Caspian is an American instrumental post-rock band from Beverly, Massachusetts, United States.
Early history: 2003-2004:
Caspian loosely formed in Autumn of 2003 in Beverly, Massachusetts, developing material through the first year of its existence, recording a demo in May 2004 and performing a small number of shows in late 2004 and early 2005, including a support for the Japanese post-rock band Mono. The band's first performance took place at The Pickled Onion in Beverly, Massachusetts on August 26, 2004. At the time the band had not yet chosen the name Caspian and were looking for a vocalist.
You Are The Conductor: 2005-2006:
In January 2005, the band signed with Dopamine Records, releasing a debut EP, You Are the Conductor in November 2005. This was followed, in January 2006, with the band's first tour of the Northeast comprising four dates in New York, D.C. and Pittsburgh. In April and May 2006, the band embarked on its first full tour of the USA, reaching to the west coast and back. A hand pressed, limited edition (100 total) tour EP was released by the band in September 2006 on their second full tour of the United States.
The Four Trees: 2007-2008:
Over the course of 2006, the band developed material for a debut album, recording with Ethan Dussault again in August 2006 in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the newly renovated New Alliance Audio. Released on Dopamine Records on April 10, 2007, their debut album, The Four Trees, continued their positive exposure to a growing underground of Post-Rock fans, and was named the No. 1 album of 2007 by The Silent Ballet. The album was re-released in Europe by Make My Day Records in July 2008. Later that year, they recorded a split 7" with fellow Massachusetts band Constants.
Once again Caspian embarked on a three-month-long coast to coast tour of the United States to support the release. After learning that founding member, guitarist Calvin Joss, could no longer fulfill touring duties, Erin Burke-Moran of The Fly-Agaris Sky, was initially recruited to tour in place of Joss, but became a full-time member immediately following their 2007 Spring US Tour.
Now officially a 5 piece band, Caspian released a follow-up to their debut called Tertia in Europe on 7 August 2009 and in the US on 15 September 2009. Caspian once again recorded the album in February 2007 at New Alliance Audio with Ethan Dussault.
To tour the album upon its release, Caspian enlisted Washington DC area guitarist, Jonny Ashburn, and Austin, TX bassist, Jon McMahan to assist. "Tertia" was supported by two massive European tours (Fall of 2009 and Spring 2010) and a two month North American tour (March/April 2010) that included a supporting slot for Los Angeles based Post-Rock outfit, Red Sparowes and Brooklyn indie rockers, Fang Island. In July 2010 the band played their first ever shows in China. The 2 date "Asian Tour" was July 16 at the Hidden Agenda Live House and the second was on the 17th of July in Guangzhou, as part of the Qiangyuan Music Festival. The band toured the US in September and then Europe in November and December playing support with God is an Astronaut.In 2010 alone the band performed close to 150 concerts in 33 countries on 3 continents. The band played their final concert of 2010 at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge as part of the "Last Night on Earth", the 8th of the series, with Constants, Irepress and Moving Mountains. Portland Maine based artist Kris Johnsen created a limited number of posters for the show.
Waking Season: 2011-present:
In a band blog update in early January 2011 the band said that most of their time over the next year would be spent writing and recording their 3rd full-length album. They performed at the 2011 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas and played an 8 day European tour in April 2011 visiting Russia, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands including a headline performance at the Dunk! Festival in Zottegem, Belgium.
Around this same time the band's label The Mylene Sheath announced plans for the first ever Caspian live album release. Songs taken from the October 2010 Old South Church show will be pulled together for a limited vinyl release of 1000 copies (in various colors). Within two days, two of the versions were sold out.
During the summer of 2011, Caspian refrained from live performances and focused exclusively on writing new material. The band enlisted the services of Matt Bayles to co-produce, engineer, and mix the record, which was recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville, MA in January 2012 for 3 weeks. Guitarist Philip Jamieson stated that the sessions with Bayles were "one of the most terrifying, humbling and ultimately rewarding experiences I've personally ever had as a musician", and that "having a fresh take on things really made an enormous difference for the way this record sounds, especially when the person with the fresh take is an elite professional." Additional recording and production occurred in February 2012 at Radar Studios in Clinton, CT. The album was mixed at Red Room Studios in Seattle by Matt Bayles with the band for 10 days in May, 2012. On July 9, 2012 the band announced by their site/Facebook/Twitter the album title would be "Waking Season". The release date was later confirmed to be September 21, 2012, sold via Triple Crown Records. A week before the album's US release Spin.com posted a full stream of the album and called it "The Post Rock Album of the Year".
The band played a few shows before starting a 16 show run in support of Minus the Bear and Cursive. Upon completion of that string of dates, Caspian headed to Europe touring from October 10, through November 20th, and completed a full US headline tour in February and March 2013 with support from junius and Native.
On May 26 the band opened up day two of the first "Boston Calling" Music Festival on Boston's City Hall Plaza, playing the main stage. The band played a short and spirited set and it also marked the first time the band played with six members on stage. The bill was curated by The National (who headlined) also appearing on this day were Ra Ra Riot, Of Monsters and Men and The Walkmen amongst others. The band followed up the outdoor show with a free concert in their hometown of Beverly on July 13.
On August 28, 2013, the band announced via Facebook that bassist Chris Friedrich had died. He was 32 years old.
For much of the month of October 2013 the band supported HIM on a European tour. They subsequently returned to the US for a string of dates with 65daysofstatic as co-headliners.
During this tour the band announced the release of a new EP, entitled "Hymn For The Greatest Generation", containing three new songs, as well as a demo and two remixes of songs from Waking Season. Pitchfork began to stream the title track on October 9, 2013, prior to the EP's release on November 11, 2013. "Hymn For The Greatest Generation" was the final recording on which bassist Chris Friedrich appeared, though it was released after his death.
The album "Waking Season" was later given an Australia / New Zealand release through Hobbledehoy Record Co in January 2014.
In March 2014 the band did two shows (NYC 3/1 and Cambridge MA 3/2) before departing for a tour of Asia and Australia. The 14 show tour has the band playing shows in the Philippines, Singapore, six shows in China, Taiwan and a five show run in Australia.
October 18, 2014 would become an important date in the history of the band. First, the city of Beverly declared it to be "Caspian Day" with an official notice from the city Mayor. Later that evening the band played a special 10th Anniversary show at the historic Larcom Theater in Beverly. The band played a two hour set for the sold out audience that spanned their career touching on all EP's and full length recordings. The encore began with the band's first ever live attempt at "Hymn for the Greatest Generation". To make it special a four piece string section was invited on stage to accompany the band. To ring in the future the band ended the set with an untitled/unheard new song. There were video recorders capturing the evening, but nothing official has been announced as to what will be done with the footage.
On January 14 the band posted a 2 minute clip to social media indicating "Live From The Larcom" was coming soon. There was no indication at the time of the format (vinyl vs compact disc/dvd etc). The band has since put up a preorder for a Blu Ray release of the show. It is slated for June of 2015.
The band set to work on LP#4 in March and April. To celebrate the completion of the record, the band played a one off show at the Met Café in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on 8, May 2015. The band also has begun to post (and host) listening parties for the new album. They have loaded up 30 iPods with the record and through the bands merchandise page, fans can secure a spot to "bring headphones" and listen and talk about the record. The first listening party was held at a park on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. There are further listening parties slated for Europe in May of 2015.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license