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Do You Compute Discuss Their Origins and Debut Self-Titled Record

Today, we speak with all three members (Tim Eymann, Caleb Davis, Troy Castorino) of Do You Compute to learn more about their origins, their debut record, some fun facts about the group, and more!



Do You Compute

Do You Compute Discuss Their Debut Self-Titled Record

Intense, raw, off the cuff, and completely unfiltered, Do You Compute are coming at you hard. The trio just released their debut self-titled full-length record in January via Killer Kern Records, eleven unfiltered tracks inspired by ’90s post-hardcore and garage rock. The band used to be known as Stringer Bell but are now finding their way as Do You Compute, inspired by the likes of Drive Like Jehu, These Arms Are Snakes, Frodus, and The Jesus Lizard.

The three men who compose the band first got to know each other when they were fans of each other’s former bands, Comedown, Easter Teeth, and Gunpowder Empires. What made them decide to write and record together is that they all shared a similar passion for classic post-hardcore. The pandemic lockdowns afforded them the opportunity to develop their sound and solely focus on putting this debut record together, produced by them themselves. If anything, they are a DIY outfit who enjoy all parts of the process, with the live concert the ultimate culmination of their music-making efforts.

Today, we speak with all three members of Do You Compute to learn more about their origins, their debut record, some fun facts about the group, and more!

What is the story behind your band name?

Troy Castorino: “We’re huge Donnie Iris fans… always trying to keep a straight face with that one when people have asked us at our shows. No shade to Donnie. That’s still a catchy song.

“The real nod is admittedly towards a band favourite, Drive Like Jehu. We’re ok with wearing this influence on our sleeves in this case, and it just kind of felt fun to say. Originally, the band went by Stringer Bell. There’s some historical evidence of that in our Bandcamp still. We recorded a demo and played a few shows under that name, and one day Tim came to practice with the suggestion of Do You Compute. We were never quite settled on Stringer Bell for some reason, and when Tim threw out Do You Compute, it immediately felt like more of a fit. Plus, we can only hope to share some of that sweet, sweet Donnie Iris SEO.”

Tell us about your debut record; what was your experience of making it? What went on behind the scenes? Any notable moments that stand out?

Tim Eymann: “We just released our self-titled debut on January 6th, and we’re very proud of how it came out. We recorded it ourselves in a bank vault, no joke. I have a little recording studio that once upon a time was the vault of a Federal Credit Workers union building. Engineering and mixing was kind of my COVID hobby, and I feel like I’m dialing it in pretty good at this point. Caleb knows his way around a recording studio too. So we felt pretty confident.

“We did guitar, bass, and drums all together because we wanted to capture that live energy. Caleb and Troy are such pros that the initial tracking was pretty painless. And then I just chipped away at the mixing mostly over the summer when I don’t work (Yep. Teacher.). It was finished almost a year ago. What happened was, we were just assuming we would release it ourselves digitally, but I shopped it around to a few labels I’ve had contact with over the years, on the off chance that someone would want to pick it up. I’ve known some of the guys in bands on Killer Kern Records for decades. I think Robert and Dax from Contranistas put in a good word for me with Dylan, who runs the label. We got in touch, and Dylan agreed to give the tracks a listen. We were pleasantly surprised when he got back to us and basically said, ‘I’ve got to put this out!’

“The catch was that he had two albums in line ahead of us from Cities You Wish You Were From and Still Missing. So we had to hang in there for a while, but it’s totally worth the wait seeing how it came out. Both variants are beautiful. Troy did an awesome job with the cover art. And Killer Kern’s graphics dude, Raul, made the back look like a Blue Note jazz album, real classy.”

Which act would you want to tour with?

Eymann: “Either Unwound or Metz. We covered Unwound’s song ‘Look a Ghost,’ and then, like the very next day, no joke, we saw on Sara Lund’s Instagram that they were reuniting. So naturally, I informed her that we should get to open for them since we were repping them before we even knew they were coming back. Still waiting on her confirmation. Or Metz. They’re killing it right now.

“That was the last field trip we went on as a band. We all saw Metz together, I think, for our first concert after things started to open back up after COVID tried to kill live music. We haven’t tried to inform them yet that we should get to open for them, but I think it’s pretty obvious. We’re waiting for them to reach out, and frankly, getting a little pissed that they haven’t yet.”

What do you like most about playing music?

Castorino: “Playing music and going to shows was a regular experience in all of our lives. It helped us find and keep good company. I think expressing yourself creatively is an important part of keeping your life and mental health satisfied. You need a certain passion to keep you young at heart, and ours happens to be playing music. Getting together with friends once a week, sharing laughs, playing bad Lenny Kravitz covers in between the more focused moments, is almost just as important as being productive.”

Do You Compute ‘Do You Compute’ album artwork

Do You Compute ‘Do You Compute’ album artwork

What’s the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?

Eymann: “I almost died! I literally had a heart attack while we were playing. It was a rad show in a skate shop parking lot in Simi Valley. Kids were moshing and super into it, which got me super into it. When we finished our set, I felt super exhausted and weak. I couldn’t even help load back up. I thought the feeling would wear off, but then Troy was like, ‘Dude, you’re freaking me out. We need to take you to the hospital.’ So we went, and before I knew it, they were putting two stents in my heart! The worst part was that the show was sponsored by Vans, and all the bands were all supposed to get free shoes. In all the chaos, I left mine at the venue and never got them back.”

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows or on tour?

Caleb Davis: “At our record release show in Santa Barbara, a guy who had just gotten out of jail asked me mid-set if I had any guitars for sale, then he asked someone for a dollar so he could ‘tip’ our band. Someone told me later in the set he took the dollar back and used it to play a game of pool. He was really nice and probably on a drug or two and kept telling us ‘rock n’ roll isn’t dead,’ and by gosh, I think he might be right!”

Who would you be most amazed to see front row at one of your shows?

Davis: “Probably my wife. We just had our third kid in August, and it’s been basically impossible to get her to one of our shows. We’ve been a band a long time now, at least two years. I’ve been playing music forever, and she’s definitely been to see other bands in the past, but she has yet to see Do You Compute live. I would be most amazed to see her, and secondly amazed if she was in the front row. She can be shy in that type of setting.”

Your new Self Titled vinyl LP Do You Compute was just recently released by Killer Kern Records. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it, and what has been the response so far?

Davis: “My goals for this band have changed over time. When we started it, I just wanted a way to play guitar with other people once a week during Covid. Then once we had enough songs to play live, booking a show became the goal. After accumulating eleven songs, we started recording our album, and once it was recorded and mastered, the goal was, for me at least, to get it pressed on vinyl somehow. I had nothing to do with any of those goals being accomplished, aside from writing some songs and guitar riffs for Tim’s songs. Now that we have physical copies of our music in beautiful colour vinyl with awesome album art, I feel my goals have been accomplished for this band. I would love to make more albums. Have no ambitions of touring or playing too far away at the moment.

“I think the album is an awesome milestone for the band and for myself personally, as I have never played on a recording that was pressed on vinyl by a label or without my financial contribution on a grand scale. (I have self-released stuff on vinyl, and it is an expensive endeavour, both time-wise and money-wise). I think now is a good time to thank Dylan from our label. Without Dylan, at Killer Kern Records, our music would not have seen the light of day in vinyl format (laughs); eternally grateful to him and his crew.”

What are some of the lesser-known fun facts about the group that people might be surprised to hear?

Eymann: “I’m left-handed, but I play guitar and drums right-handed. First time I ever picked up a guitar, I was holding it left-handed, and my mom said, ‘you need to turn that around.’ So I did and learned that way and never thought anything of it until I realized down the road that plenty of people play lefty. I’m glad I learned right-handed, though, because that means I can play anyone’s guitar and not have to always have my own lefty guitar.

“On drums, I learned by watching my brother play and sneaking into his room to play his kit when he wasn’t home. I didn’t want him to know I was messing with his stuff, so I left it set up righty and never adjusted anything.

“Another fact is that we were originally a four-piece. We had another guitar player, but he left before we ever played a gig. ‘I Can’t Tell,’ I think, is the only song we have that he was a part of writing. I was stoked to be in a band with two guitars and really wanted to do some No Knife sounding point and counterpoint stuff. I sometimes wish we still had a second guitar. But it’s more important to have good chemistry with your bandmates, and the three of us jive really well together. Adding a fourth member might jack that up.

“Speaking of ‘I Can’t Tell,’ I had written a totally different set of lyrics to that song that I ended up scrapping because I decided they were too tongue in cheek. In ‘Easter Teeth,’ our lyrics were always a bit tongue and cheek, and that fit the style well. With Do You Compute, I wanted to be a little more on the artistic, serious side, but I think it was an adjustment for me to shift back into that frame of mind. No more baby babies, and yeah yeahs. But the first set of lyrics for ‘I Can’t Tell’ are still kicking around in our hard drive, and we joke about them on the regular. I think our favourite line is, ‘Drape me. Drape me in my FDR blanket.’ It was all about my mixed feelings after seeing a very aged, and haggard Brian Wilson perform.”

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