After 20 years, Castor is back for the 2018 Pygmalion Festival. The indie rock/emo band initially formed in 1994 in Champaign.
“Around 1994-97 were our main years. We formed in Champaign during college, made two records and split up sometime around ’97, I believe,” Jeff Garber said, one of the founding members of the band.
The band hasn’t played together since then. But in January, they came together for the first time from around the country to play together again.
“We played our final show 20 years ago in January with the band Hum, and they were doing a show this past January. It happened to be 20 years after our last show, so we just kinda did it for fun,” Garber said, “And then, Pygmalion reached out to see if we could do another one, and now, we’re doing another one!”
Since January, Castor hasn’t played more shows. But after Pygmalion reached out to them about reuniting one more time, the band couldn’t pass it up. They’re excited to get back on the stage for the festival.
“We’re excited to do it because we’ve never done a festival,” Garber said, “and any excuse to get us all back in the same place is cool. Plus, it’s in Champaign, which is where we formed.”
While Castor might be looking forward to playing Pygmalion, it doesn’t come without nerves.
“Just getting through it is kind of the most exciting thing at this point,” Garber said. “None of us actively play in bands anymore, so it’s kind of hard and nerve-racking…like we’re trying to keep our shit from going off the edge of the earth in a way. But we survived the last one — it went really well — so we think we’ll survive the next one.”
“We’ve learned almost both of our records,” Garber said. Garber notes that the record’s full of what he calls “off time guitar trickery.”
Aside from simply playing the music from their two records, they’re also catering to those die-hard fans, as well. “We’re…excited to play the best stuff from both records,” Garber said, “we’re also playing a couple of b-sides that I don’t know if we ever really performed live. If there’s any die-hards there, they’ll be happy.”
Fans have more to look forward to than just Castor’s performance, though. The band has also rented out a studio for the weekend they’re here and plan to record some new music.
“We’re talking about making new music, and we’re probably going to while we’re [in Champaign]. It’s sort of spur of the moment…but hopefully, after that, there’ll be a bit of time to come up with new ideas. We all love songs and we all have new material on the table,” Garber said.
Castor’s Pygmalion weekend is chock-full of band practice, performance and time in a recording studio. It may be 20 years after their inception, but that won’t stop them from picking up right where they left off in their hometown.
Castor takes the stage at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 11:45 p.m.