Track Premiere: Groundhog Day – “Mockumentary”

Posted: by The Editor

To an outsider, Texas may seem as though it’s merely a mecca for obscenely large cowboy hats and greasy BBQ joints. However, when you dig a bit deeper, the state holds a treasure trove of grungy DIY outfits, including Houston’s own Groundhog Day. Created by past members of Talking Forever and Donna Hayward, Groundhog Day is taking a splash into the scene with the release of their debut album, The Worst It’s Ever Been.

Mastered by Nathan Hussey (of All Get Out), the work features a unique variety of frothy tones and personal pleas. We are excited to share their first single, “Mockumentary”. Take a listen to the energy driven, bummer jam as you read our interview with frontperson, Jonah Castillo, below.

The Alternative: So this is Groundhog Day’s first release, can you tell me a little bit about the formation of the band?

Jonah Castillo: I had a couple of songs as a solo project and wanted to have some friends fill in live. Then we started writing, and made enough songs for a record! We’re all members of old Houston bands that have disbanded (ex members of Donna Hayward and Talking Forever).

Can you give me a fun fact about each member?

Michael is a black belt. Chris is our diabetic baby boy. Zane can yodel. Jonah knows a lot about Saturday Night Live *laughs*.

I saw that you worked with Nathan Hussey on this release, how was that? What moved you towards working with him, how did he help shape your sound?

We found Nathan through the Sunsleeper EP he did with them, and also through All Get Out shows when he would come through Houston. Nathan really pushed me vocally more than anything, and made me trust in my voice at the same time, providing input on tones for the record, as well as structure ideas throughout the recording process.

Every band starts out a little different. What is it like to play shows without having tangible music to share with fans? Do you think that’s the best way to go?

It’s definitely not ideal, but I do think it’s good and playing shows is fun. Not being able to show people your music afterwards kinda sucks, but I think it’s nice because if people like your music live they’ll hopefully be stoked when it comes out. We play a lot of house house shows and DIY shows, so not too many people care about not having music out.

What advice would you give new bands who don’t know what process they want to take to get started?

Just have fun, find what works for you, and create. Don’t stress the little stuff. That’s something that kind of goes across the board though.

With so many up and coming bands, what do you think sets you apart from other groups within the scene?

That we can cook better than those bands. We throw down in the kitchen. Musically, I would hope people find something they like in us that’s different from them, but it’s hard for me to say that.

Tell me a little about what “Mockumentary” is about. Why did you use this as the first single?

Rainbows was the working title, because of a riff from “In Rainbows” by Radiohead, but the actual song is called “Mockumentary,” and it’s about dealing with addiction. Whether it be drugs, food, or anything else, and how I’ve reacted to those things in other people or in myself. I know I’m not fine just covering it up, kind of like that meme with the dog reading the paper in a burning kitchen.

Can you share a little bit of the inspiration/direction behind the record?

The record is called The Worst It’s Ever Been. It was written when I was going through a lot personally, dealing with how I felt about myself, and letting situations of the past determine my present.

What made you decide on the name Groundhog Day? I personally would’ve went with Punksutawny Phil of the Future.

I actually forgot about that show. Didn’t the family not have pinky toes because in the future humans evolved to not have them? *laughs*

The name came from fights me and my mom would get into when I was in high school about dumb high school s***, and every time she we would fight she would say “I feel like I’m living Groundhog Day over and over!” So the name just kinda stuck and fit the theme of a lot of my writing at the time

Who are some of your favorite locals right now?

Astragal, Ruiners, and Lace are all favorites. Football, etc. are tried and true. Then, not Houston but close enough, another record that Nathan [Hussey] did, a band called Luca.

You can follow Groundhog Day on all social media platforms at @groundhogdaytx.
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Emily Kitchin | @deathnap4cutie

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