Cautiously Optimistic

Fifteen Hopefuls Make Up Austin's Musical Class of 2001

Cautiously Optimistic
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

Schatzi

Title: TBA

Label: TBA

Release Date: TBA

Who?: Dual Schatzi frontmen Monty and Chris have been playing together since a 1991 meeting in Oklahoma City, performing locally as Schatzi since 1996. After earning a small but consistent local following, they recorded their second full-length last year with producer Ed Rose (Get Up Kids, Ultimate Fakebook). The sessions, financed by Dynamite Hack's Mark Morris, led to regular play at 101X and an invitation to play the station's Christmas show at the Austin Music Hall with Papa Roach before the album was even in stores.

"It's been fun watching it snowball," says Chris (they're a first-name-only kind of band) of the resulting major-label and major-indie interest. "But for as much local success or interest as there's been, we're taking it with a grain of salt. We all have bad credit, so we still can't afford the $15,000 for a van we need to tour."

What to Expect: "I'm surprised it's getting airplay, because it's very pop," says Chris about the Death of the Alphabet EP, a sampler designed to give them something to sell locally while searching for a proper label. "It may have an edge because we write geared more toward the stage, but when you boil it down, we're really very traditionally pop."

Where to Find Them: For starters, they're still getting 12-14 spins per week at 101X. As a result, they'll be featured on an upcoming AIR Compilation, accompanying an Air Report radio tipsheet sent to Modern Rock programmers around the country. And while they've also already placed a song on a Sony PlayStation2 game, ESPN Skateboarding, set for a spring release, they're carefully weighing their options for a record deal.

"The major-label interest is interesting, but we're leaning toward paying our dues on an indie," says Chris. "We'd rather starve on the road like everyone else, because whether we sign with a major or not, we're still going to be going to cities we've never been and playing for empty rooms. I think we'd prefer to build that foundation without the pressure of figuring out how we'll ever recoup a million-dollar advance."

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