The Captain’s Son is reminiscent of The Beach Boys, mixed with a hint of The Growlers, and full of ambition.
By HOPE GETTLER
Sitting around a bench at Pike Bar and Restaurant, The Captain’s Son boys are on their own planet — but everyone is welcome. Cracking ‘spoonerisms’ amongst each other, it’s a joy to sit back and revel in their easygoing, carefree nature. No one would guess they are 10 minutes away from playing in front of a packed bar.
With a sound reminiscent of The Beach Boys, mixed with a hint of The Growlers, The Captain’s Son play two sets of their originals, throwing in a couple covers from the Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles. The boys harmonize on every track and the crowd soaks it in: feet tap while people eat their dinners, bar-stools swivel as guests at the bar-top turn to face the band, and hands are swaying from attendees who just can’t help but feel the rhythm. The threesome sway as well, and perform each song with a relaxation as if they were right at home.
Hailing from Missouri, Paige Byrd, 25, Jarred Ratley, 26, and Will Hopkins, 24, formed TCS after crossing paths in the Springfield music scene. Byrd and Ratley were long-time buddies and met Hopkins through mutual friends while playing with different bands. After joining forces as The Captain’s Son (a disclaimer on their website affirms that they got their name from Woody Guthrie’s Muleskinner Blues and Star Trek: Deep Space 9), they hit the road, eventually landing in Long Beach after mutually deciding the town could be their muse. During their performance it’s mid-fall, but in California does that really matter? Each wears a tank-top and has locks long enough to be braided, the trio look like they could have been born and raised in the Golden State.
“Long Beach is love and there’s a great scene here. I just want to make sure that we get to be apart of that,” says Hopkins, recalling a night out at Que Sera with an eclectic line-up of live acts. “It’s hard not to be influenced by that night, it’s something like that which makes me want to go home and write and make anything. It makes you happy to be alive. There certainly is a unity in Long Beach.”
The boys had just returned from a stint of shows in Palm Desert, but they were eager to hit the stage at Pike Bar and make music in front of a sea of new faces.
“That is the beauty about Southern California, you can play in different cities and never have the same crowd,” says Ratley.
Although the trio primarily play shows around beach cities, deserts and college towns, their long-term objective is to travel as many places as possible.
“The idea is to take this band as many places as we can,” says Ratley.
Dreaming of playing across California, from San Francisco to San Diego, the boys eventually want to roam the country and play gigs everywhere that will welcome them. Hopkins shouts “I wanna do the world man!” enabling Byrd and Ratley to chant “the whole world!” in a playful, yet ambitious manner.
“It will happen, we’ve just got to take it one step at a time,” Byrd says, as the guys nod their heads in agreement and to the music.
The Captain’s Son take pride doing all of their own engineering, producing and mixing. Even their flyers and graphics are all created in-house by Ratley. They stay true to their vintage sound by recording their music to 8-track tapes and using Fender tube amplifiers. With Byrd on the guitar, Hopkins on bass, and Ratley on drums, the boys establish their unique melodies by consistently collaborating until they all agree on every last detail.
“Paige or I will have a song and we’re always kind of just bouncing shit off of each other,” explains Hopkins. “It usually starts with a shell of a song, written by one person, and then the three of us just hammer it into The Captain’s Son.”
They all sing, they all write, they all contribute artistically.
“We’re all putting into it creatively as much as possible,” explains Byrd. “It’s our outlet. It’s what we want to do for life.”
“Harmonies are our sweet spot,”Hopkins adds, with a big, sincere grin.
The 60s inspired rock-n-roll, psychedelic vibes don’t quit when the music stops. It’s an aesthetic the boys stick to even when they aren’t on stage. A love for vinyl-record hunting, thrift-store shopping, and skateboarding is shared among the triad– along with beer drinking.
“We’re very open minded on song context and genre — we simply write what we like. The meeting new people and partying thing go hand-in-hand, so we’re open to new opportunities,” says Byrd, assuring that these boys do love to party.
The guys may have a carefree aura about them, but they are genuinely concerned with feedback from the audience. It’s what ultimately makes them a better band.
“If the crowd is having a good time,” says Ratley, “Then we’re having a good time — and we’re always having a good time.”
The Captain’s Son are gearing up to release their official EP — 100 percent self-made — in January. For more info on upcoming shows visit thecaptainsson.com.