Andy Chaves-vocals Andrew Stravers-drums Tanner Riccio-guitar Ryan Weddle-bass
Katastro’s alt-rock/hip-hop hybrid was hatched nearly a decade and half ago, when Corona Del Sol high school teens Andy Chaves, Andrew Stravers, and Tanner Riccio gathered in a suburban Phoenix, Arizona garage. With the addition of bassist and friend Ryan Weddle the trio rounded into a quartet, and massed dozens of friends into an instantly loyal fanbase. So loyal, Katastro scored a choice gig at The Clubhouse, opening for Dirty Heads, in only their second live performance.
The show would prove prophetic. Katastro would support Dirty Heads each visit to the Grand Canyon State, expanding both bands’ audiences as they upgraded to bigger venues. The group first toured regionally, trading shows with like-minded bands in neighboring California, then became a fixture on national runs with Iration, Stick Figure, and Pepper. Their early influences of Eminem and Red Hot Chili Peppers ranged into open spaces of funk and reggae, the irreverence of punk, and the sonic precision of hip-hop production countered with the power of a live band.
They dropped their first EP, The Wonderful Daze, in 2008 and quickly followed that the next year with their debut album, Poking Holes In A Pattern. A 2010 tour with Tomorrows Bad Seeds grew Katastro’s crowd and confidence, graduating the Tempe-based band from Mexican cantinas to national club headliner. A unique melting pot stew of rock, R&B, blues, pop, and reggae stirred a growing audience of followers, finding symbiotic vibes in beach cities and Colorado ski towns.
Katastro issued a steady stream of releases over the next ten years, mostly all independently, alternating full-lengths with EPs and acoustic Bones sessions. 2011’s Gentle Predator marked a live album zenith for the quartet. In 2016, they garnered a national hit with the Strange Nights record, yet Katastro’s youthful party vibe was dimming.
Personal growth and change crept into the songwriting. Internal challenges influenced Katastro’s output as it turned conspicuously darker, more revealing; first with Washed in 2018, then with the 2019 follow-up, Tropical Heartbreak.
By 2020, the year of the global pandemic, the four had notably matured. Their fully collaborative creative approach allowed for limitless possibilities. Katastro signed with the Controlled Substance Sound Labs label and commenced work on their sixth studio set, taking more time this time around to flesh out the material emerging during the lockdown.
They reimagined the Sublime-adopted Grateful Dead nugget, “Scarlet Begonias,” and released several singles and videos ahead of the album’s release, including “Way Too High,” and “100 Rips.” Katastro’s irrepressible brand of timely, good-time music was back, looking forward to a new party, a new day.
“We want to make art that makes people feel good. Art that helps people,” says Stravers. “I would love to hear our fans say our music helped them get through trauma. That our music helped them get to the next chapter in life. What’s better than that?”