The Mad Caddies are survivors. Having been one of Fat Wreck Chords flagship bands for the better part of a decade, they can now be considered the elder statesman of the punk rock circuit…
Vocalist Chuck spoke with us about tour pranks, Jamaicans and out selling super popular pop-punk bands…
Mad Caddies interview w/ Chuck
(Vocals) by Cameron Chambers
Friday June 8th
Evening Chuck, how are you?
I’m good thanks man, how are
Yeah, I’m good man.
Are you calling from home or are you guys on the road at the moment?
We’re finally at home and it’s
How long have you guys been
on the road for this time round?
We have been on tour since February
14th, so it’s been a long one.
What touring plans have you
got to support the release of “Keep It Going”?
Well, we just did 2 months in
the US followed by 6 weeks in Europe. We’re home for a bit now and
then we’re off to Canada. Once all that’s wrapped up we’re going
to organize to go back to Europe, and then sort out Australia, South
American and Japan.
The record’s been out since
May 1st, how’s the reaction from your fans
It’s been super positive. I
mean, the new songs are definitely slowed down a bit, it’s a little
more groovy but still you know, the response has been really positive.
Are you happy
with how the record’s been received so far?
We’re getting the best reviews
we’ve ever had which is great. It used to be hard to even get a review
and they definitely weren’t favourable (ha ha ha) so we’re just
happy that we’re even getting reviewed. And like I said, they’ve
all been pretty positive so far.
“Keep It Going” was produced
by Wayne Jobson who hadn’t really worked with a band like you guys
before – were you looking for someone who could put a different perspective
on your music?
It kind of just came about by
accident, we didn’t seek him out or anything like that. Our guitar
player Sacsha was writing songs which had a more reggae vibe to them,
stuff that was kind of dance hall and yeah, he went to Jamaica and got
talking with Wayne and that pretty much just got the ball rolling.
Wayne had worked behind the scenes
on a lot of records that we dig which was cool, but everything was just
Was it intimidating
working with a producer who’s got a Grammy sitting above his fireplace?
Not really, he was just sleeping
most of the time…
No, I’m completely kidding,
he was great and he’s Jamaican so he’s as laid back as it gets.
So you guys had a pretty cruisy
Definitely man. It was just really
cool to hear all his old stories and just talk stuff out with him. He
had heaps of really good stories from back in the day.
As you guys were working with
such a big producer, did that affect how you wrote and prepared for
the new record?
Wayne actually came in when most
of the songs were already written so a lot of the pre-production was
already done. He definitely had his ideas though so he put his feel
There was stuff he’d suggest
and we’d be like “fuck that” but then he had others ideas and
were all “yeah, that’s cool”.
We tried to put a bit of pressure
on ourselves to write a great record. We did a few lock downs – we
got a house in the mountains for a week so you know, we had a few really
solid writing sessions. We did a few basement writing sessions too,
just so we were isolated which was cool.
It worked out really well, we
were really focused so I think we got some great songs out of it. It’s
definitely better than jamming for 2 hours a day, 4 days a week.
It was just an awesome learning
pretty common for a band to say that their latest record is their best
work to date – what do you think sets
“Keep It Going” apart from say,
“Walk The Plank”?
Well, we feel these are the best
songs we’ve written which is cool. It’s definitely our best sounding
record as far as the production goes.
We’re really happy with how
things turned out because the sound, and what we wanted as artists,
and the vision that we had was accomplished.
Earlier this year, Russ from
Good Riddance issued a lengthy statement about the band’s break up.
One point that really stood out was that he didn’t think Good Riddance
were relevant in today’s musical landscape –
what are your thoughts on that given that The Mad Caddies have been
around for almost 10 years?
Oh ok, I hadn’t read that. Pretty
I mean, it’s cool that Good
Riddance did their thing for so long but we’re not really a band that
pays much attention to or judges what other bands are doing so I guess
when it’s over it’s over, you know?
In regards to The Mad Caddies,
we feel like we have more left in us and more music to make and more
places to go so we’re not going anywhere.
The world’s a big place, and
even if one place isn’t into your music anywhere I guarantee you that
somewhere else will be. We just want to dance, drink and be merry and
we’re down to go wherever the people are that want to do those things
It might not be a full time thing
anymore, but we’ll still release a record every 2 years and tour.
We’re definitely not giving it up.
Kids seem so eager to jump
from trend to trend these days – do you think it’s getting harder
for band’s to establish a fan base that’s going to hang around for
more than an album or two?
Absolutely man! These days, bands
come in and sell a couple of million records and then bang, they’re
We did this show one time, and
this other band (who shall remain nameless) played on the same night
in another venue and we had heaps more people at our show. I’ll just
say that they were a VERY popular pop-punk band and yeah, it’s interesting
to see how things panned out.
We’re really proud that we earnt
our fan base through playing live music and I think that as long as
you continue to write good music then there will always be people who
will continue to like it.
I think a really great example
of that is NoFX. They toured Australia a few months ago and most of
the shows sold out.
That’s the great thing about
a band like NoFX. They’ve been going for almost 25 years but they
write great music so people still respond to it.
I think the coolest thing I’ve
seen at a NoFX show is seeing parents there with their kids.
For sure, it’s not like their
music is hit and miss for different age groups
– they’re definitely a band that can get past all that shit.
Completely agree man.
Following on from the previous
question, a lot of bands on Fat Wreck Chords and other labels such as
Epitaph have been able to successfully maintain a solid following over
the years – do you think it’s fair to say that the punk rock kids
of 5, even 10 years ago are more royal to their roots, whereas so many
kids these days are “here today, gone tomorrow”?
Well, you know, it was the same
thing back then. Our generation – or should I say my generation –
invented the term sell out. People were like, “fuck those guys, they
signed to a major”. So, that kind of shit has always been there.
But, you know, the kids that are
in bands today, the bands who are the founding fathers of the whole
screamo/post hardcore thing, I’m sure if you looked at their past,
they’d be like “yeah, I was in a ska band when I was 16”. So things
like that come and go, you can’t really control it.
I don’t even think it’s a
scene thing, it’s just a band thing. Bands from all different scenes
have been able to transcend the fads and have stuck around and turned
into great bands.
Bands like Jimmy Eat World and
AFI ignored the detractors, did their own thing and look at them now,
they’re these amazing bands.
Have you found your crowd has
changed drastically over the years or have you kept a pretty consistent
In some ways it’s changed but
you still see the same faces that have been coming out forever.
We’re at the point now where
we’re known as the drinking band, ha ha. Our crowd is 24 – 32 year
olds who like partying. So when we play a show the venue is always like,
“the bar’s really happy you guys played here tonight”, ha ha,
which is cool.
I like hearing things like because
it means real people like seeing us, not just 16 year old kids.
I know you touched on it earlier,
but when are you looking to schedule in another trip down under?
That’s something that’s still
to be determined man. We’re working out the logistics to get down
there again but hopefully it’ll be between November and February to
coincide with the Australian summer which would be great. We’ve never
been down there during your summer.
Like you said, you just finished
up a 2 month US tour with Pepper – is the road still an excuse for
a 24 hour party or have you toned it down over the years?
I think we’ve all just figured
out our bodies, so we’ve become much better at drinking, ha ha. That’s
all it is. It’s like, “oh shit, it’s 3am, I should go to bed”,
or “the sun’s up, what am I doing”?!
We’ve definitely fine tuned
the art of being a touring, alcoholic band.
Almost every band has, at some
stage, been involved in van wars with their touring partners
– what’s the worst prank you guys have been on the receiving end
On the receiving end? Oh man,
fucken Frenzal Rhomb got us so good on tour in the US. They attacked
our rental RV – which by the way I had to personally put the security
deposit down on – they threw rotten eggs, fruit, meat, and all this
other shit all over it. It took almost 2 hours to clean that fucken
thing before it was driveable again.
We got em back though!
And what’s the worst that
The Mad Caddies have dished out?
Probably the worst thing we ever
did was go to a pet store and buy a few hundred crickets and stick them
in this band’s van.
Was that Frenzal Rhomb’s
Nah, it was another band, ha ha.
That wraps it man, anything
else you’d like to say to all the kids in internet land?
No man, looking forward to seeing
all our family down there in Australia though!
Sweet, thanks heaps for your
Thanks for doing the interview
man, take care.
For more info on The Mad
Caddies go to
Keep It Going is out now
through Fat Wreck Chords