Jake Mott and Ivan Catron are two best friends that came together over their mutual love of professional wrestling and music in 2011 to form sludge band Dino Bravo. This Champaign-Urbana band is known for their self-bestowed concoction of music: “wrestle-rock.” buzz got to sit down with Ivan to discuss what’s happening with the duo.
buzz: Can you explain “wrestle rock” a little bit?
Ivan Catron: Jake and I are really big wrestling fans, so all of our song titles and some of the lyrics are mostly loosely based on professional wrestling, so it’s all referenced in there. It’s not so much the actual style of music… I’d say we’re mostly like a sludge kind of band, but we just really like wrestling, so we thought it’d be a fun gimmick…
buzz: How else do you incorporate wrestling into your music?
IC: We have somewhat of a matching thing that we wear; we both wear cut-off shorts without shirts, the same pair of Vans shoes, wrist tape on our wrists… We’ve been thinking about getting elbow pads and legit wrestling tights.
buzz: Why did you choose Dino Bravo specifically?
IC: Dino Bravo was kind of an obscure wrestler. He had a bunch of different angles in the late ’80s in the WWF. He was obscure, mostly a bad guy, and never really did much, and we thought his name was cool. We wanted to take something kind of obscure with wrestling so it wasn’t just blatant, like, “check us out, we like wrestling” kind of stuff. He also died in a really weird way; he was Italian-born, but he lived in Quebec, and he was smuggling cigarettes into Canada and selling them illegally, making some mobsters mad. They sent some hit men to his home, and they shot him seven times while he was watching hockey, and we were like, “Wow, this guy had such a crazy life, and he was an obscure wrestler,” so we thought it was a cool name to go by.
buzz: How do you and Jake know each other?
IC: Back in high school, Jake was in a band called Krash Type 17, and I played guitar in a band called Breaksynapse, and we played a bunch of shows together. Jake’s two years older, but we played together through high school and college, and when I was not as active, I would hang out at the Diamond Stretch shows and started filling in. We also played in Bad Catman for a while together, so it’s just been continued friendship and playing together.
buzz: How do you guys like the local scene in Champaign?
IC: Oh, it’s really fun. It’s kind of sad that since the summer a lot of the houses have closed down. Jake lived in Dan Aykroyd’s House, which used to have lots of shows, and I never lived there, but I used to hang out there all the time, so I miss it a lot. And of course Midstress, formerly the Fresh Kills — they had the JFK house out in Urbana, and that’s been gone since the summer also, so it’s been sad to see some of those houses go. There are some new houses that are awesome; Garfield’s Garden is great… Over the summer, the Tuesday matinee shows at the Highdive were a lot of fun. I enjoy a lot of the bands here, and it’s [the scene] really active, but it’s been sad to see some great bands go. The Diamond Stretch just had their last show, and I really enjoyed them, and obviously Jake was in that band, and I would even fill in sometimes for vocals and bass guitar. But I do love it. The scene’s got a great energy and great bands, so it’s always a lot of fun.
buzz: How did you get involved with playing the house shows around here?
IC: I guess it’s because Jake and Greg ran Dan Aykroyd’s House, and back around 2009, the Fresh Kills and Diamond Stretch formed kind of a bond, and we found out that they both ran houses. We started meeting other people that owned houses, so everyone would kind of reciprocate with booking shows.
Catch Dino Bravo at Mike ‘N Molly’s on Friday, Feb. 24 with La Armada, The Disappeared and Laughboy. Catron said this about performing with the latter:
“Dino Bravo would like to issue a challenge of a wrestling match to the new band. And you can rest assured that there won’t be any laughing once
Dino Bravo is through with Laughboy.”