The Return Of Scubadog

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From 2009 to 2012, Scubadog shook up the Athens music scene with a heady blend of indie-rock and high-energy power-pop.

After a year-long hiatus, the band returns this week with a special "revival" show at Casa Cantina, along with guests Maza Blaska and Wrong Hands.

WOUB caught up with Scubadog frontman Jake Householder to talk about his on-again, off-again group, which includes guitarist Josh Antonuccio, bassist/vocalist Jesse Remnant and drummer Chris Mengerink.

WOUB: You're back after being away for nearly a year. What was the reason for the band's hiatus?

Jake Householder: Our last show was in December 2012 and it was about the least monumental show you could imagine–playing for about five people in The Front Room at the beginning of winter break. At the time, we didn’t have any intention of going out with such a whimper, but life was really busy for all of us, and we couldn’t get another show together before Jesse moved to Vermont in March, which has been the reason for the hiatus.

WOUB: You didn't look for a new bass player?

JH: Jesse joined the band on bass and vocals, replacing Teddy Humpert when he moved from Athens in 2011, and honestly, we couldn’t see a way to move forward from there. For Josh, Chris and I, there was just no way to top those two as musicians, co-writers and friends. I don’t think it would have felt honest to keep doing something that we could call Scubadog without them.

WOUB: So how did this show come about?

JH: Lucky for us, Jesse moved back to Columbus a couple of months ago, and we started talking about playing together pretty much immediately thereafter. I’ve missed this band pretty profoundly. It’s been a singular experience in my musical development: Collaborative, inspiring and incredibly fun. We were all sad to see it fizzle out how it did, and I think we’re all really excited to get back on stage together.

WOUB: Let's go back a little bit. How did Scubadog form?

JH: Teddy Humpert and I were in a band together a few years back called Kaslo, and Josh was more than a little involved as a producer, arranger and occasional bassist/guitarist. I have an incredible fondness and respect for Josh and Teddy. They’re some of the best musicians and creative artists I know, and our styles have always meshed really well together. So when Kaslo ended in 2009, we were all keen to keep working together in some capacity. We started getting together at 3 Elliott Studio that summer to write, create and just see what happened. We didn’t necessarily intend to start a performing band. We just wanted to create together. But once we got going, we were all so excited about the songs that we wanted to get out and play, so we went for it.

WOUB: You released a great single a few years ago–any new recordings on the horizon?

JH: We’ve only just gotten the ball rolling again, and are still trying to see what’s realistic for us to do together. I don’t think we’re in a position to talk about anything more than this one show at the moment.

WOUB: What can your fans expect at this show? Is it being billed as a "reunion?"

JH: I’m calling it a "revival" more than a reunion. Yes, it’s been close to a year since we’ve played together, but the way things went, there was never a sense of finality. We never did a "farewell" show, or announced that we were done. We just kind of fizzled out, and I feel like since then, we’ve just been waiting for the next opportunity. I’m excited that it’s finally here. All the elements are in the right place. We’re all really looking forward to the show. We’ve got at least one song that we’ve never played for folks before, as well as a slew of surprise covers we’ve been cooking up. That, combined with the fact that it’s a week before Thanksgiving, gives us plenty of ways to make it a memorable show. We intend to do what we can do deliver.

Scubadog will perform with Maza Blaska and Wrong Hands at Casa Cantina on Thursday, Nov. 21. Maza Blaska will play at 10 p.m., followed by Scubadog at 11 p.m. and Wrong Hands at 12:45 a.m. Admission is free.