Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

  • The Hornet and Inside Fullerton are on summer break and will return on August 26, 2024. Please send any tips or inquiries to Jessica Langlois at [email protected].

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Same guys, new band: Comrade Cat is determined to be heard

They’re loud, they’re proud, and they have a cat as their logo. Comrade Cat is excited to have

the singer
Cameron Hallenbeck, vocalist and guitarist for Comrade Cat, performing at Out of the Park Pizza. Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

their new name and sound heard.

Coining the term “millennium punk” for their unique sound, new local band Comrade Cat consists of Cameron Hallenbeck on vocals and guitar, Kyle Smith shredding on the bass, Tyler Bay on lead guitar and drummer Josh Smith holding it all together from behind the kit.

The band formed just after Christmas from the remaining members of The Pocketeers after they officially split early December of last year.

“There’s four people in the band,” explained Hallenbeck. “Three of us are old [members] and one new.”

The guys cited that there were creative differences with their previous drummer that held them back from where they wanted to go with their music.

Bay explained how Smith ended up being exactly the kind of drummer they needed and the final piece of the puzzle, finally bringing their new band together.

And with everyone in their place, Comrade Cat is raring to go.

The band has been playing gigs at venues like Out of the Park Pizza in Anaheim Hills, which offers a special way for newer bands to perform in Orange County without paying the price for typical venues.

The drummer
Drummer Josh Smith performing with Comrade Cat at Out of the Park Pizza. Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

The four-man band is attracting bigger and bigger crowds filled with an array of different kinds of music enthusiasts.

“It’s fun to see little kids dancing in the back, but also there’s these scruffy old dudes drinking at the bar nodding their heads. It’s just really cool to watch what we’ve created as a group connect to different people.” said Bay, the lead guitarist.

The band has been connecting more and more with their growing audience through their music.

Under the self-founded genre ‘millennial punk,’ bassist Smith feels that the band has pioneered something with their sound that has not been done before.

the band
Comrade Cat performing at Out of the Park Pizza Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

“We incorporate lots of different music,” said Hallenbeck. “We all have varying tastes, but it’s mainly pop punk music with progressive, metal, lo-fi and alternative influences.”

Pulling from the welcoming atmosphere of ska, the do-it-yourself mentality of punk and the overall feel of the alternative sound, the guys are excited to create something new and exciting not only for themselves, but their fans.

Performing in front of crowds isn’t something new for the members of Comrade Cat. Music has been something they’ve been doing throughout the majorities of their lives.

Smith and Bay have been playing in punk bands together since middle school.

“We were 13 years old playing with people in their 30s! It was so funny having my mom drive me to my shows,” said Bay. “This is something we’ve been doing for awhile now.”

Smith, Bay and Hallenbeck started playing together during their time in The Pocketeers, which even had a full horn section. They played throughout high school and just into college.

But as the years progressed, the now Comrade Cat members found it difficult to continue with the way things were going with their old band.

“This stigma stuck with The Pocketeers. Everyone in the band had this high school mentality and we were well into our twenties at that point.” explained the guitarist, who continued to say that the songs were playing expressed that young mindset.

But the guys took their time during the band to hone their skills and grow as musicians.

“We’ve continued to grow. Music is this constant journey. It’s a learning experience. There’s always room to go up.” said Smith.

the basses
Bassist Kyle Smith performing with Comrade Cat. Photo credit: Amber Vaughn

The musicians behind Comrade Cat see a promising future ahead of them. They’ve already received overwhelmingly positive responses to their new name and sound.

“This is just starting. We’re just blooming.” Bay says, full of enthusiasm. “We’re going to start writing a whole bunch of new material soon. I’m looking forward to discovering more of our sound and I hope people click with what we’re writing.”

Check out Comrade Cat’s Facebook for more information and exciting announcements to come.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Hornet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *