The Invincible Czars

The Invincible Czars

BandRockAvant-garde

The Invincible Czars fuse Eastern Euro folk with classical stylings, metal waltzes with weird jazz and country shuffles with circusy polkas. They bounce off of reference points as disparate as NoMeansNo and Tchaikovsky, Mr. Bungle and the Grateful Dead, Iron Maiden and Ennio Morricone.

Biography


BOOKING: Josh Robins 512-940-6946 josh@invincibleczars.com

PROMOTION: Lee Brooks lee@australiancattlegod.com

The Invincible Czars play uncompromising music that doesn’t fit comfortably into one genre. They make music. Good music. Really good music. No, really. Music that fuses Eastern European folk idioms with classical arrangements, heavy metal waltzes with jazz grooves in weird time signatures and country shuffles with circusy polkas. Music that bounces off of reference points as far removed from each other as NoMeansNo and Tchaikovsky, Mr. Bungle and Ennio Morricone, Iron Maiden and the Grateful Dead.

The Czars have pursued a more orchestral route since day one. Their arrangements have more in common with the likes of Raymond Scott, Bernard Herrman, Angelo Badalamenti and Nino Rota than with the Austin's cadre of Butthole Surfers imitators, bluesmen or singer/songwriters… and yet they still rock like Van Halen on a runaway roller coaster ride.

Their eccentric style allows them to stand out among a sea of sound-a-likes within Austin's Red River scene. In the winter of 2004, the Czars gained attention from regional and local press/radio and sold out Austin’s Church of the Friendly Ghost when they premiered their modernized version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” in Texas.

Since then, positive things have continued happening for the Czars. They’ve opened for many of their favorite bands (see list below) and played all over their region. They plan to release their first true studio CD in August 2005 and begin expanding their regional touring to include regular trips between Austin and Chicago. They will also premier their rock version of Mussorgsky’s “A Night on the Bald Mountain” at their Halloween show in October.

The Invincible Czars have become one of Austin's first-calls to open for "weird" touring bands and have performed with the following:

NoMeansNo - Austin, Ft Worth
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Austin
Darediablo- Austin
Stinking Lizaveta - Austin, Ft Worth
JetScreamer - Ft Worth
The Voodoo Organist - Houston
The Tuna Helpers - Austin, San Antonio
Pong - Austin, Ft Worth
The Stingers ATX - San Antonio
E is For Elephant - Berkeley, CA

The Czars have played all over Texas, the Southwest and are now venturing into the Midwest. Here are the venues they remember playing (sorted by region):

TEXAS:
Emo’s – Austin
Super Happy Fun Land – Houston
Rubber Gloves – Denton
Spiderbabies – Dallas
Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio
Trophy’s – Austin
Beerland – Austin
Room 710 – Austin
Flamingo Cantina – Austin
The Wreck Room – Ft. Worth
Rubber Gloves – Denton
The T-Lounge - El Paso
The Caucus Club - Austin
The Backroom - Austin
Klusoz – Lubbock, TX
The Triplecrown - San Marcos
TacoLand – San Antonio
The Lounge on Avenue B – San Antonio
The Hideout – Austin
The Carousel Lounge – Austin
Red Eyed Fly – Austin
Rounder’s Pizza – Austin
Ruta Maya – Austin
Lucy’s - San Marcos
Klub Amnesia – San Antonio

WEST:
The Starry Plough – Berkeley, CA
Kimo’s – San Francisco, CA
Hotel Monte Vista – Flagstaff, AZ
Burt’s Tiki Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
Atomic Cantina – Albuquerque, NM
The High Dive – Denver, CO
The Zephyr – Reno, NV
Anarchy Library – Downey, CA
Blue Bongo – LA, CA
Club Fred – Fresno, CA
The Emerald Lounge – Phoenix, AZ

MIDWEST:
The Brick – Kansas City, MO

SOUTH:
The Living Room – Texarkana, AR
JR’s Lightbulb Club – Fayetteville, AR
Checkpoint Charlie’s – New Orleans, LA
D’Agnostino’s Bistro – Lake Charles, LA
Buzz’s Subs – Norman, OK

They also have beards. Good ones.

Theirs is a story of Spinal Tap-esque turn-over and perseverance, read further:

The Invincible Czars began, as most Austin bands do, as a concept. This lasted a long time. Guitarist Josh Robins moved to Austin in late 1999 with cassettes full of recorded themes, finished songs/pieces and an idea for band that would play spooky, composed instrumentals. Tired of the bang-your-head-against-the-wall method of songwriting, Josh learned to read music and began searching for other like-minded musicians within Austin.

**Side Note** For those who are not Texas grown, the phrase “When I move to Austin…” commonly precedes all kinds of outlandish ideas heard across the rest of the state. About 1% of those who utter it actually do it. About 1% of those who do it actually do the thing they said they would do upon moving to Austin.

By 2002, Josh had composed several pieces for neo-classical group the Golden Hornet Project with various ensembles. He had given up on finding other musicians for zany rock band idea but renewed it when Sea of Thousand drummer Keith Palumbo encouraged him. "You're like my own personal Danny Elfman right here in Austin," Palumbo said. In April, trumpeter/bassist Rick Redman answered a musicians-wanted ad for Josh’s project. The two met and instantly hit it off. Originally, Rick was to be the bassist of the group… the

Discography

The Coin EP - 5 song CD-R demo
Tigris Pauxillus - 10 song CD-R
The Nutcracker Suite - 8 piece live recording

Set List

Enough original and cover music to play for 90 minutes (usually two 45 minute sets):

Originals:

Mursketine
Fanfare of the Imbeciles
Forty Bucks
Ghost Town
The Iron Fist of Stalin
Light the Fuse
Gods of Onvenience
The Doctor's Excuse
The Troll
Choosing Sides
Richman

Covers:

Cars (Newman)
Immigrant Song (Led Zep)
Up Jumped the Devil (Nick Cave)
City of the Lost Children (Angelo Badalamenti)
The Elephant Man (Badalamenti)
Blackened (Metallica - polka version)
Blood and Thunder (Mastodon - blues/jazz version)
Love is a Fist (Mr. Bungle)
Run to the Hills (Iron Maiden - polka version)
Here Come the Bastards (Primus)
Jump (Van Halen)

Traditional/Classical:

The Nutcracker Suite (Tchaichovsky, rock version)
A Glezele Vayn (Klezmer trad. rock version)