Jeri Sapronetti and Sam Caler make up the eccentric and talented Akron rock duo, Time Cat. Sapronetti sings and plays bluesy guitar with the occasional shredding, while Caler plays the drums, adding sophisticated rhythms and originality. The group draws on many classic rock influences such as Led Zeppelin and David Bowie to create a modern rock ‘n’ roll sound full of vibrant guitar work, heavy drum beats and wild vocals that come together to make a groovy combination not commonly found in today’s music.
The band started out late 2011 after the two met at a jam night hosted at Sapronetti’s house. About a year after they met, they began playing together and soon decided they would form a band.
“It was like late 2011 when we started playing together,” said Sapronetti, “and we’ve just been playing tons and tons of shows for the last two years.”
They went nameless for the first several months of playing shows, eventually deciding on the name, The Young Ones. After ill feedback from fans about the name, Sparonetti stumbled upon a children’s book, titled “Time Cat,” that she had written lyrics on for one of their songs. After pressure from their manager to choose a name they decided to go with something easy to remember and chose Time Cat. It seemed to have stuck and the band has been using that name since.
When asked about some of the challenges they face in today’s music scene, Sapronetti mentioned the impossibility of trying to keep up with social media and the short amount of time it has taken to shift from promoting shows by hanging up flyers to the endless events created on Facebook and other social media sites.
“It’s continually so challenging, because with Facebook, it has completely dominated everything,” she said. “Social Media has changed everything. When I was 18, I would play a show and hang flyers everywhere, it was word of mouth. But now it’s like every other person is inviting me to all these events and I just skim down everything without even looking at it. I don’t even pay attention. So I’m like why would I be making all these events? I don’t pay attention to it, why would I expect other people to?”
“We just want to play music and play shows, but there is so much more to being in a band. You just have to promote yourself.” explained Caler.
“You have to be on Twitter, Bandcamp, Reverb Nation, and all these websites. It’s just like, does anyone have time? It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll, you know?” added Sapronetti.
The band members touched on other hardships they face when getting their music heard such as the cost of recording and the inability to get ahead. They explained some of the goals they had, like getting more recording finished and setting up another tour, but are held back because of their lack of funds.
“So the last two years have basically been us, ‘Alright I got this paycheck, it’s $180,’ and then manager Steve’s like, ‘Alright I need that for recording,’ and I’m like, ‘here you go.’ I just sign it over and not even bother to cash it,” said Sapronetti. “Being in a band makes you poor,” added Caler jokingly.
On a lighter note, they listed some advantages to being in a band that are unique to the area. A girl-boy duo isn’t commonly done and they receive many compliments on their ability to create the illusion of more than two people playing.
“People will be upstairs from some show we are playing and they’ll be like, ‘I thought there was like four people in your band,” exclaimed Sapronetti.
“Yeah people always think that there’s more of us when they don’t see us. We do a good job of filling out the sound for two people,” said Caler.
Their ability to change their sound to fit their crowd is another strength the Akron power duo possesses: they can play for metal heads and the elderly, easily adapting to the situation and their audience.
The next step for Time Cat is to finish their next album in a month or so and book a tour later this year along with playing some possible festivals over the summer.
“We are seeing things happen a little more now, than over the last two years,” said Caler. “It starts off really slow but once you play out there, people want you to come back, and we are seeing that.”
Time Cat’s next show is March 12 at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. They will also play at the Stone Tavern in Kent on April 18. Time Cat can be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TimeCatMusic and on Bandcamp at http://timecatmusic.bandcamp.com.