Austin's Sons of Fathers is the brainchild of David Beck and Paul Cauthen, two guys who were born and raised all over Texas in musical families. After meeting at a park in San Marcos, the duo christened themselves Beck and Cauthen only to have representatives from Beck Hansen send them a cease and desist letter.
After changing their name to Sons of Fathers, the duo (now augmented with several sidemen) began to attract the attention of folks in and out of Austin. Soon, the band was in the studio with producer Lloyd Maines and Beck and Cauthen have been running on all cylinders ever since. From their studio in North Austin and in anticipation of Friday's show at the Granada, Beck and Cauthen talked with DC9 about making a new album and drinking with family in Dallas.
Are you guys on tour?
PC: No, we are in the studio, cutting our third record right now. We have a studio in North Austin that David and I run. We got the whole crew, our engineer and the studio head is here. Our whole band is here.
It wasn't that long ago that your second album, Burning Days, came out.
PC: No, but Burning Days kind of threw us for a curve and we thought we were going crazy.
There seemed to be quite a jump from your debut to Burning Days. What can fans expect from the third album?
PC: Twice the jump, twice or three times the jump. We stumbled on Burning Days, man. This new one, we've put all of our efforts into this project. We did the production ourselves. We didn't hire a producer at all. We've been producing other people's records for the past year. It was time for us to do one by ourselves. Lloyd Maines produced both of our other records and he did a great job. I had coffee with him this morning. I talked with him about it. He wants to come by and listen in and he wants to hear some songs.
Were you intimidated by Maines when he came in to produce the first album?
PC: Hell yes. It was kind of like camp. You kind of learn how it goes. The second time was much smoother. You knew that you didn't have to watch your Ps and Qs. He made it pretty easy the second time.
How far are you into the new album?
DB: Oh man, about four songs, about 23%. We got our whole crew here and everybody is acting like an ass. They are all crazy as hell.
What's the expected release date?
PC: It will be 2014 I promise you. That is about as close as I can get. It will be before April but after January.
You and David met in San Marcos? Did you grow up there?
DB: No, we grew up all over Texas. I was from Dallas and Paul is from East Texas.
Have you guys played Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos? DB: That's where the whole thing started. That's where we formulated everything. They have that songwriter's night there. That's where a bunch of us got to be friends and that's where Paul and I started hanging out the most.You're headlining at the Granada Theater.
DB: That's one of the best places we have played since we started this thing. I like watching bands play there myself. This time, I'm sure, will be a good experience. It is so surreal since I have seen so many shows there, bands like Bela Fleck. We always want to play there. When you see your band name on that marquee, you're like man, this is real. It's crazy up there. I was born at Baylor Hospital in 1986. I came out of my mom's womb fast, smoking a cigarette. PC: It's usually all your friends. It's a good, centrally located place for our friend to meet. They will travel, come up here for Thanksgiving and drink their asses off. It's good to go do some drinking after you've been hanging out with your family. We've had some crazy experiences in Dallas.
You live in Austin and the city has changed quite a bit.
PC: There are a lot of people. That's just what happens. DB: Traffic will piss you off in any big city, but you can roll down the East Side slow and still have a good time. You stay away from I-35 and you can have everything you ever need.
You started out calling the band Beck and Cauthen. Can you talk about the letter you got from representatives of Beck, the singer/songwriter?
PC: They sent us a letter saying to cease and desist, saying that the name was somehow obstructing their business. DB: Because of market confusion, we switched the name to Sons of Fathers. It was a change for the better anyway. When we were building this thing, we had two names. We chose Beck and Cauthen and we got the first album ready for release. Then, we got the cease and desist letter and we had to redo everything. It was a pain in our asses.
David's real last name is Whitbeck. Why change it?
DB: It was for efficiency. It helps with my text messaging. It is less letters. It is for sleekness and agility. PC: He went from Whitbeck to Beck. He did it when he was young and it just stuck. It's kind of like Pigpen from the Grateful Dead. What the hell is his real name?
For people who are not familiar with you, how would I describe your sound?
DB: Tell them it is rock and roll with country influences. That's what I tell them. That's what it is live. It's a fusion.
Both of you have families with strong musical backgrounds.
PC: It just helps you at a young age. Being young and listening to records and my granddad was a musician and David's dad was a bass player. We just grew up in it. We were performing since we were real young. I was singing in a church at a very young age and Dave was singing like Dylan before he could say a sentence.
Besides the obvious influence of Robert Earl Keen, who else inspired both of you?
DB: The Black Keys, Arcade Fire and Ray Charles. People like that, authentic real people, anyone who has tried something new.
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