Popped animal balloons, dragons hanging from the ceiling and custom-made condoms on the floor — all strong indicators that a CAPYAC show has just ended.
The Austin-based band CAPYAC is comprised of two members, Delwin Campbell and Eric Peana. The two first met in high school, where they played in a jazz band together. Campbell, a UT linguistics graduate, started the first phase of CAPYAC on his own in 2012, playing a more simplistic form of electronic music. When Peana attended one of Campbell’s shows a year and a half later, the two reestablished their relationship and began to collaborate.
The duo describes its music, available online, as future disco pop with European influences intended to get the audience moving.
“The question, ‘What type of music do I want to make?’, doesn’t even come into mind for me,” Peana said. “It’s more like I just want to make a good song that people can dance to.”
Campell said the band has performed consistently over the last six months. The two often dress up in costumes and use unexpected props during their live performances in order to create an environment in which people feel comfortable enough to get weird, Peana said.
“CAPYAC is for curating an experience,” Peana said. “So everything we do is pushing the craziness and the random spontaneity of a live set — always changing and unpredictable. We want CAPYAC to come on stage — and it’s like ‘boom’ every time.”
Peana said seeing people losing their inhibitions and letting the music take over them at their shows is what reminds him that CAPYAC has a purpose.
“When you can somehow get a bunch of excitement all at once and everyone can come together and express themselves comfortably, that feeling of anything can happen starts to rise and that feels like the pivotal moment each time,” Peana said.
Campbell said spending a year traveling in Europe influenced CAPYAC’s music style.
“Traveling and experiencing different cultures sort of gave me an idea of what I wanted to play,” Campbell said.
Both members said they want their audience base to grow, but said they’re not doing this for the money.
“Money is the medium that gets you to the end point, and the end point for me is giving back,” Peana said. “We do this for pure enjoyment, and I think that is all you can really want.”
Ursula Barker, the bandmates’ roommate and backup dancer, said the duo bring something new to the table, which is a refreshing turn from the regular indie scene.
“They’re like seeing the last two members of a circus group who grew up with Daft Punk and picked up their clothing from little old ladies in Southern Asia and have now come to Austin to keep the party rollin’,” Barker said.
Along with regular gigs the band books throughout the semester at co-op houses and other venues, CAPYAC has plans to play a few shows for South By Southwest. It is also working on a new album, which is expected to drop in May. The two said their fans can expect a “full-bodied experience.”
“Imagine like the nicest block of cheese, the kind that goes for like $40 a pound. The nicest piece of cheese you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s got weight. It’s got girth. It’s got substance. That’s what we’re working on,” said Campbell.
Campbell and Peana both said there is nothing they would rather do than make music that can get people grooving.
“We just have a general desire to make people dance more,” Campbell said. “That is the mission with our music. It’s dance music for your feet.”