Written By Laura Curry
The Catching, an Asbury Park based indie pop-rock band, is on the verge of releasing their very first full-length album, Teenage Fiction, which is sure to fill you with memories of your “innocent” adolescent years.
In The Catching’s music, listeners will hear the presence of multiple genres from alternative to hard rock and pop-tinged tunes. No song is alike, and you’ll find the occasional piano-driven ballad, emotional breakup song and plenty of catchy anthems and choruses that will keep you grooving.
The Catching is Holden Glazer on vocals and bass, Jake Farbman on guitar, Evan Hemwall on guitar and Drew Stevens on drums. Together they give listeners rock tunes infused with pop elements and lyrics bursting with youthful angst from their earlier teenage years.
The band draws inspiration from groups like Green Day, U2, Fall Out Boy and Kings of Leon. Additionally, they are fans of alternative rock bands like 5 Seconds of Summer, X Ambassadors and Catfish and The Bottlemen. Collectively, they all started listening to classic rock and over time they branched out to other genres.
As for the origin of The Catching, Glazer met Farbman at a local music program called School of Rock when they were just 7 years old. They also happened to be neighbors, and since they shared a love for music, they hungout a lot, Glazer said.
Growing up in Asbury Park gave Glazer an appreciation of its thriving music scene. “The encouragement to play music is the most important piece of the puzzle in regards to what Asbury Park provides for us,” Glazer said. “It’s typical for people to be playing sports or other activities. Playing music isn’t always encouraged in other places, but here it really is. It made us even more excited to do what we do.”
By the time Glazer and Farbman were 12, they decided to start an actual band, and brought two new members on board (who are not the current members.) A couple years later, around the time that Stevens joined, they decided to take the band a step further, which meant writing original songs, playing gigs, and practicing frequently.
The Catching officially began two and a half years ago in 2014 when they made a change with one of the guitarists and brought Hemwall into the band. At the same time, they changed their name from Strong Soul to The Catching as a sign of their growth.
To give an explanation for their old band name, Strong Soul, Glazer said, “It was our first experience as a band. We really were just young kids, figuring it all out. Once Evan (Hemwall) joined, we had a better idea of what was going on. We collaborated with him and the four of us worked really well together.”
As you might have guessed, the members of The Catching are really close. “We’re like brothers,” Glazer said. “We hangout even when we’re not doing band things. It’s kind-of how it works and that’s a very good dynamic.”
“The first ever practice that we had Evan come to was at my house and we were just jamming out. We wrote our first song (“The Story”) as The Catching that day. It was based off of a jam and I remember it just felt right. It felt new and exciting.”
Their earlier work included recording two EPs locally and playing gigs to get their name out there. Eventually, they met with the right people and decided to make an album. This full-length studio album is titled Teenage Fiction, and it was recorded with producer Skidd Mills at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
Glazer shared the memorable story behind the recording of “Better,” which happened while he was sitting down one-on-one with Mills in the studio. When they were thinking of lyrics for the song “Taxi Cab,” Glazer just started playing the main guitar lick that listeners hear at the beginning of “Better,” and Mills really liked it. He gave suggestions on a chorus melody and from there, they spent an hour putting the song together before bringing the rest of the band in to finish it.
In the studio, they recorded it with just drums, and Mills took it home to spend time adding edits and cool sounds such as the violin and synthesizers. “It was so exciting to hear since we had never added stuff like that to songs; that’s what made a big difference for us in Nashville,” Glazer said.
Delving into the lyrics of “Better,” it is a bittersweet and nostalgic track about two people who know they aren’t good for each other, but they don’t want to give up on the relationship. “It’s a doomed from the start scenario,” Glazer said. “It’s also about people giving you their opinion on the situation—say you’re a couple and you really like each other but then there’s people like her friends or your friends who tell you, ‘no you guys are better off without each other.’” This couple doesn’t want to give in to the truth, but eventually it happens.
When it comes to the genres present on the album, the common denominator is rock, but then there’s a pop sensibility with all of the songs, Glazer said. There are elements in each track that pull from different genres. For example, “Lighter” is a piano-driven rock ballad while “Night and Day” is a heavier rock song. And then there’s one of their more alternative songs, “Cut and Dry” which is very emotional.
Glazer explains that in addition to singing, he is responsible for the melodies and the lyrics. “I always have a poppy chorus—that’s what I usually shoot for. It ends up working out like that in a way.”
The theme of Teenage Fiction is fairly straightforward, as Glazer explains. “All the songs are from my opinions when I was 16 or 17 years old,” he said. “I have so much more to experience, I have so much more room to grow as a person because I’m so young. I don’t know if I can form an adult opinion yet because I still have a lot more to experience. It’s not fictitious, but it’s kind-of an ironic title. It flows nicely and it worked well with the songs.”
Overall, Glazer summed up his intentions for the album and said, “I wanted to share my experience and tell people, ‘Look, I’m still a kid, this is what I’ve been going through. Maybe you went through the same stuff. And what’ve you gone through since then?’ It makes you think a little bit. Every song has a different meaning to me and the band.”
They are in the process of planning the official release date of Teenage Fiction, and Glazer expressed his excitement over it: “I cannot wait for the album to be out in its entirety. I think people will relate to it,” he said.
People much older than Glazer have told him that The Catching’s music brings them back to their own teenage years. This allowed Glazer to realize that they have potential to expand their audience. “What’s really cool about the album is that while initially we were thinking that our audience was aimed at teenagers and younger girls, that’s just the Power-pop band type thing,” Glazer said. “I think that given the right tools, we can make it go much further than that and have a really broad audience.”
In terms of what he’s most proud of with the album, he simply said, “I’m proud of how it came out. It feels like a child in a way. It’s personally close to me and I think that I’m going to be proud of it when people start to hear it.”
Those who have listened to the record have told them that the songs sound different, but they all come together to make a cohesive sound. “I think we stand out just from doing what we’re doing—getting this far at a young age,” Glazer said. “I feel really accomplished and excited for the future.”
As for what makes The Catching stand out, Glazer thinks it revolves around the fact that they are young: “We’ve accomplished a lot so far and feel like there’s still so much room to grow,” Glazer said. “I finished recording this album when I was 17, so we are old for our age and experience. People used to say ‘you’re so good for your age,’ but now they’ll just tell us we’re good … It’s more of an advantage for us because we feel like there’s so much room to grow. We’re still maturing.”
Glazer expanded on his optimistic outlook for The Catching’s future with the following words: “We’re going to continue to grow as musicians and what’s really exciting is that it’s just the beginning for us. It’s a really good first album, I’m feeling very proud of it.”
Check out their promo video below to fuel your excitement for the release of Teenage Fiction!