In the short span of four months, a local band comprised of Bobcats has traveled to and performed at every major city in the Lone Star State.
I See Land, post-rock band, got its start in August after three Bobcats and one University of Texas San Antonio student came together in hopes of playing music.
Austin Schaffer, psychology senior, plays bass and does vocals. John Cook, lead guitarist and UTSA senior, met Schaffer during high school.
Joshua Castellano-Davila, drummer and digital media innovation sophomore, and Joey Molina, rhythm guitarist and respiratory care sophomore, met during freshman year of college.
The four have played instruments since they were kids, so starting up a band in San Marcos was ideal.
After the first practice in April, the band played its first show in late June at Speakeasy in Austin.
The band’s influences are Prawn, This Will Destroy You and Old Grey. The members describe their sound as post-rock with open tunings.
“With post-rock, there’s no lyrics, but all of the emotion is conveyed from the instrumentation,” Castellano-Davila said. “We use a hybrid of lyrics and instrumentation.”
In January, I See Land released “Everything I Missed About This Place,” a 3-song EP. In May, the band put out single “Trajectory.” Most recently, single “With, Without” was released.
Schaffer writes the lyrics for the band and said most of the songs are about being sad.
“They’re supposed to be very emotional and honest songs,” Schaffer said. “If anyone can relate to it, it’s good.”
Schaffer also came up with the name for the band.
“It’s not just a name,” Schaffer said. “It means I see hope, I see solace—but I’m not there.”
Castellano-Davila is also the band manager, so he reaches out to venues and schedules the shows.
“I think we didn’t expect to play as much as we did, and then we started getting asked to play shows,” Molina said. “We’ve made effort, and it’s paid off because we’re getting asked to play in every major city in Texas.”
The band has traveled to Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth to perform. They travel in an SUV packed to the brim with instruments and toolboxes.
“There’s always a crowd,” Molina said. “Usually, we get a good response and everyone likes it. Playing for a crowd full of people is one of the best feelings that I’ve ever experienced.”
Cook said being in a band is all about networking and having connections with the people they meet.
“With all of the traveling, we’ve met a lot of really cool people and made so many new friends,” Castellano-Davila said.
The band will perform Oct. 21 at Shirley’s Temple in Austin and Oct. 23 at The Korova in San Antonio.
I See Land will perform at the Monster Mash Shed Bash, which will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at 2511 I-35 in San Marcos.
“There’s something to be cultivated here in San Marcos,” Cook said.
Molina hopes the Shed Bash will increase the amount of shows played in San Marcos.
“We can start up a little community within San Marcos of this music,” Castellano-Davila said.
I See Land will play its first out-of-state show in December at Oklahoma City. Shortly after that, the band will tour across the Western U.S. for 14 days.
Schaffer said the goal is to tour as much as possible, grow as a band and continue writing music.
“The most rewarding thing is to have people come up to you after you play a set and say they really enjoyed it,” Schaffer said. “It’s nice to hear positive feedback, because we put a lot of effort into the music that we play.”
Castellano-Davila said he plays music in the band because it serves as an outlet.
“If you’re going through mental stuff or you’re just stressed out, it really helps with letting stuff out,” Castellano-Davila said.
Cook said being a part of I See Land has helped him grow as an individual.
“I’m about to graduate from college and I’m finally in a band that I’m happy with,” Cook said. “The thing that’s really gratifying about this band is that I feel like I haven’t wasted the last 10 years of my life.”
Molina said some Texas State students might not feel welcome in San Marcos because there may not be a club, organization or crowd they feel at home with.
“If you’re into emo, punk or hardcore and you live in a town like this, you probably feel pretty isolated,” Cook said. “What we’re trying to do is build a community to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”