Q&A: UO grad Andrew Katz returns to Eugene with Car Seat Headrest
Andrew Katz, an alum of South Eugene High School and 2012 economics graduate from the University of Oregon will return to Eugene this Friday, Jan. 22. He returns as the drummer for Car Seat Headrest, a rising indie-rock band reminiscent of Room On Fire-era Strokes, with the loose quality of Guided By Voices.
Car Seat Headrest is touring in support of its critically acclaimed album Teens Of Style. The lead single “Something Soon” accompanied the album on many best of 2015 lists.
The band will perform at Sam Bond’s Garage (407 Blair Blvd.) with Pluto the Planet. Tickets cost $8 in advance.
We caught up with Andrew prior to Car Seat Headrest’s first Eugene show.
Emerald: What are you most excited about in coming back to Eugene?
Andrew Katz: It will be nice to see my family. I grew up there, so I know some people are going to come to the show. I’ve got a lot of friends who still live there. I’m hoping to take the band to Track Town Pizza — gotta get a little plug in for Track Town. They have the best pizza on the planet.
E: I read that you joined Car Seat Headrest by answering a Craigslist ad. Is that true?
AK: That is true. It was actually [frontman] Will Toledo answering my ad, I think. When I moved to Seattle, I knew I wanted to pursue music more heavily, so I was posting ads on Craigslist, and I was even doing that in Eugene … Will found me and he came over to my place in Seattle. We jammed, and it went pretty well and we kept playing together.
E: Will is a prolific songwriter who’s written 12 albums already. How many of those have you been a part of?
AK: He is a prolific songwriter. Teens Of Style is the first one that I am on. A lot of Teens Of Style is from Will’s back catalog. I think there’s actually only one brand new song. The others are a selection of old songs that he picked for the album.
E: You mentioned you were an economics major. Were you expecting to be in a touring band out of college?
AK: Of course not. If you expect that, you’re going to be really let down. I got lucky. When I first graduated, I got a job working at the University of Washington in an econ-research lab. That was really nice because I had super flexible hours, so I was able to be a musician. I met Will, and I knew he was a very serious musician after playing with him and checking out his backlog of music. I knew there was a chance it could happen, but I never expected anything to happen, and when it did, it was quite a lovely surprise.
E: What should the crowd expect at Car Seat Headrest’s first Eugene show on Friday?
AK: Don’t expect much. I like to set low standards. But it will be a good show. We like to rock pretty hard, and I think Eugene will really like it.
E: What advice would you give to UO students who are in bands looking to catch a break?
AK: Join another band. Be in as many bands as you can. Spread your chances over a big area. In college, I literally played with hundreds of musicians. That’s the only way to do it as a drummer. If you’re a songwriter, keep writing songs. Get better and better at it. If you listen to Will’s first recordings, they’re not as high quality as they eventually sounded. He got better and better as he did it.
E: Now, perhaps the most important question of all: Rennie’s or Taylor’s?
AK: Oh, Rennie’s for sure. Taylor’s is great if you’re almost blackout drunk, but if you’re trying to be a human being, Rennie’s is the place to be.
Listen to Car Seat Headrest’s “Something Soon” below.
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.