Doctor Squid
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Doctor Squid

Acworth, Georgia, United States

Acworth, Georgia, United States
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Upstart Roundup - Doctor Squid"

Woo! If there's one thing Doctor Squid brings to the stage it's the vivacity of youth. This group of late-teens/early-20s musicians came to UGA after years of high school rocking. Those formative days were clearly well spent, as the tracks on the band's self-titled record are well crafted, lively and, as the influences suggest, very Weezer-esque. Cardinal's got a strong, melodic voice that keeps the tunes more pop than punk, accompanied by just-polished-enough guitar riffage and bounding, bouncing rhythms. Oh, you can also catch Cardinal and Perren showing off their musical chops as trumpeter and trombonist, respectively, for the Redcoat Marching Band.
- Flagpole

"Doctor Squid Makes it all Up"

When it comes to creating original music in Athens amongst a sea of indie bands which seem to share a common ancestor, Athens pop-rock quartet Doctor Squid has found a way to stand out amongst the masses — have fun, leave the work behind and free-style rap until you come up with a band name.

“We went through that struggle that every band goes through, that ‘what should our band name be’ kind of thing,” said lead singer and guitarist Larry Cardinal. “So then we decided to not push it, and just sort of let it emerge.”

“It got to the point where we had a show schedule, just not a band name,” said lead guitarist Mark Spurlock.

With the pressures accumulating and a looming schedule in the distance, the band turned to a familiar favorite — free-style rapping.

“We were talking about Dr. Phil one day and how he does that whole serious, ‘You know, you’ve got to eat healthy, every day!’ type of thing,” Cardinal said. “We thought, ‘What if Dr. Phil became a squid, but kept his show?’”

Bassist and singer Sam Perren’s input made the band name fully stick.

“I may be a squid, but I don’t think you should beat your wife!” Perren said in his best Dr. Phil impersonation.

While Cardinal is belting out high notes or harmonizing to Perren, keep an ear open for his lyrics.

“We’ve performed songs that didn’t have lyrics written for them, and just had Larry wing it,” Spurlock said. “And other times we’ve written lyrics and had Larry forget them the next day…then we wing it again.”

In fact, the ability to improvise is a cultivated skill for Cardinal.

“I kind of take pride, though, in being able to say stuff that makes sense and no one notices that they are made up on the spot,” Cardinal said. “Sometimes they don’t make sense, but they still don’t notice because my flow is so smooth and heavy.”

In 2008, on a tight budget and with little time to prepare, the band hit the studio.

In true Doctor Squid fashion, they recorded their first self-titled album and laid down tracks they previously had not even had the time to work out in practice.

“I was literally on the phone with Larry as they were printing the final cut of the CD asking what he wanted to name the songs,” Spurlock said.

Though, as often happens with the band, this touch of rushed decision-making was a success.

“For us, the focus is always on just trying to write good songs in just a very simple and basic kind of way,” Spurlock said. “I wouldn’t say we’re not trying to be innovative, but our focus is always making music that people can honestly just enjoy.”

Other band members agreed.

“The difference is we’re just brilliant, to sum it up,” Cardinal said. - Red & Black

"Pop band Doctor Squid aims to attract new students"

For a local band trying to “make it big” or even play a show in Athens, it’s not a bad idea for it to spread its music to the freshmen who stream into the dorms each year and don’t know the Caledonia Lounge from the Classic Center.

Power-pop band Doctor Squid, Athens veterans of two years, had the chance to reach out to the map-clutching masses on campus. Now they are taking that opportunity and running with it.
with The Warm Fuzzies, Gemini Cricket

At the beginning of this year, Bulldog Bucks passed out download cards to incoming freshmen. The codes on these cards would allow students to download songs by a range of local artists from the Bulldog Bucks Web site.

Doctor Squid contributed a song, and the decision paid off. The download code offer, which has now ended, resulted in more than 2,200 redeemed codes.

Doctor Squid has played a show at the Melting Point with Venice Is Sinking, another band included in the downloadable giveaway.

“[That show] was on the first day of move-in, so I don’t even know how many people were back, but we had a great turn out for that,” said Mark Spurlock, guitarist for Doctor Squid. “At that show, we did a thing where it was cheaper to get in with a UGA ID and over half our tickets were sold that way.”

Although there is no University ID deal for the show tonight, Doctor Squid will perform with another band included on the Bulldog Bucks download card, The Warm Fuzzies.

“The whole point of [this show] to begin with was to introduce freshmen to the Athens music scene,” Spurlock said.

Though the band is happy to have a crowd of fresh faces, they’ve had time to establish their own base.

“We’re very energetic,” Spurlock said. “We have a penchant for getting just about every song to be a sing-along with the crowd – they’re a pretty loyal bunch.”

Spurlock described Doctor Squid’s music as “old Weezer with a lot of adrenaline that tends to be very exciting and catchy.”

The four-piece uses its energetic power-pop to reach out to the crowd, whether it’s a throng of loyal fans or lucky freshmen getting an early look into what Athens music has to offer.

Athens, the doctor is in. - Red & Black


We have a self-titled LP that is available on iTunes, Rhapsody, etc., and has received airplay on local college stations as well as being played on We've also privately released a handful of singles.



As it became crunch time for booking that crucial first show and the band still didn't have a name, we went with Doctor Squid after a short hypothetical discussion about Dr. Phil somehow turning into a squid, but deciding to continue his show (as Sam put it, “I may be a squid, but I don’t think you should beat your wife”).

Notable points in our history include having our song "On My Way" chosen (alongside tracks by artists like the Modern Skirts, the Whigs, and Venice is Sinking) to be distributed to all UGA incoming freshmen of 2009 as part of the University's music giveaway. We recently became the number one band for the region (and number 2 nationally) on, and will be competing in the Atlanta area battle on March 27th. Our CD was selected for inclusion in the Music Genome Project at

Our debut CD was recorded in the summer of 2008 at Downtown Athens Recording Company with Asa Leffer. We keep our fans posted on the latest band news at our self-created website (where one can also find “Doctor Squid: The Game” for PC). Doctor Squid has accumulated a large and absurdly loyal fan base in the Athens area on the strength of our album and live shows. The band is currently working on material for a follow up album and, as always, playing gigs and winning new fans.