Barisal Guns
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Barisal Guns

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"Barisal Guns Aiming High"

Local band Barisal Guns is unwilling to settle for a local sound. Keeping their Southern heritage in mind, the band looks to reach the widest audience possible. Barisal Guns creates their own unique sound with a loyalty to the timeless nature of vintage rock, jazz, blues, folk and a variety of other genres.

Barisal Guns represents the collaborative effort of Ashley Sutton (drums), brothers Ben Catchings (vocals/guitar/piano) and Liam Catchings (base/keyboard/backup vocals/harmonium), and cousins Marc Cenac (rhythm guitar/keyboard/mandolin) and Ken Faucheux (lead guitar/Theremin/dulcimer). However, none of the guys are necessarily limited to particular instruments when recording. They all dabble with a number of instruments to achieve a specific sound in each song.

After flipping through a copy of “Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” the band agreed on Barisal Guns as their name, saying it means unexplained cannon sounds over a body of water.”

“It’s an oral phenomenon. It’s basically this really loud sound that comes from nowhere, and that’s kind of like us,” Ben Catchings explained.

But make no mistake, Barisal Guns doesn’t consider themselves a concept band. If anything, Liam Catchings said, “Our concept is loud.”

The band was just coming together when Hurricane Katrina hit.

“We were just in the very beginning stages of what would become a band, and then the storm hit. That was a really trying time to say the least, because we weren’t fully formulated yet,” Faucheux said. “We hadn’t really played any shows, and then all of a sudden this event happens.”

Band members Cenac and Ashley were dislocated as far as Brownsville, Texas, and St. Louis. It wasn’t until January 2006 that the band was able to find their footing again. However, the group was still incomplete until Cenac was able to make his way back east in May of that year.

“So by the summer of ‘06, the band really came together in its current form. That’s when the line-up was solidified and material started really coming together and we started playing shows,” Faucheux said. “We did a small demo that summer, four songs, and we were off. That’s when we started playing regularly and really trying to get our name out there for some exposure. It’s been about two years now.”

“As the band grew, we collaborated, worked together,” Ben Catchings added. It’s definitely a collaborative effort amongst the five of us. If any one of us wasn’t there, the songs wouldn’t be what they are. Everybody’s an integral part of how the music comes together.”

The band has toured many well-known venues, including Howlin’ Wolf, House of Blues, and Tipitina’s in New Orleans.

“We’ve gotten a great crowd response everywhere we’ve played, even if it’s six people in the audience,” Liam Catchings said.

The band plays all original material and relishes in any audience reaction, whether a crowd listens contently or dances and moshes.

“Our sound is based off the old school stuff. It’s got a tinge of modern sound, because we are a modern band, but it’s got that old school, vintage feel to it with something new,” Sutton said.

Barisal Guns debut album, “Burn the River,” is scheduled for release in summer 2008.

“This album that we are working on, this is our next step in the whole process. We’ve played countless shows, and the [record] is a real milestone for us,” Faucheux explained. “It’s our first record, and hopefully it’s not the apogee of the whole thing. We’ve definitely put a lot into this so it can take us somewhere. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we have our heart, mind and soul set on -- to move forward and to continue to grow. And it sounds like a real album.”

Ben Catchings said the band wanted to make an album that could sit on the same shelf as everything else that everyone listens to and be relevant -- at least in the sound and the quality of the music.

“We are a local band, but we don’t want to sound local,” Faucheux added. “We’re not going to forget our roots. We know where we come from, but we want to take this as far as it can go. We want our product -- whether it be our performance or our album -- to really stand on the larger level.”

Barisal Guns has seen some air time on KLSU, Louisiana State University’s radio station. The band’s upcoming shows are on April 11 at North Gate Tavern and April 17 at Tipitina’s.

“If you’ve heard us, come see us again,” Faucheux said. “If you haven’t, come see what it’s all about.”

More information on Barisal Guns is available on their Web site at

Original Article: - The Advocate

"The BR Twelve: Barisal Guns"

Baton Rouge rock band Barisal Guns was formed in 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Somewhat existing in New Orleans before that, the band's members dispersed only to reconvene in Baton Rouge with new energies, new spirits and new members. This five-man line up now consists of Ashley Sutton, Ken Faucheux, Marc Cenac, and Liam and Ben Catchings.

"Everything else that happened before 2006 wasn't Barisal Guns," Cenac said.

Revived and ready, the band rented out studio space above The Caterie to hold regular practices and to begin their journey toward becoming one of the city's best guitar-driven rock bands.

Two years later, the band's dedication has paid off. They are released their first album, titled "No. 1," on Aug. 16 at The House of Blues in New Orleans.

The CD is definitely representative of the band's local success, but it is something more. Cenac related the release of the CD to the band's ability to stay together despite the hard times, saying it is "a culmination of everything that has happened with the band. To me, that's a success."

Ranging in age from 23 to 27, the band members are not coasting along the road to musical glory just yet. Basically, the shows they play pay for their expenses. Because of this, they all work jobs in addition to performing, but this does not mean they lack passion.

"I don't think for one second that anything else I do means that I don't want to play music," Cenac said. "I feel like there's this romantic idea that you have to be this starving musician who sacrifices all for the music for someone to think that you're really passionate about it. Like there's an extreme, and the amount of sacrifice equals the amount of dedication that you have."

However, Barisal Guns is 'making it.' They are just being responsible about matters. They are taking it slowly and building from the ground up. Starting with regional tours, they intend to circle the area and gradually expand, encompassing a wider range of fans along the way. There is even talk of bringing their performance to the East Coast next summer.

Although they are not signed with any label and are not scheduled for any official tours, the band has made a name for themselves locally and even virtually.

"It wouldn't make sense to do a tour right now. It's something I would love to do because it gets more people to hear your music, but you can tour on the Internet and have that take you places," Cenac said.

Uploading their music in the virtual world does indeed put their sound out there, a sound that is full of classic rock and influenced by greats such as Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix and Blind Melon. However, their online music does not do justice to their live concerts.

Cenac said the audience really gets into their concerts, adding that his favorite song to play is "Postal."

"That's a good song to play live because we do an 'improvise jam' in the middle," he said. "It's fun to let loose in the middle, and the crowd likes it. It's also fun for us, because we get to play something new each time we play it."

"It's just jamming. I like it," Cenac said.

For more information, visit the band's MySpace page.

-Original Article: - The Advocate

"Barisal Guns Taps Into Traditions"

Blind Melon, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Black Crowes, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath — all bands from various decades whose songs transcend the era in which they were created.

Barisal Guns, a Louisiana rock band based in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, aspires to the timelessness they hear in the above bands.

“When you listen to music nowadays, it sounds instantly dated,” Barisal Guns bassist and keyboard player Liam Catchings explained this week over a table in the LSU area hangout Highland Coffees. “From the ’80s on, people were playing songs for the moment.”

“We’re not afraid of tradition,” added Catchings’ singer-guitarist-pianist brother, Ben. “We like coming out of the greatness that came before us. If we can somehow tap into that tradition, it can be a powerful thing.”

Echoing the title of a classic Beatles song, the members of Barisal Guns, all in their 20s, come together over the classic groups they mutually admire.

“But it’s not that every one of us only listens to classic rock,” Ben Catchings said. “We like new things, old stuff, other genres, but we’re creating from the place where we all meet.”

Barisal Guns recorded much of its CD debut, No. 1, at Dockside Studio in Maurice. The same studio previously played host to B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Grammy-winning New Orleans singer Irma Thomas, actress-singer Scarlett Johansson, Ani DiFranco, Jonny Lang, Mavis Staples, Dr. John, Levon Helm, Mark Knopfler and many others.

After additional recording in New Orleans, engineer Ben Mumphrey — whose credits include touring as sound engineer for the Pixies and producing recordings for Pixies front man Frank Black and Pixie Kim Deal’s band, the Breeders — mixed No. 1 at the legendary Studio in the Country in Bogalusa. “There was a vibe at Studio in the Country and Dockside,” Liam Catchings said. “There was a lot of history in the air.”

Mumphrey mixed the CD in close association with Ben Catching, guitarist-theremin player Ken Faucheux and guitarist-organist Marc Cenac.

“You tell him what you want,” Catchings said, “and then he’ll tell you, ‘OK, I’ll show this to you, but you’re probably gonna like it better if we do it this way.’ ”

“He’s a real professional,” Faucheux said. “But he also let us stretch out and bring ideas to the table. We learned so much from him.”

As big-league as the CD sounds, it’s merely a point of departure, Faucheux said. “The record is the ground work for what we do on stage. Every time we play it’s a different experience. The record is set in stone, but the band is a living entity that continues to evolve.”
Barisal Guns recently added acoustic sets into its typically extremely loud shows. Drummer Ashley Sutton gets credit for the band’s high decibel level.

“He has that John Bonham, classic-rock lust in his soul,” Liam Catchings said.

Barisal Guns began three years ago, shortly before Hurricane Katrina. It eventually brought New Orleanians Sutton, Faucheux and Cenac together with Ben and Liam Catchings, who had moved to Baton Rouge from McComb, Miss., together in the same band.

Katrina scattered the New Orleanians to Florida, Texas and Missouri. The displaced Faucheux moved to Baton Rouge a few weeks after Katrina and reconnected with the Catching brothers for occasional acoustic performances. The band became the electric Barisal Guns when Sutton relocated to Baton Rouge in January 2006. Cenac completed the lineup with his move to Baton Rouge in May 2006. Sutton and Cenac eventually returned to New Orleans, giving Barisal Guns two bases of operation.

“We’re trying to use that as an advantage,” Ben Catchings said. “Almost like we have two homes.”

“It’s unique and it gives us a lot of opportunities,” Faucheux said.

Katrina, the flood and ensuing displacement inspired the band members to even greater commitment to Barisal Guns and each other.

“The hurricane was a catalyst,” Ben Catchings said. “It was the turning point for us to decide to devote ourselves to this.”

“Before I left Louisiana,” Sutton said, “I told Ken, ‘We’re gonna continue this. I’ll be back here.’ We did continue and we’ve accomplished more with music than ever.”

-Original Article: - The Advocate

"Review: Barisal Guns - No. 1"

Peering through the eyes of Baton Rouge’s Barisal Guns, you would see a landscape dotted with houses of the holy and ensconced in smoke on the water. The band makes no effort to hide its classic rock leanings on No. 1. The title track rides high on a galloping rhythm before succumbing to an air guitar-worthy solo. The album is evenly mixed with what you might expect: smoldering blues numbers (“Stagelight”), arena-ready anthems (“Come In”) and heavy riff meteors complete with an over-the-top drum solo (“Son of Kong”). There are, however, a couple of songs that pull them back from being Spinal Tap. “In My Mind” is a sweet yet dense love song that sounds like an improbably successful mix of Big Star and Yes. Companion pieces “Where’d I Go Wrong” and the Beatles-esque “Where’d We Go Wrong” would make for a rather brilliant single.

Recommended if you like: Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, three-in-a-row rock blocks

Essential tracks: “Come In,” “In My Mind,” “Where’d We Go Wrong”

-Original Article: - 225 Magazine

"Barisal Guns Headlines North Gate Fest"

Once a year, the businesses of LSU’s North Gate area always put on a good show. On the heels of their facilitating of Carlotta’s chaos, the North Gate Merchants Association will host the Fourth Annual North Gate Fest. Aimed at bringing the progress of the area to the attention of the community, the festival always features plenty of food and drink; but this year, the music gets an upgrade. One of the area’s most popular bands, Barisal Guns, will headline the event’s sonic offerings. Having recently released their debut album, No. 1, the band is a frequent headliner at North Gate Tavern which makes them a perfect fit for this celebration on Chimes Street. Also playing at the festival will be the Bench Bar Boogie Band and the John Madere Trio. Things get underway at 6 pm on Friday, November 14.

-Original Article: - Tiger Weekly

"Barisal Guns: The Ghost Pirate Ship of BR Rock?"

The guys of local rock band Barisal Guns lean against the sides of a narrow hallway discussing the recordings that will make up their first album. Just received from the studio, they haven’t heard them yet.

Amidst deliberation outside their cramped yet intimate practice space stands rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Marc Cenac. Before speaking, he slips off his black shoe and ashes a hand-rolled cigarette into it.

Noticing a quizzical look, Barisal Guns bassist/keyboardist Liam Catchings assured me, “He does that all the time. That’s how he warms his feet.”

Cenac slips the shoe back on and shrugs his shoulders with barely a chuckle.

This is Barisal Guns.

They are a band of brothers. Although two of them are brothers by birth, the five of them are brothers in a way less easily defined. They embrace each other’s quirks and oddities and occasionally make fun of them. They fight and they laugh.

However, they are also preparing to release what might be one of the best local albums of the year. They are a group of five guys so dedicated as to have intentionally passed on lucrative careers in order to continue writing the Barisal Guns story.

That story continues on Friday, Feb. 29 at North Gate Tavern when Barisal Guns takes the stage ($5 cover). Although still in its opening chapters, the story already includes plenty of moving around, a Category Five hurricane and a struggle to find a name.

“If you ask any band, they’ll tell you that’s a huge bitch to come up with,” said lead singer Ben Catchings. “You’re sticking a label on yourself. We’d thrown out all kinds of awful names. One of my ex-old ladies gave me this book, ‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable.’ We started at ‘A’ and eventually came across ‘Barisal Guns.’”

“Barisal is a state in Bangladesh and there’s a lake there,” his younger brother Liam chimed in. “There are these booming noises that come up from under the water that no one knows where they come from. People think they’re ghost pirate ships and all sort of things.”

“It can’t be scientifically explained, but it sounds like cannons over water,” said Ben, who also plays keyboards and guitar. “In a ridiculous way, that fit. We’re loud as balls and we came from nowhere.”

Guns has played everywhere from Austin to Hattiesburg, growing their fan base and honing their songs. Having played together for years, the band could have released an album long ago; however, the tentatively titled album, Burn the River, was something the band wanted to do right the first time out.

“You can make a CD and sell it for $10,” said Cenac. “But we want a CD that sounds good, that we can send to record companies and radio stations. We’ve put out demos before, but this was more involved.”

“It’s quintessentially us,” added lead guitarist/theremin player Ken Faucheux, laying on a stained chocolate rug near a glittery orange bass drum. “We put ourselves in environments where there weren’t technical limitations to capturing us as a band. We have to say, ‘Can we put out a product that is viable on a national level?’ We feel like we’ve gone a long way towards making that happen.”

Hoping to release the album in May, Barisal Guns is currently working to be as comfortable on the business side of music as they are on stage strapped to their instruments.

“The album was kind of the culmination of our first artistic wave; now, we’re definitely re-gearing for this whole business thing,” said Liam Catchings. “We’ve been working on the songs for two years now, making sure we don’t play shitty music. Now we have a product and we have to be a business, too.”

Faucheux added, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, though. We try to find that balance.”

Cenac then expanded on that idea with a bottom-of-the-gut belch and drummer Ashley Sutton voiced his agreement with a gaseous emission all his own.

It is this laid-back, brotherly atmosphere that helps Barisal Guns not only keep from killing each other but also allows them to create as a collective.

“One person may bring in an idea, but everybody touches on it,” said Ben Catchings.

Faucheux added, “There’s five filters on every idea. It’s very democratic to say the least.”

“It’s kind of scary,” said Ben Catchings, who writes most of the band’s lyrics. “It’s like giving up your child to be raised by everybody as a collective instead of just by you. There’s a lot of trust.”

As Ben Catchings switched on the wall a/c unit to clear the lingering smoke and Sutton’s “contribution,” he finally unveiled their fresh-from-the-studio masters. The band studied the intricacies of what erupted from the band’s massive speakers, and surely still are.

Protruding from the subwoofers, songs like “Postal” and the never-performed-live “Trip Through the Hills,” showed off not only the band’s instrumental prowess but also their ability to harmonize and orchestrate a song. They do not recognize the confines of the three-and-a-half minute radio format; in fact, Liam Catchings proudly boasted that their songs average over six minutes apiece.

With a style influenced by classic/“timeless” rock and more modern acts (Mars Volta, Radiohead), Barisal Guns is a local band with big dreams, realistic goals and balls just big enough to pull it off.

To find out more, check out Better yet, go to the show and see first-hand what the band has up its sleeve.

E-mail the author at

-Original Article: - Tiger Weekly


August 27th 2008 - "No. 1"



Barisal Guns is a rock band born in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They take their namesake from a natural phenomenon whereby unexplained thundering noises are heard in the river delta over a small town in Bangladesh. Closer in style to the 1970's rock movement than to today's modern rock scene, Barisal Guns offers its fans a loud, guitar driven sound "with hints of Zeppelin and Blind Melon," says Keeley Kristin of Warning magazine.

After being scattered to different parts of the country, lead guitarist Ken Faucheux and drummer Ashley Sutton stayed in contact by telephone with the hopes of one day playing music together again. They reconvened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to play music with brothers Ben (vocals/guitar) and Liam Catchings (bass/keyboards). A few months later, Marc Cenac (rhythm guitar) joined the band, and the lineup was complete.

Barisal Guns performs throughout the southeast to a rapidly growing fan base. The group has taken the stage at premier venues such as the Howlin’ Wolf, Tipitina’s, and House of Blues’ Parish Room in New Orleans and the House of Blues main stage in Dallas. During fall 2007, the Guns recorded and mixed their first album in two separate Grammy-winning recording studios in Louisiana. The band will be touring regionally in 2009 in support of their debut album, No.1.