For fifteen years the Mad Caddies have been combining genres with their ska roots to bring music to people all across the world. They've accomplished a lot, most notably becoming a hit internet meme on Punknews. The band recently released Consensual Selections. A collection of their best songs as voted on by the fans. Interviewer Alex Eschbach sat down with the Caddies guitarist and founding member Sascha Lazor to discuss their newest record, future plans and what it's like to be in a band for fifteen years.
Howâs everything going right now?
Good. Iâm just trying to find a place where thereâs not house music isnât playing. [Laughs] Iâm in a lobby in a hotel in San Francisco. Everythingâs great. Just played a show last night.
How did the show go?
It was great. I havenât played San Francisco for a while actually. You know, a lot of people we know up here because of Fat Wreck Chords. So we had a good party and the show was really great.
Where you pleased with how Consensual Selections turned out?
Yeah. Awhile ago Fat Mike said, when we were recording our new record or starting to do some recording for it, it would be a good idea [to compile a "singles" album]. I guess I hadnât really thought of it at the time. At first I was actually opposed to it. I thought it was just repacking a bunch of songs that had already been released. But thereâs a point when you have so many records that itâs kind of good to have them all condensed. All the newer songs, the fan favorites all on one CD. Especially for new fans, you know? "Which CD should I buy?" Just get this one. Itâs got most of the songs that we play live and itâs the best representation of our band. Especially a band like us that kind of plays a lot of different genres.
Were their songs that almost made the cut or ones that you wanted personally that didnât appear on the album?
Actually, not really. It was pretty smooth. The way we decided was number one the fans. We had them vote. We already had a pretty basic idea of what it was going to be. The fans, the band, and (Fat) Mike were the three different groups that voted and all the were pretty similar.
I really enjoyed the liner notes for the album. All the little anecdotes behind each song were pretty entertaining.
Yeah, Iâm glad we did that. That was a last minute change. Weâve got to have more content on this album. [Laughs]
Did you guys intentionally release your greatest hits album the same day Reel Big Fish released their greatest hits album?
*pauses* Oh shit are you serious? I had no idea. I had no idea. [Laughs] No, it was not intentional. [Laughs]
Howâs the record coming along?
It is coming. Itâs actually been a pretty damn slow process. To be pretty blunt. We started in January, in San Francisco, and we recorded a bunch of songs then let them marinate for a bit and realized we didnât like most of them. [Laughs] So we went back to San Francisco and recorded a more. We were much more happy with the second batch. But weâre still not finished. Since our first record weâve never done one record all in one studio. So this one is going to be no different. We have about six or seven tracks. We did most of the tracking in San Francisco. Down in L.A. I have a studio and our drummer has a studio. Weâll be doing overdub on vocals, horns and guitar things there.
Is there a tentative release date for the album?
No. Hopefully weâll have it out by Spring. Which is probably the way itâs going to be going. We have a bit of touring coming up. And touring always sets things back as far as recording. Youâve gotta prepare for the tour, then youâve got tour, then youâve gotta recover from the tour. Weâre doing Europe, two different European tours and a Japanese tour in the next upcoming couple months. Itâs okay, weâre constantly writing more songs. But, yeah, springtime for sure. Definitely to be safe.
When you guys go into the studio do you intentionally go in saying, "Okay, weâll do a few ska songs, a slower reggae track, a polka song and a dixieland tune?"
Yeah, for sure. On the last record, a lot of it was just how the song fit stylistically. I mean you canât have too many slow ones or too many fast ones. A goal for the record in general is to make it more cohesive as a record. I think that always comes up since we have different styles in our music. But in general weâre trying to make this a little over the place.
I believe your last full North American tour was with The Johnstones. I thought this was a pretty odd pairing considering The Johnstones exclusively sing about drinking, partying, and getting with as many girls as possible while you guys tend to have some deeper, more laid back songs.
It was a cool tour. Those guys are actually really funny. To be totally honesty in the beginning, after the first couple days I was like, "Man, a couple of weeks with these guys might get annoying." [Laughs] They were actually all really nice and really cool people. Itâs kind of funny, in some ways it made me feel a bit older. Theyâre kind of doing what we did ten years ago. It was interesting to see that.
You guys have been a band for fifteen years. Thatâs a long time. I mean you guys were the first non-local ska act I ever saw back at the 2003 Warped Tour. Whatâs changed the most form when you guys first started?
Honestly, weâve grown as people. Our experience has definitely shaped us being able to travel around and live the kind of lifestyle that weâve lead. You see the world a lot differently now. Musically weâve been exposed to a lot different things that we never would have before. Weâre obviously getting older, things that were important to us back then, especially lyrically you know our songs we try to make a bit deeper.
So songs a little bit less like "Preppie Girl."
Yeah, for sure. Obviously that was in high school. Thatâs the cool thing about this band. A lot of bands go through this, you start it when youâre kids. Youâve got those fans who love "Preppie Girl." Itâs cool to do but itâs like youâre constantly reliving high school. You know? Which is cool. Weâre happy. We like to play, people pay money to see a show, itâs kind of selfish not to take that into account. It is a bit interesting, I mean we were so young, especially songs like "Preppie Girl" that predate by a couple years our first record almost. It definitely is a bit strange. I can imagine for me itâs one thing but I can imagine for Chuck, our singer, itâs got to be more interesting. Iâve got it easy compared to him.
What bands would you still like to tour with?
Thereâs tons of band. Most of the band it would probably be impossible. Most of the bands and most of artists I enjoy are not anywhere near the music that we play. So it would probably be impossible. [Laughs] We actually partied with the singer from The Aggrolites a couple nights ago. We play a show in Europe with Against Me!, The Aggrolites, and us. Iâm not to familiar with The Aggrolites stuff. Iâm excited to play with them. Iâm assuming if we get along that show in Europe should be a really good time.
After being in a band for so long and doing so much, what else would you like to accomplish as a group?
My main objective, which isnât a very lofty objective, but itâs always been on mind. Weâve done Columbia, Ecuador, the Northern part of South America but weâve never done Argentina and Brazil. In general, that is really high on my list. When the new record comes out Iâd really like to go to Argentina and Brazil. Itâs been in the works two different times. Both times something happened, once Argentina went to shit. [Laughs] I canât remember what it was, both times itâs been postponed. But thatâs my immeidate goal, other than finishing the record. Itâs funny that weâve been to other spots that bands have never been too. Other than that just try and make a better album than the last one.
Well, I think thatâs about it. Is there anything else youâd like to add?
No. Just thank you for taking the time to do the interview. Just look for our new album, hopefully sometime around March or February.