New Year’s Eve bash kicks off big year for dance funk outfit Capyac

Contributed by Merick Ales.
Contributed by Merick Ales.

There is not a quiet moment on the dance floor when Austin-based duo Capyac takes the stage. 

Delwin Campbell and Eric Pena, who would rather go by their stage names Potion and P. Sugz, have dominated the disco funk scene in Austin of late, though they say their musical style cannot be classified.

“Truth is that words are naturally flimsy, and genre labels are too controlling,” P. Sugz said. 

Potion said their music has influences that range from techno and dark-ambient depths to large doses of soul and R&B. They collaborate with many different artists to create diverse sounds and progressive styles of futuristic music.

Collin Finnigan and Marshall Lowry – also known as Oolaf and Papa Mongoose — and RuDi Devino, are all regular players with the band, part of the range of musical talent that help transform live shows from subtle head-bobs to a high energy dance parties.

“There is no official roster,” Potion said. “Everyone feels comfortable to contribute what they’re good at, and the culmination is what makes ‘Capyac.’”

“There’s just a whole lot going on,” Oolaf said. “We hate labels.”

The band released their first full-length album, “Headlunge,” in May. They said the record is a representation of who they were as artists. The album includes strong R&B influences and is presented as a bridge between electronic music, funk and hip-hop genres. 

Lead single “Speedracer” already has reached almost 75,000 views on Youtube in a music video produced by Helmut Studios.

“It is very much a dance album,” P. Sugz said.

After going on a summer 2016 tour through the West and East coasts in the U.S, Germany and Paris, the band said they were happy to be back in Austin, where they have their best shows, and playing at their favorite venues, including Empire Control Room. 

“I think the experience is great. You’re with your friends, whether or not you make money,” P. Sugz said. “But you probably won’t make any money,” he added.  

Their next EP, which is still a work-in-progress to be released in February, will feature four or five songs influenced by European house clubs. Potion said it will different from what their fans are used to hearing from the group.

“It’s not disco, it’s not funk, it’s going to be a techno album,” Potion said. “We’re going after something different.” 

The lead single, “Bubblegum,” features artist KD Kinetic, who helps add strong female vocals to the song. P. Sugz said this is a territory that they hope to dive deeper into with future tracks. 

Capyac has big plans for the new year. In summer 2017, they expect to release their second full-length album, “Gold Rush.” P. Sugz said this album will trace back to the roots of electronic pop and include new disco influences that they are known for. 

Capyac told the Statesman that the new album will feature a song in Korean. The band said they have partnered with a Korean pop artist name yet to be released. 

Seoul is Capyac’s third largest market, after the U.S. and France. 

“We are going to put out a song in Korean and tour Korea,” Potion said. “We are changing markets completely.”

This year will also bring the second edition of Capyac’s fashion line called CPYC. The fashion line was first presented in April, and featured styles from Sloan Lenz, Witchxxdoctor and Helmut Studios. 

“We always try to bring the visual element into our shows,” P. Sugz said. “And fashion is a good extension of our personality.” 

Capyac may soon be moving from Austin, as they look to grow in larger music markets. Potion has recently moved to L.A., and the band may not be too far behind him. 

“The music scene in Austin doesn’t really have an eye on the rest of the world,” Potion said. “Los Angles is all about the rest of the world.”

But the band said one certain thing is that 2016 year has shown that the art produced this year has been conscious of the need to be influential.

“We’re trying to keep up with that, and I feel we are making some of our strongest music,” Oolaf said.  

Capyac will headline Empire Control Room’s Refresh 2017 New Year’s Eve party, which will feature Riders Against the Storm, Body Rock ATX, The Bishops and other local artists. 

SOS Fest: Girls Against Boys Return

Started in 1988, Girls Against Boys, were one of the oldest established bands to play Saturday night at Sound on Sound 2016.

Lead vocalist Scott McCloud took the stage with a shiny red guitar and velvet red shoulder strap.

“We’re Girls Against Boys, and we’ve been around for a while,” McCloud said.

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Girls Against Boys played on Saturday Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The band had their last tour in 2009 in Poland and Russia. But in May 2013, they resumed touring and making reappearances at music festivals, supporting their new EP Ghost List.

The crowd stood patiently, many long time fans of the band. “Welcome back,” was heard shouted from the audience throughout the set.

“So great to be in the great state of Texas,” McCloud said.

Originally started in Washington D.C., the band made the long trip down south.

They started with the song “Kill The Sexplayer” off their 1994 album Cruise Yourself. This song also featured on the soundtrack for the 1994 movie Clerks.

Bassist and keyboardist Eli Janney, rocked out on stage, and switched from instrument to instrument.

Old time fans shouted out requests for their favored songs, “Kick,” “Basstation,” “Tweaker.”

McCloud and Janney, with the rest of the band, bassist Johnny Temple and drummer Alexis Fleisig, played one of their most popular songs “Bullet Proof Cupid” and the crowd raged in contempt!

Ending the set with “Disco Six Six,” Girls Against Boys thanked the crowd, who stood there wanting more.

SOS Fest: US Weekly, Chest Hair, and Drunk Madonna Dance Moves

US Weekly perform on the Keep Stage at Sound On Sound Festival on November, 5 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
US Weekly perform on the Keep Stage at Sound On Sound Festival on November, 5 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

From the local stages of small Austin bars and venues, US Weekly made their festival debut at Sound on Sound 2016 and couldn’t had been more thrilled about it.

The band took a leap in their career with this festival, never experiencing anything like this before.

“This is so much more professional,” guitarist Ryan Fitzgibbon said. “So I feel a little bit more nervous.”

They said they were so excited to be there that they actually showed up on time.

“We were here at 8:30 this morning, we were the only band here,” lead vocalist Christopher Nordahl said. “We actually followed the rules of the email.”

Scheduled at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday, the band played an early show, but were still able to attract a crowd they were proud of.

“People were there, and that’s all you can really ask for,” Nordahl said.

Nordahl and Fitzgibbon with the rest of the band — bassist Ryan Curtis and drums Kent Hale — took to the stage and addressed the crowd with a simple “hello crowd.”

Nordahl said being able to see everyone’s faces was something new to him.

“It’s weird not being on the same level as everyone else and feeling their body heat,” Nordahl said.

They started with the song “Christian Ideas,” giving the chilled atmosphere a somewhat beach-y vibe.

Nordahl entered the stage wearing a pink button-down with the words “Big Service” in cursive on the back. As they transitioned from song to song, so did each button on Nordahl’s shirt as he loosened the blouse.

By the time they got to their eighth song out of 10, the shirt was completely off and chest hair was on. When asked if this was always a part of the routine, Nordahl said, “It has been known to happen.”

Nordahl was not afraid to show the crowd his all and didn’t shy away from giving the audience some memorable dance moves to take away. Nordahl said they are inspired from a mixture of a not-so-sober Madonna and David Byrne.

“I don’t think about it, I just do it,” Nordahl said.

The band is in the process of recording their first LP through Night Moves Records and is expected to release it next spring.

SOS Fest: Denzel Curry is the Ultimate Hype

Festival attendees grapple with pool noodles at Sound On Sound Festival on November, 5 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Festival attendees grapple with pool noodles at Sound On Sound Festival on November, 5 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

As soon as Denzel Curry’s signature blonde dreads are recognized as he enters the stage on Friday night at Sound on Sound Festival 2016, the crowd erupts in anticipation.

“Put your U’s up,” he instructed the crowd.

The crowd responded appropriately, sticking their hands in the air — their middle and ring fingers down, thumb tucked in, forming a “U.”

This is a reference to his song “Ult” on his newest album, “Imperial.”

“Are y’all ult?” Curry asked the crowd.

The audience began chanting “Ult, ult.”

Ult meaning ultimate.

Curry has another song titled “Ultimate” off his summer 2015 album “32 Zel/Planet Shrooms,” but it was obvious that he was saving that one for later.

Curry played a mixture of songs from his newest 10-track album.

Just as one thought the crowd couldn’t get more hyped, the signature whistle from Rob Stones “Chill Bill” softly escaped through the audience.

Curry, who is featured on the song, bounced around on stage as the beat dropped and the crowd turned rowdy.

Halfway through the set, Curry gave a shoutout to two little kids standing at the front of the stage.

“Shoutout to this mom who brought her kids to my show,” Curry said. “That’s chill, that’s chill.”

He told the crowd to watch out for them, as audience members began to crowd-surf.

Curry slowed down the pace with “This Life.” Pink and purple lights shined on the listening faces as they swayed back in forth.

The peaceful moment didn’t last long. “Ultimate” comes on as the last song, on and the hyped up crowd was back.

“That was lit,” an audience member said as he left his set.