Lifestyle

Friends and Fellow Musicians Remember the Late Andy Chaves of Katastro



On May 12, Andy Chaves of Tempe reggae-rock Katastro band died in a automotive accident. (Chaves, 32, was one in every of three deaths through the incident on the Pacific Coast Highway close to Newport Beach, California, alongside Crystal M. McCallum and Wayne Walter Swanson Jr.) Even earlier than the band confirmed the information through Instagram early Friday, followers and fellow musicians started posting numerous on-line eulogies and tributes to Chaves.

Each message supplied eager perception into this massively charismatic musician. Since the band’s formation in 2007, Chaves (alongside drummer Andrew Stravers, guitarist Tanner Riccio, and bassist Ryan Weddle) have helped pioneer the native reggae scene, even bringing a nationwide highlight to Arizona at giant. The band’s profile look to develop even additional, as they had been slated to hit the street this summer season alongside Iration and Atmosphere in continued help of 2021’s Sucker.

In honor of Chaves, we requested a number of followers and native musicians to share their fondest recollections of Chaves as each an individual and performer. It’s an try to have a good time the legacy of a pure entertainer who helped show the sheer depth and sense of unity that is central to Arizona’s sturdy rock scene.

These interviews have been edited for house and readability.

Brad “Beef Vegan” Pfirrman, Former KWSS Host

Katastro was one of many very first bands that we ever did an occasion with. Watching them evolve into the actual deal and develop their fanbase was an amazing pleasure. Having Andy cross away abruptly once you knew they had been about to perform a lot extra is devastating.

Andy was a kind of uncommon abilities who checked all of the containers. He was an artist, a poet, and a showman with plain charisma. He saved continuously evolving all through his profession. When I first heard them, he appeared like a combination between The Beastie Boys and 311. He grew to be a tremendous singer and organized lovely melodies and rhyme schemes that had been past comparability. In quick, he was an authentic, a rock star, and a real artist.

Offstage, he was type, humorous, and everybody’s buddy with out coming off as faux. This is a loss I really feel on so many ranges. For his followers, his household, and his band of brothers who collectively went all in and completed a lot collectively.


Johnny Groove, The Irie

I’m 31 now and I began [playing music] after I was 18. My previous band performed reveals [with Katastro], and Andy even performed on a few of our songs. So our friendship was constructed from there, hanging out and going to events and reveals. We’ve been pals for a very long time simply by music.

I feel there’s quite a lot of actual selection of their music. They’re so strong collectively, and then you definately convey the lyrics on high of that, simply all all of it meshes to love excellent. Like, the entire Katastro sound, I feel everybody simply fell in love with it.

But it was greater than the music, and he was a superb buddy who was there for me by sure instances. I’m gonna miss all of it. I hope the remainder of the boys determine one thing out to maintain going as a result of we most likely misplaced the most important band in Arizona with Andy passing away.

I used to be on the candlelight vigil at Marquee [Theatre on May 15]. It was simply so lovely to see everybody there collectively, and everybody being a household. Andy will all the time be with us in spirit, particularly after we’re enjoying music.


Brett Coleman, Vibes Alive Radio/Podcast

I heard Katastro round 2013-2014 for the primary time. It wasn’t very reggae, nevertheless it nonetheless form of felt near the style. I do not assume that they had been ever making an attempt to push the style. They’d simply all the time discover a option to be in this sort of grey space of a style, if you’ll.

And then I discovered that they had been from Arizona, which made me even happier. I ended up transferring away from Arizona to Northern California for just a little bit. And they had been a part of that connection again to house. Then I began the [KWSS radio show] in 2016-2017 and received to symbolize bands from this space, and Katastro was all the time one in every of them.

I used to be actually lucky to see them and hang around with Andy on a handful of events. He was all the time tremendous good and humble and approachable. And I assumed that each interplay with him was unexpectedly higher than the one earlier than it. I really feel just like the dude simply had swagger that was past management. I bear in mind they did an album launch present at Shady Park. And his dad was within the viewers, and he did a track like “Bad News” or one thing else. And it is, like, it have to be form of an fascinating dynamic — all this intercourse, medication, and rock ‘n’ roll dropped at you by Andy Chaves. But that was his shit, and that was his efficiency. That’s who he was.

There was a present at Marquee as soon as, once they’d simply signed to Silverback [Music]. And I noticed [founder] Jon Phillips, and we’re simply shouting, “These guys are the best!” Like, I did not need to be the endorsement. It was so good to take a look at these guys, representing Arizona, what they had been doing and the way good they’ve gotten. And Jon noticed that. I feel that is an awesome reminiscence to have.


Ryan “Stilly” Stilwell, Black Bottom Lighters

We’ve traveled with [Katastro] a number of instances, and it is all the time been a superb time. I by no means felt like I wasn’t one of many guys. It was a particular factor to be part of what they had been doing — the entire tradition. Andy was a magnet, and he introduced individuals collectively in every single place he went. It did not matter who you had been, he was simply tremendous inviting. Powerful is certainly a phrase that might be used with Andy time and again.

It all the time appeared to me that Andy on stage was simply pure and easy. When you checked out him, he was any person that you simply believed in; it is not any person that is simply placing on a present for the sake of a present. He was any person that actually cared to seize the essence and the vibe of the second.

Katastro had been undoubtedly the front-runners of this entire motion, and I really feel just like the music represents a complete technology. We had been typically outcasts or the black sheeps, and [Chaves and Katastro] gave you a way of confidence to be who we actually are. I used to be very grateful to have identified him.

If I had been to say something to anyone studying this, I’d say to take the cadence of Andy into your individual lives and be who you’re feeling like you’re on the within as a result of that is what he did. That’s what he promoted. And it is an uncommon factor.


Jon Havenhill, Desert Fish

I first met them again when [Katastro’s 2016 album] Strange Nights had come out, and we opened for them at The Rock right here in Tucson. It was only a vibe; it was simply good to hearken to. The means Andy carried out, he simply appeared comfy. He all the time simply did him.

As a drummer, I are inclined to deal with watching drummers to get affect and a few inspiration from them and watch what they do. But with Katastro, it was onerous to deal with only one individual.

I wasn’t finest pals with Andy, however we received to speak nearly each time they got here right down to Tucson. And they had been by no means something however type to us. Sometimes if there is a larger band, they do not essentially need to be that means towards the openers, however they had been all the time tremendous welcoming and tremendous pleasant. Like, “our green room is your green room.”

They did a double-header at Marquee [in July 2021], and so they did two completely different units. I received to speak to them, and it was inspiring to see as a result of it makes me wish to be higher and push tougher. [Katastro] helped elevate the scene rather a lot. It’s nice having a band put Arizona on the map; it simply elevates your complete state. It helps each band, and everybody may be profitable collectively.

Katastro discovered their very own model and did it their very own means. We can speak about all of the tales and stuff, however their legacy goes to be the music. Their music speaks for itself.





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