Content Writer at JamFeed
Artist Spotlight: CAPYAC
“We started our last show with a four-and-a-half minute long Mozart minuet. Just playing it.”
When scheduling an interview with the Austin-based “future disco pop” duo CAPYAC, I let them choose the meeting spot. Most fittingly, they chose Bouldin Creek Cafe on South 1st Street.
For those of you not familiar with the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World,” Bouldin Creek Cafe is one of Austin’s most eclectic diners. The walls are full of free expression, plastered with stickers promoting local movements, inspirational quotes in Sharpie graffiti, and stained-glass windows. The crowd is a melting pot of the city’s community — business professionals taking a lunch break, entrepreneurs discussing that big idea, and artists talking about their creative projects — all drinking entirely too much coffee.
Good thing refills are free.
We sat down at a table near the patio, and after only a few minutes of conversing with CAPYAC teammates Delwin Campbell and Eric Peana, it was easy to tell why they chose Bouldin Creek, a central eatery in the city whose logo is “Keep Austin Weird.”
Simply put, CAPYAC is weird — and they thrive on it.
There can never be a long stream of serious conversation when speaking with them. While extremely knowledgeable about the musical space they live in, their lighthearted approach to life makes it easy to get to know the band.
When was the first time you played together?
Delwin Campbell: We played a guacamole party. That was our first show.
What’s a guacamole party?
Eric Peana: Just the best fun you’ve ever had.
DC: They filled a kiddie pool with guacamole. There were a couple gallons of guacamole.
EP: We were obnoxious in the beginning. We didn’t have a lot of music, so we played a lot of jungle jams and progressive heavy electronic kind of stuff. A whole lot of improv. We actually had a three-piece percussion section that was just banging on pots and pans. It was ridiculous. They were good though.
Do you see your fan base growing?
EP: Yeah, definitely. But we were kind of like whores in the beginning.
DC: Yeah, CAPYAC was a slutty whore.
EP: Just so, so ready to give it up to anyone. So we played all these shows. We played for SXSW, and straight up played fifteen shows in a row. It was bad. I think this was over the course of twelve days.
DC: But we want to start playing fewer shows so we have more time to plan the theatrics.
DC: Yeah. We started our last show with a four-and-a-half minute long Mozart minuet. Just playing it. Sitting, dressed in Victorian costumes, drinking champagne and eating cookies, while this Mozart played.
EP: And just staring at the crowd.
DC: Literally just watching them. And not doing anything.
EP: Eventually [Delwin] stood up and phased out the minuet and phased in this house beat underneath. And then we just transitioned.
Do you dress in costume for every show?
EP: There was one time when he forgot, and then there was one time when I forgot. People were booing and throwing cabbage at us… It was bad, but we were hungry, so it was all right… I used to do this bit where I would come out as a taxi stripper.
DC: It didn’t make any sense.
EP: You gotta do what you gotta do to get the crowd amped up.
What do you want the crowd to experience at a CAPYAC show?
EP: Definitely an element of comfortability.
DC: We want people to get weird.
EP: That’s why we try to present the show like, “Hey, here’s a space where you can be yourself without judgment and a space where you can wear weird costumes and joke around and lose yourself and your daily grind in the fresh squeezed beats that is CAPYAC.” And it is fresh squeezed.
DC: Honestly, for me, it’s all about Facebook likes. That’s the only reason I’m doing this.
EP: He masturbates to Facebook likes. I’ve walked in on it before.
DC: But really, we just want people to get weird. I was tired of going to shows where people were just standing there, kind of nodding their heads to the music. It’s just so boring. And it’s usually, either the music sucks or the crowd sucks, even if the music’s good. And we’re just trying to have good music and facilitate a good crowd.
EP: And lose weight.
Does the crowd go along with this element of weirdness you bring to your shows?
DC: Yeah, definitely. It can’t just be music anymore. You need lights and weird sounds. We definitely add some other things. We plan a lot of things out, so it’s not just a song, a song, a song.
EP: It’s important to mention that in electronic music, there’s a backlash right now that we’re seeing that’s coming back to live electronic music from this saturated DJ with one person with a computer kind of thing. You lose that personal element. You could almost have a mannequin up there moving its arms and eventually push a button and there would be lights. We’re trying to bring a very human thing to our shows.
DC: We used to bring a lot of people on stage at our shows… There were shows where we had like 50 people on stage with us, which was fun.
EP: We made the mistake of inviting people on stage with us to dance, and then realizing that there were more people on stage than there were in the crowd.
DC: And that’s when it gets bad… The reason we’re so weird on-stage is to make everyone feel included. And then when you get everyone on stage, you have this crowd that’s left that feels somewhat excluded. Not everybody can fit on stage.
EP: So that’s why we’re designing our own brand of stage.
What’s your creative process to come up with these ideas like?
EP: It’s definitely a rigorous process.
DC: There’s lots of animals involved. That’s all I’ll say.
EP: I definitely look to astrology for my answers. I mean, I look up at the stars and I’ll be like, “Oh yeah, he does need to get his arm ripped off during one of the shows and there needs to be blood spilling out, and there I am dressed as a hippo rolling around in it.” I don’t know… It’s fun to not be so serious.
You’re pretty rooted in the Austin music scene. What other local bands do you like performing with?
EP: They’re all pretty bad. Including us. Music in general… I’m just so over it.
But really, I like the band Chipper Jones… They’re a completely different style, and it’s kind of funny playing with them because they’re so chill and we’re the opposite. But that defines the Austin scene, which is, you see bills where literally every single band is of complete opposite genres and for some reason it works here. I feel like in other cities it doesn’t work.
What’s your foreseeable future looking like?
DC: Well I want to live in a yurt. I want to go to Mexico in a couple of months.
EP: The tentative plan for us right now… We want to approach some labels so we can grow in the direction that we want. We want something that will bring us out of the local scene.
Do you think people outside of Austin have heard of you?
DC: Maybe like twelve people.
EP: My grandma’s a fan. She like, rocks.
What goals do you have for the next phase of your music career?
EP: So we have goals set up, like any band would have set up for the next six months. One of our goals is definitely to crowd surf. My goal is definitely a free platter of cheese at one of our shows.
DC: At one show we gave people celery.
Do you have anything else you’d like for us to add?
EP: We’re trying to be controversial, that way you guys get more reads. We should say something really controversial now.
DC: “Famous French band CAPYAC de-endorses horses.”
EP: As sexual fetishes… You know, be open. If we’re going to be the generation of being open, we should probably consider all things.
DC: “CAPYAC endorses horses.”
Though a little “out there,” CAPYAC is more than just a weird group doing weird things on stage solely for entertainment. CAPYAC is a musical movement; an encouragement to free yourself of daily schedules and standards, and a push to be a little silly. CAPYAC shows you who they are, so that you can more easily be yourself.
CAPYAC claims that their music is “dance music for your feet,” and I’m all for going footloose. Follow them on JamFeed to know when they’re playing next, and join the dance party! Stay on the lookout for new music coming soon via SoundCloud, including a remix with the aforementioned Chipper Jones.