Members: Gabe, Micah, Kyle, Chris, & Kenyon
Gabriel Cavazos (vocals)
Micah Miller (drums)
Kyle Shimek (bass, vocals)
Chris Goodwin (guitar, vocals)
Kenyon Puntenney (guitar, vocals)
This is not the story of a typical rock'n'roll band.
"In music, everybody wants to be part of something big," explains American Fangs frontman
Gabe Cavazos. "But sometimes we zig when others zag. We stick out like a sore thumb. And
that's ok. We create our own vibe."
That vibe - loud guitars, big hooks, punk rock attitude - has already won American Fangs a
fervent fanbase and a number of big-name (and wildly diverse) tours, ranging from Saul
Williams to the Deftones to Chevelle. And it's a vibe that's more than apparent on the band's
debut album, American Fangs, the first release under rock promoter/manager Bill McGathy's
new record label In De Goot Recordings.
Typical or not, that's a pretty strong start for any band, especially one hailing from the rather
atypical music Mecca of ... Houston.
"It's not necessarily what people think of when they look for great music," admits Cavazos. "But
there's a lot of talent here."
At least enough talent to put together AF. "We all were in different groups, but we go together
because we realized we all had the same idea of what we wanted a band to be," says the
singer. "And that's grown into an amazing bond."
That idea was American Fangs, a name that struck a strong visual tone and, as Cavazos puts it,
exuded the right "who-gives-a-shit" attitude....something the band also brought to the stage.
"There was a lot more anarchy early on," Cavazos admits. "But it was exhausting, like musical
whiplash. In the end, we're a fan of songs. We want to share those, have people enjoy it, and
not necessarily have anything else overshadow the music."
One person who caught on early was Bill McGathy, a rock industry vet best known for his work
with Shinedown, Neon Trees, 3 Doors Down and Grammy-Award winning Halestorm. "He saw
us just as we started, and stuck by us from the get-go," says Cavazos. "Finally, one day he just
said, "go record something. I wanna release this."
To capture the band's wild side on record, the band enlisted producer Mike Watts (As Tall as
Lions, The Dear Hunter, Brand New). "Mike's really cool," says Cavazos. "He saw us at a
showcase a long time back and he was the only person who came up and asked how we
thought we sounded. He saw our potential, but he doesn't spare us any feelings if we sound like
shit. So when it came time to do this record, we were like "we want that guy."
The end result is an adrenalized blast of loud guitar rock, underlined with dynamic musicianship
and emotional honesty. First single "Pomona," named after "the goddess of fruitful abundance,"
is a revved-up radio anthem full of "whoa whoa whoa" chants. Meanwhile, other standouts like
"Riot Foodâ come off as cranked-up power pop, while "Apple of My Eye" recalls the best of 90s
But the band also shines during slower moments, like the ballad "Sorry" Says Cavazos: "That's
about the brief period of time when I was homeless as a kid. That song means a lot to me. Mike
pushed me to dig deep on that one."
With the record finished, the band is hitting the road with Hollywood Undead and Falling in
Reverse, and converting a whole new audience. "I'm psyched: people will see we've got an
energy when we play live," Cavazos says. "There's a rhythm there. You can tell we really
believe in what we're doing."
Just don't expect a typical rock'n'roll concert.
"That's true, though even I've had to tone it down a bit," says Cavazos, laughing. "I can't always
be in people's faces or climbing stuff during every song. But it's nice to go to a show and see
people cut loose, see girls having a blast. It's something that's been missing from music for a