Buzzed on Bro-Funk: A Conversation With Captiva


Captiva 2015

By Hannah Pierangelo

“Someone described it to me as Bro Funk,” Hank Wiedel says of his band’s unique sound. He’s the drummer for Captiva, a young band based out of Kansas City. Jackson Ries, guitarist and one of the vocalists, calls it indie alt-pop for now, but admits he still doesn’t know what category his music falls into.

Though Captiva may not have its genre figured out, the band certainly knows what sound they create. Wiedel and Ries tell me they draw their influences from indie-rock chart-toppers Young the Giant and another genre defying rising to fame—Twenty One Pilots.

“They’re like my favorite band ever,” Ries says. “I get a lot of my inspiration from them.”

Captiva will be opening for Twenty One Pilots at Starlight Theater in September. Wiedel says he simply reached out to the Starlight staff and managed to land the gig. Ries says playing in front of his idols will be a dream come true.

Captiva will play a handful of music festivals in the midwest this summer. Catch a show and add some “bro-funk” tunes to your playlists!

I heard you met in detention?

Jackson: “Well, [Hank] and Pat MCQuaid, the guitar player, met in detention. He got me into detention when it was all happening. We were at Rockhurst high school, and I had been talking to [Hank] about jamming. We weren’t really a band yet. He never texted me back and I guess he got his phone taken away at school and they saw that I texted him, so he got me three detentions.”

Hank: “Me and McQuaid, we both got detention for something stupid like being late or something, so we were taking out trash together after school. We had just been featured in the school newspaper on the same page, so that’s how we recognized each other. Then we just started talking music and he wanted me to play on their [Captiva’s] record. It kinda blossomed from there, into a beautiful flower.”

Jackson: “It eventually became Buzz Like Bees.”

Does Captiva have plans for an EP or an album coming up?

Jackson: “Yeah. We have like a five-song EP. We’re starting on it later this month and we have pretty much the whole summer with the studio. Not sure what it’s going to be called yet.”

Hank: “It was going be one theme, but we changed it up and started writing more progressive music.”

Jackson: “We have a lot of old songs in our arsenal, but ended up writing these brand new songs that we’re super excited about. So we’re kinda changing up the vibe.”

Hank: “It’s kind of a whole different Captiva, really.”

Jackson: “Yeah, it’s us evolving for sure.”

What would you say makes it different?

Hank: “It’s a little bit more poppy, almost, more up tempo, more dance-y. It’s got the same funk and Captiva charm, but it’s a little more mainstream honestly.”

The band has a pretty impressive lineup scheduled. Is there anything special you do to get your name out there?

Hank: “Really, it’s just like being as unique as possible. And being ourselves. A lot of bands, a lot of people in general, try to put on a façade of something that they want to be. If you just go out and be yourself, it’s easier to be charismatic about what you do if you’re not faking it.”

Jackson: “When you go out there and people see that you’re not pretending—that it’s all real, it’s all you—that’s what I think is the main instigator to get our name out there. Just staying true to ourselves. And sweet Instagram pics.”

On your social media, you tag a lot of posts with “Stay Buzzed.” Is there any meaning behind that?

Jackson: “Our song Buzz Like Bees is the song that got us the most hype. We just kinda like to promote the “stay buzzed” because we’re Captiva, we’ve kinda got that island feel and we want to bring people on vacation. And you’re buzzed on just whatever’s around you.”

Hank: “High on life. “Stay buzzed” is kind of a statement like “keep digging it.” If it’s not us, then dig whatever you surround yourself with. Enjoy life.”

Captiva will play Field Day Fest in Lawrence this weekend. Catch their 9 p.m. set at The Bottleneck on Friday, June 26th. The band will also perform at Audiofeed in Urbana, Illinois, Backwoods Music Festival, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

Check out the band on Facebook and Instagram, and hear their latest music on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

Photo courtesy of Captiva. 

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