Members: Ryan Eldred, Pat Calpin, Kevin "K.G" Gunther, Pat "Mingus" Kays, Ian McKenzie, Chris Greer
Active: 1996 - present
Catch 22 is a ska punk band from East Brunswick, New Jersey. The band was formed by trumpeter Kevin Gunther, who recruited guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tomas Kalnoky and drummer Chris Greer while working in a local record store. Bassist Josh Ansley, saxophonist Ryan Eldred, and trombonist Jamie Egan, who also was the group's high school band director, rounded out the original lineup.
Catch 22 released a self-produced demo tape, Rules of the Game in 1996. All 2000 copies of the tape quickly sold out. The band mailed several copies to labels they were interested in working with including Gainesville, Florida's Toybox Records (who had previously released a 7" by Less Than Jake). Toybox was owned and operated by Sean Bonner who had recently moved to Chicago, Illinois to work at Victory Records. Sean brought the tape to the Victory office and suggested the band be signed.
The band then signed to Victory and produced their first studio album, 1998's Keasbey Nights. Ansley left and was replaced by Pat Calpin. Kalnoky left the band shortly thereafter, deciding to continue his education rather than tour. Catch 22 continued on with Pat Calpin, moving to guitar, Pat "Mingus" Kays on bass, and Jeff Davidson on vocals. The band tested out their new lineup with the 1999 EP Washed Up!. Egan left to continue teaching. Alone in a Crowd followed in 2000 with Mike Soprano on trombone. During this time, the band began touring heavily on a national scale, appearing with Mustard Plug, Reel Big Fish, and other third-wave ska, hardcore, and punk acts. Davidson and Soprano left the band in 2001 to pursue other projects, and for a while the band actively courted new vocalists, even putting an advertisement on their website. The group also recruited Ian Mckenzie, formerly of Long Island, New York ska band Edna's Goldfish on trombone/vocals.
After a fruitless search, the band decided to continue on as it was, with Ryan Eldred and Kevin Gunther sharing vocal duties. Washed Up and Through the Ringer, an expansion of the Washed Up! EP, was released in 2001, featuring two new songs, three rarities from the Alone In A Crowd era, and a handful of live tracks recorded in October, 2000 at Club Laga in Pittsburgh and Euclid Tavern in Ohio. The band released its third full-length album, Dinosaur Sounds in 2003, roughly the same time as Streetlight Manifesto, a band founded by former Catch 22 frontman Tomas Kalnoky, and featuring Josh Ansley and Jamie Egan, as well as former members of the NJ ska band One Cool Guy, released their debut, Everything Goes Numb. Both albums featured supposed veiled attacks on each other, suggesting to many fans that there was some sort of disagreement or heat between Catch 22 and Streetlight Manifesto. While there was a disagreement, the two parties have since reconciled their differences. Given that Catch 22's Kevin Gunther is in charge of Streetlight Manifesto's tour booking, and members of both bands have said in conversations with fans that there is no "beef" between the two, it is safe to assume that any disagreement is firmly behind them.
In 2004, Catch 22 released Live, a combination CD and DVD recording of a show performed at The Downtown in Farmingdale, New York, earlier that year.
Several bands who opened for Catch 22 in the past have gone on to find fame on the mainstream, including Sum 41, Bowling For Soup, Thursday, and Taking Back Sunday.
Catch 22 have completed work on a new album, Permanent Revolution, which was released on June 27, 2006. A limited edition 7? of Party Song was released on red vinyl, available when Permanent Revolution pre orders were made at Interpunk and F.Y.E..
1998 - Keasbey Nights
2000 - Alone in a Crowd
2001 - Washed Up and Through the Ringer
2003 - Dinosaur Sounds
2004 - Live
2006 - Permanent Revolution
1999 - Washed Up!