Capyac are hot off the stage from Texas’s Utopiafest! A few weeks ago they sat down to talk with me about their mythos, touring through Europe, giant demon puppets, and the people behind WAX – their smash fashion show. Potion and Big Sugz talk about their musical evolution from a genre they call Balloon-Wave to a sound they picked up in Berlin, unveiling the name right here on Compose Yourself.
Hold onto your seat boys and girls, this is gonna be a sweet ride.
Adam Alloy: Thanks for dropping by today. For people who don’t know you, could you say a word about what Capyac is?
Potion: I’d say we are a musical project. That encompases studio performances, which are different from live performances and is different from the auxiliary stuff we do – which is stuff like the fashion show we did or the fashion line that went along with it. It’s sort of amorphous but at it’s core it’s the two of us.
Big Sugz: Us two musically. There’s certainly other stuff, there’s lots of performance art that’s now come out of [the music].
Adam: It’s interesting because there’s a core group of fans who go out to every show they can, and whenever you play I try to spread the word, but for an outsider it’s very hard to describe what it’s like to experience one of your shows. I can show them your soundcloud but it’s not the same as going to see you with a whole ensemble of performers playing versions of your songs that are not going to resemble what’s on the album.
Potion: You have to keep things interesting and surprising because otherwise no one would come to a show more than once, you know? We just try to keep each of our shows wildly different – different songs, different setup, different costumes. Our next show is bubble themed – we’re going to have bubble machines raining on the audience.
B. Sugz: We’re exploring the concept of the bubble.
A: One thing that I’m really interested in is the European tour y’all just got back from.
P: We played in Paris and we played in Leipzig. Both shows were well promoted. We have a pretty strong listening base in Paris, we had a huge crowd there – it was surprising. We obviously expected almost nothing because we were going to a town we never played before.
BS: They were fun. It was the tail end of a larger east/west tour we did earlier that year. We’re still booking the tours ourselves, which makes it interesting. Certainly some of the parties we play, and the more underground stuff, can be kind of strange.
P: Hit or miss, really.
BS: But if we keep working that will change.
A: You hooked up with this art collective called Helmut for your ‘Speedracer’ video. What’s up with them?
P: Helmut has its roots in Chicago, they migrated to Austin where we met them. Now they’re doing stuff in Berlin and Barcelona.
A: That’s one of the dopest videos I’ve ever seen, if I’m being totally honest. I watch it a lot, I share it whenever I’m explaining what y’all are about.
BS: Thanks man. That was a fun video to make. We have a video we are planning to one of the upcoming songs. It’s going to be our biggest production yet.
P: We’re planning it for the summer.
BS: We have a super small budget but we’re planning it to be French New Wave style.
P: A car chase, a gun fight, a firefight.
A: Do you generally approach someone with a concept?
P: This one we were just talking about we wrote in a shitty Mexican restaurant in Arizona. With ‘Speedracer’ it was more of a collaboration.
BS: It was one of those things that just came together perfectly. Ursula Barker is the one who directed that. We all wanted to make something cool. Each of us had ideas and we were in luck because they complimented each other and our skills complemented each other. We got Billy Secular on board and she totally ran with it. We got all these dancers and she stayed up night after night choreographing everything.
P: They were training all the dancers in our living room for a couple of weeks. It was awesome.
A: You also have Katie Drackert in that video, who is the climatic wand spinner. She’s got her own thing going on.
P: She’s working with theatre troupes in New York now. Doing really great stuff.
BS: She’s gonna have a cool career.
A: I’ve met a lot of fire spinners and I don’t think many of them have the same drive to be performing and marketing themselves as her, they’re normally just out there spinning. The reason I bring her up is she absolutely killed in at your fashion show.
BS: Oh yeah!
A: The fashion show seems like it has so many moving parts and so many people coming together to work as a community to put out this really spectacular product.
BS: It definitely got almost out of hand
P: The green room was complete chaos
BS: You just do so much more with that kind of event, embracing the community aspect, there were a couple of other fashion lines involved and each of them brought their own models, plus their whole line, assistant, makeup artist, [and] hairstylist. And then we had an opener DJ, Shelltoe Soul, and artists and vendors.
A: Empire Control room is one of the most vendor friendly venues in town.
BS: Everyone has an opportunity to shine, especially because we don’t really have our ears to the fashion world.
P: We just kind of wanted to see if we could pull it off.
BS: There was a slight satire in ours.
P: I wouldn’t say it was subtle. We had somebody modeling a fish. It was kind of a smack in the face of the fashion industry… it was great because the head of Austin Fashion Week was front row for this entire thing, shaking his head at our whole line.
A: You’ll never perform in my town again! Haha. At one point you two came out piggy backed, you were on his shoulders with a big bucket on your head and a drapery.
P: That was actually just me.
BS: Tippy toes
P: I have long ass toes haha.
A: The whole evening was so fucking crazy. I remember at one point you had this-
BS: Uh oh.
A: I can only describe it as a giant demon shadow puppet that came out and crawled down the runway. I was next to it and it had these long hands that went over the crowd.
BS: I think I missed that actually. Did you see that part?
BS: No, I’m just fucking with you. That was actually us two under a giant blanket.
P: Or it was Abigail. Abigail Teague, Animal Child Productions.
[Performing as her character Zorba]
BS: She’s a really amazing puppeteer and performance artist.
P: She has half a dozen of these giant creatures she performs as.
BS: There’s another one that’s on stilts and she makes all the masks and costuming. It’s totally otherworldly and alien.
P: I want to bring her along as a salaried puppeteer. I wish we could just employ her full time to make puppets. One day.
BS: [The fashion show] was a lot of fun. We’re going to try to do it every year. Maybe move it to New York in a couple years. There’s no reason not to be ambitious. People are having a good time. I just started making my own clothing. That’s been fun as well. Only good things.
P: We don’t just want to be musicians. We don’t just want to make music and show up on stage and play it. We want to do everything under this umbrella. We’re working on a book of characters that we introduced on stage. Fictional backstories of Sugz and myself. We have this sitcom idea that’s in the works.
BS: We’re just waiting for our investors. If you’re a sugar daddy out there, if you’re reading this: “WE LOVE YOU BABY, COME ON BACK!” Hahahaha! Give us some love.
P: We need a sugar momma.
A: You just need to go down to Rainey St. Seriously, just get all decked out, find a rich divorcee and be like hey, wanna invest in our line?
BS: Let’s try it out. Can Capyac pay for that?
P: Capyac Bank will pay for. Actually the entire proceeds of our tour and Kickstarter went to drinking on Rainey St to swoon old people.
BS: Real quick, I want to get back to this mythos book that we are currently making.
A: Yeah, talk to me about that.
BS: It’s the characters introduced on and off stage. It’s the inside scoop on characters we’ve come up with. For example, there’s Oolaf – who is one of the other singers in the band. He’s notorious.
P: He’ll show up randomly with large quantities of food.
BS: Strange food too! Octopus, pounds of octopus!
P: He showed up at our house one day-
BS: With a brick of salt-
BS: It was very nicely polished.
P: It was pink.
A: Ah, the himalayan pink salt.
P: We used to have a dragon called Jean-Pierre, I think he got stolen.
BS: No he was just hiding. I found him.
P: He’s this blue dragon that we bring out at shows and we added this whole backstory about how we met him cave diving in Mexico.
BS: We actually don’t play coops anymore except for New Guild. This is the only house we play at anymore.
P: It’s the best one.
A: That makes perfect sense, it’s basically heaven here.
P: This house is great. I wish I knew about it when I was in college. I never knew about it until I played here.
BS: We’ve done our time at the coop ring. It’s really fun when we do it but we’re transitioning to warehouse and more controlled settings, not such a young crowd. Sometimes the crowd can be kind of sketchy. There’s a lot of creepy guys [around college functions]. That’s a reason I don’t want to play there. It’s not like that at New Guild.
A: We emphasize consent here.
P: The vibe here has been better than any other coop we’ve played.
BS: That living room has this really droop, loose, smoky jazz room feeling to it at around 5 in the morning, post-party. I really like it.
A: Really glad y’all dig our coop so much. Y’all are playing, wait it’s not you it’s pizza.net, are playing on Thursday.
P: They’re actually my new favorite band.
BS: Don’t know them, sounds like a terrible name.
A: The event photo looks like the coneheads drank a bunch of DXM cough syrup.
BS: And then turned into pizza.
A: You bill yourself as pizza.net sometimes for pop ups. People tend to draw comparisons when they talk about any musician. When I go online I see people comparing you to Daft Punk, but I think it’s interesting that you’re playing all these pop up shows all the time – short notice, no publicity, playing under different names – it really reminds me of what the White Stripes used to do back in the day. It’s good, it generates word of mouth, which is the most important thing.
BS: We’re hoping to get some more word of mouth, tell some people to go to that show!
P: Our first song, we’re going to do an hour long buildup, it’ll just drop an hour in. It’ll be a really long build up.
BS: Or swell down.
A: You’re just gonna keep teasing us, no drop – new build up, new build up.
A: Y’all are playing Utopiafest in a couple weeks soon – tell me about that.
BS: Silent disco! It’ll be a live set silent disco.
A: I’ve never been to one of those. It seems like a good concept because you can listen to whatever you want, if you’re not feeling it you can change it, and if you want to talk to the people next to you then you can just take off your headphones.
P: Maybe we’ll just tell everyone during our set just to take off their headphones and sit down.
BS: That way everyone will know they’re our fans.
P: Then we’ll go around and serve them mango slices, haha, anyway then we’re going on tour in California and Colorado. We’re doing the west coast in October. We’re hitting up San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas before Utopia.
BS: Lil bit of Arkansas
P: Yeah we’ve got a show in Arkansas, then we’ll be back here for Halloween.
BS: We’re writing an EP, we’re flirting with pressing a vinyl. It’ll be something like 30 minutes of material. It’s a new style, something we picked up the few months before leaving to Europe, definitely got inspired there and ran with it.
P: It’s a drastically different sound.
BS: Here we go, we’re unveiling the genre right now. We’re calling it crab riot.
A: Crab riot? You’re over balloonwave now.
BS: Yeah we’re just so over balloonwave.
P: Balloonwave is dead.
BS: Now it’s just downhill, no one is listening to it.
A: Want to talk about the video you had in the Austin Music Video Festival for a second?
P: Yeah, it’s not officially released yet. Its animated by some people I met in Oberlin, Ohio. This guy Miles Emmons with Real Boy Digital and he’s just an insanely good animator. We wanted to do a video with his style and it fit best with our song Aufzug, which we just uploaded today on Soundcloud.
BS: It’s black and white. Really beautiful visuals. We want to work with more animators, which is expensive, but we’re trying to do one for this song ,we have, Drop It – which is a track off the new EP. It’s a pretty gnarly crab riot tune.
P: Classic crab riot.
BS: With super crazy weird distorted vocal hook. That’s his second debut mouth song.
A: Thank you again for coming out.
BS: That’s the band. We don’t really have any more secrets.
Photo Credits: In Order Of Appearance
Capyac in Clouds- Photo by Merrick Ales
Helmut Fashion – Photo by Helmut Studio
Katie Drackert – Photo by Mario Villeda
Models and Sugz – Photo by weirdg0nepro
Guy Modeling A Fish – Band’s Facebook Page
I Have Really Long Toes – Photo by weirdg0nepro
Abigail Teague as Zobra – Katrina Barber Copyright © Katrina Barber
Oolaf Glamour Shot – Waytao Shing
Jean Pierre and Crew – Photo From the Band’s Facebook
Pizza.net – From Pizza.net gig
Capyac on stage – Photo from band’s Facebook