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Indie-Rock Band Choir Vandals Is Ready To Mix Things Up

The St. Louis-based band will perform at the Pageant this Saturday.
Chase Harris
Choir Vandals
The St. Louis-based band will perform at the Pageant this Saturday.

The three members of Choir Vandals were all previously part of other St. Louis bands — bands they loved but that all broke up for various reasons. Since they formed the indie-rock band in 2013, it's become their longest running gig yet.

And now, they’re getting to perform at the Pageant on Saturday. It’ll be their first in-person performance since the start of the pandemic. And they’ll be joined by a lineup of local acts they consider longtime friends: Foxing, Lé Ponds, Parisian and MANAPOOL.

“I'm gonna be seeing so many people, so many friends, for the first time in a long time, so I'm really excited for it,” drummer Wil McCarthy explained on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Vocalist/guitarist Austin McCutchen added: “As a St. Louis musician, this is the top of the list.”

McCutchen and McCarthy talked with host Sarah Fenske about their evolving artistry, the band members’ secrets to getting along, and the joys of touring — something they miss after the pandemic stopped them in their tracks.

Before that, they toured across the country and in the United Kingdom.

“A lot of my favorite memories of just being alive have been on tour in a smelly van with three or four other guys,” McCutchen recalled. “Just getting to play your music that you wrote in St. Louis, Missouri, all over the world — there's no other feeling like it.” Even so, he reiterated, the band will likely not tour “until it's completely safe to do so.”

Choir Vandals - Somewhere

In the meantime, the band is working on a new album, one that feels like a new direction with more of a 1960s-’70s rock sound and “a little twang to it,” McCutchen said.

McCarthy explained: “It's always a little different, because we collaborate after Austin has a basic song idea. So when he starts coming at us with these completely off-the-wall ideas, based on what we're used to, it poses an interesting and fun challenge.

“I love that if Austin throws us a curveball, we're gonna try to hit it out of the park.”

Indie-Rock Band Choir Vandals Is Ready To Mix Things Up
Hear some of Choir Vandals' latest tracks and vision for upcoming project.
Choir Vandals vocalist/guitarist Austin McCutchen (at left) and drummer Wil McCarthy joined Thursday's talk show in studio.

Related Event
What: Foxing with Lé Ponds, Choir Vandals, Parisian, MANAPOOL
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Pageant (6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.