Rock ‘n’ doom gypsies Castle relish their Canadian/American roots

Monday 20th, October 2014 / 13:49
By Sarah Kitteringham

CastleCALGARY — Castle’s core lives an enviable gypsy lifestyle. American-born bassist and vocalist Elizabeth Blackwell and her Canadian husband and guitarist Mat Davis have spent the last several years crisscrossing the upper part of North America. The core of the impressively DIY project (which is currently rounded out by drummer Kyle LeCourt from Toronto), spent 2014 living in Toronto, then Laurel Canyon, and eventually migrated back to San Francisco, and will leave early from home for their cross-Canada excursion with Toronto favourites Cauldron. This way, they can station themselves once more in the land of the maple leaf, see some friends and family, and prepare before playing 22 dates across nine provinces.

“It’s a total gypsy lifestyle,” begins Blackwell, who began playing the bass at age 13, inspired by her music-loving guitarist/vocalist parents who’ve both been in a “psychedelic blues band since 1972” that currently goes by the name of The Blackwell Brothers. Her dad was also a radio disc jockey, and those decades of ‘70s music loving have clearly seeped into the marrow of her bones. Although she’s also a huge fan of many current extreme metal bands (she cites At the Gates, Darkthrone, Ludicra, Toxic Holocaust and Dissection as favourites), Castle is a power trio that delivers old-school doom with ample classic metal additions, anchored by Blackwell’s sombre, yet powerful croons. Varied and powerful, the band often becomes trance-like, thanks to hypnotic rhythms and clean, sparkling percussion. Created in 2009, they’ve released three full-lengths, including May’s driving Under Siege via Ván Records and Prosthetic.

“Our music is heavy and it has dark elements. It’s soul expression and the songs go places, either elevating or doom-based. The doom and gloom is very evident,” describes Blackwell, who co-writes lyrics and music with Davis. She concludes, “Traditional doom, the vintage stuff, is what Castle was born out of.”

Watch Castle at the Palomino with Cauldron on October 29th.

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