Cactusk are both of those things, in fact they are amazing, fantastic and lots of other words too. They have a large cult following, not bad for a band who haven’t even released a ‘proper’ record yet. If you love your guitar music loud with a splash of madness, a tickle of pop and a squirt of gism they are for you.
Flush the Fashion caught up with singer / songwriter Matt Babbs (right) to fill in the blanks.
Who are you?
Babbs: Guitars and lead vocals
Dr Martin Fletcher: Guitar Vocals
Randy Sabo: Drums
How long have you been together?
Cactusk have been a solo project up until 2009. We are now a fully functional, finely tuned, weapon of pure rock!
What ‘style’ would you say your music is?
I suppose we can be pigeon holed as “Alternative” or “Indie” but we try to avoid any sort of labelling. There are two loud guitars, swapping from a clean sound to an overdrive and a Bass Guitar that is on the whole, thick, distorted and chunky sounding. The vocals are screamed as well as harmonized and the Drums are of a “Rock’n’Roll” standard. We play songs that always have a hook-line of some sort. I like the term “Gumbo” as a Genre, actually. As we are a mixture of many meats, spices and basically tasty as all hell.
What are your influences, musical or otherwise?
Musically The Pixies go without saying. I enjoy the diversity of The Damned and Killing Joke. Our tastes stem from old school Punk Rock to contemporary Indie such as The Arcade Fire and especially Mew. We are also influenced by the heavier aspects of alternative such as Genghis Tron and Maggot Twat. Other than music, we all enjoy Horror Movies and dark tales of devil worship and zombies!!!
Do you have plans to record a ‘proper’ record?
Plans are in the pipeline right now! We have so much music to record. We work from a barn in Grass Lake, Michigan. It’s a perfect environment as it has a fridge full of beer and the surroundings of plush greenery subtly blended with the ferocious roars of red neck towing trucks is somewhat uplifting to say the least.
How do you promote yourselves online?
We have all of our music up on media player at Reverbnation.com. You can also find us at Facebook and Twitter (Cactuskband). Plans for a website are also currently underway.
If someone is going to listen to one Cactusk track to get a feel for your music what track would you say?
That’s a tough one as Cactusk is so “all over the place”. Perhaps Umberto Was A Skab is a good place to start. The “pop” elements of the band.
Is there a music ‘scene’ in Ann Arbor?
Scene??!! This is the spawning ground Madonna, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Jack White and (dare I say it) Kid Rock! There’s always a big scene in Ann Arbor. It’s a college town with so much to offer!
If you could support any band who would it be?
Take That if we played in the UK. Everybody’s kissing their asses at the moment so think of all the punters we could reach! Nah, The Pixies.
Who would be in your Ultimate Dream Team Superstar band line up?
Probably Elvis on vocals, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Bootsy Collins on Bass and Keith Moon on drums (and Bez from The happy Mondays dancing).
Where can people find more info?