Signing Story With Gumbo Punks The Calamatix

Date Signed: March 23, 2023

Label: Hellcat Records

Band Members: Raylin Joy, Adam Porris, Clarance “Pocket” Kidd III,
and William “Matty” Taylor

Publicity: Jasmine Muldrow - Epitaph Records

A&R: Yarden Rafaely - Epitaph Records

Web: thecalamatix.com

Music by The Calamatix was born from a series of “on again, off again,” writing sessions between singer-songwriter Raylin Joy and Tim Armstrong (Rancid) during 2017. In the following years, the exploratory project evolved into Joy’s demo and the blueprint for a full-fledged ska/rocksteady band. Thus, Joy recruited guitarist Adam Porris (formerly of the Lost City Angels), who quickly identified Clarence “Pocket” Kidd III as an ideal fit to drive the groove behind their feel-good music. The subsequent addition of bassist William “Matty” Taylor, completed the rhythm section for the lively ensemble before their official signing at Hellcat Records. 

Due to a wide range of cultural influences, Porris and Kidd III recently compared the band’s sound to the famous Louisiana cuisine known as Gumbo. “Our music is what we like to call, ‘The bedrock of freedom and expression,’” Kidd III explained. [We’re] spreading a great message of positivity and love, no matter what we go through. Within some of our songs, you’ll hear some of the trials that we have been through and how we’ve turned that into a positive situation.” 

The optimistic sentiment surrounding the upstart group has been pervasive amongst the front office personnel behind Tim Armstrong’s iconic punk-rock imprint and the label’s parent company, Epitaph Records since their formation. “The reputation at Hellcat Records is fantastic,” Porris said. “Everyone in the industry speaks so highly of them, so it was another reason to work with them. We were just really happy with everything that they talked about and offered. It was just a great situation for us.” 

The Calamatix are gearing up for a slew of live shows and the release of their self-titled album, which is scheduled for September 20th. According to the band’s lead singer, the rollout plan in support of their upcoming LP has been an artist-friendly experience that has helped bring her vision for the long-awaited project to fruition. 

“It’s been really great being able to have creative control,” Joy said. “If there is anything that we don’t like, they’re not forcing us to do things that we don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s just been full support with whatever we want to do in our vision.  They’ve been super accommodating and hands-on with making sure that we’re happy.”