When Carnivores play their clutter of fuzz, every rhythm, melody and yearning voice is precisely placed among a wash of lo-fi tropicalia and dark sound collages. A mild-mannered indie-rock aesthetic holds sway over the lineup of Philip Frobos (bass/vocals), Nathaniel Higgins (guitar), Caitlin Lang (keyboards/vocals) and Tauseef Anam (drums), but the experimental bend of their songs finds inspiration in the likes of Animal Collective, Faust and the harmonic complexities of early Beach Boys records.
— Chad Radford
I met Nathaniel and Tauseef in high school in Gainesville. Nathaniel went to a different school than me and Tauseef, but we hated everybody at both of our schools so we hung out and drank Hawaiian Punch, ate toast cheese crackers and played music.
Me and Nathaniel used to break into a building on the Gainesville square and play guerilla gigs. Last November, it was this awful emo band that was kind of the reigning king of Gainesville. Whenever they played at the Brick House on the square we would pick the lock on an empty building next door and play shows for our friends and steal their audience. Back then, we just kind of sounded like the Pixies, Pavement and the Fall, maybe some Beat Happening and maybe some Replacements. It was super ’90s-indie-rock sounding stuff.
Back then we were called Chainestereo and too many people were identifying us with some bad Death Cab for Cutie kind of bullshit. We wanted to be edgier, and plus we kept getting booked with the same bands every night.
I met Caitlin at the Georgia State dorms — which are Tech dorms now — and it was a fucking madhouse back then. The craziest shit that I have ever witnessed was at those dorms. They’re on lockdown now, so it’s much calmer … . But back then people were flipped out on drugs and puking in elevators. Caitlin was friends with my roommate. She was one of the chill girls and I knew her for a year before I asked her to play music.
One night she was drunk and I said, “C’mon, it will make you cool.” She finally gave in and we became Carnivores shortly after. Chainestereo had a lot of bells and whistles. It was goofy and a little bitchy. With Carnivores, the music is a lot more high-energy, rhythmic and tropical. People weren’t into it before. We were sick of it, too.
— Philip Frobos of Carnivores
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