do what we wanted to.”

The dreaded Indy vs. Major label debate is something that comes up more often than not in the punk and hardcore scene these days. Lozner is quick to offer his take on the situation, “Rancid just signed onto Warner Bros. and stuff, but I don’t really care. As long as the band hasn’t changed their music to get there, music is music.”

The Mad Caddies have created an album chalked full of hooks and melodies that will actually make you proud to be a music fan once again. So whether you’re rocking out at the Warped tour or sitting on the back porch with a cold one in hand, “Just One More” is the feel good hit of the summer.