From: PA, United States
Genre: Rock, Progressive, Instrumental
Some people start bands because they feel they have something to say. Others see band formation as a guaranteed path to free drinks and unprotected sex. When Damon Che formed instrumental crunch-rockers Don Caballero 15 years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he had significantly different plans. “The only plan we had at the time was to come up with music we liked,” he says earnestly. “The reason we ended up the way we did was because, in our estimation, [the music] wasn’t ready yet. The opportunities to record kept coming up, and we didn’t want to waste them, even if we didn’t have our craft entirely up to specifications yet.”
Che might have had reservations about the preparedness of the music, but nobody was really prepared for the kind of efficient instrumental urgency DonCab generated. Mike Banfield’s crunching guitar riffage and Pat Morris’ bass underpinned everything so that Che’s indefatigable complexity—i.e., drums as lead instrument—was front and center. The band was instrumental by default, wielding a technical proficiency that could rival the staunchest prog outfit, but instead choosing to deliver a far more visceral impact.