By: Josh Rivera
Photo By: John Robson
Looking for the perfect soundtrack to drink PBR, shred the skate sesh, and maybe get a little rowdy in the pit? Sounds like you need to catch a Combatillac show! The guys first met in late 2015 at a Celebration of Life service for their mutual friend, Donnie Bockman. The service was held at drummer Craig Powell’s home, and eventually turned into a jam session with Seth Wolvington on bass, and Eric Podzemny on guitar. “We were just some old dudes jamming and making noise” says Powell. Powell and Podzemny had already been playing together in the band Straight to Denim, but this was the first time they had met Wolvington. Following that jam, the dudes “made it official” and started playing together as Combatillac.
With a sound that is fast and unrelenting, they quickly built a reputation for putting on a live show you don’t want to miss. Last year they played about a show each month, perfecting their sound on nearly every stage in Fort Collins. These guys are well-loved around town; during our interview we were interrupted every five minutes as seemingly everyone who walked into the bar had to stop by the table to say hello.
That love comes as no surprise. Besides putting on a great show, Combatillac has been very active in doing their part for the scene, most notably with a few summertime traditions they helped spearhead last year. This summer, the guys are planning on keeping those traditions alive. First, they will be throwing another show at the skatepark for Go Skateboarding Day on June 21st, something they did last year with Bomb Threat at the Northside Skatepark in Fort Collins. Playing a DIY show at the skatepark is definitely one of the most punk rock things you can do, so it makes sense these guys are helping to make this an annual occurrence.
The other tradition they’re helping keep alive is New Worst Fest. New Worst Fest dates back to 2010, when Chip Guthrie organized the event in the vacant lot on Jefferson as an alternative to New West Fest for punk and metal bands and fans. Powell’s band at the time, Umlaut, was part of that initial lineup. Last year, New Worst Fest came back in a big way thanks to Powell, Jessica Hazlett, Kyle Heine, and Tif Blatnik (among many others). As Powell says, “We really just wanted another opportunity to give some bands who don’t usually get the chance to play the big outdoor festivals around town the chance to play outside.” Watch for an upcoming story in this space for more details on New Worst Fest 2017.
Besides planning those two outdoor shows, Combatillac is also looking at recording their first album later this year. Follow them on Facebook for show announcements and upcoming details on what they have in store for Go Skateboarding Day, and be sure to catch ‘em live the next chance you get!