Pulse of the Maggots x SXSW: The Callous Daoboys thrive in their role as the wild card

Pulse of the Maggots x SXSW: The Callous Daoboys thrive in their role as the wild card

- By Ramon Gonzales

Trekking in support of the praised full length, 'Celebrity Therapist' the mathcore standouts discuss the double-edged sword of being outliers in heavy music.

Both onstage and on record, the baseline for Atlanta, Georgia's The Callous Daoboys is chaos. You'd be sorely mistaken however to think that the band's brand of musical bedlam, is anything other than meticulously deliberate.

An assaultive amalgam of mathcore accented by instances of pop, jazz and precision-based metalcore, The Callous Daoboys stylistically have earned comparisons to greats like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch and even Mr. Bungle for good reason. Coloring outside the lines of conventional heavy music, the sextet (that can sometimes ballon to an octet depending on the circumstances) submitted one of 2022's most acclaimed albums in Celebrity Therapist - a full length characterized by it's caustic execution of the unconventional.

Delving into themes like conspiracy theories, zealotry disguised as patriotism and the universal allure of cult culture, the band's substantive ambition on Celebrity Therapist is as inventive and intentional as the accompanying compositions. It's that combination of style and substance that has kept the band on the road, securing touring spots with a broad variety of artists ranging from Rolo Tomossi, Avatar and most recently with Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows.

Set to showcase their unhinged presentation of pummel at this year' Pulse of the Maggots x SXSW showcase, The Callous Daoboys frontman Carson Pace framed the significance of what the last year has been like for the band. He spoke graciously about keeping the praise Celebrity Therapist has earned in perspective and the anxious energy packaged with playing their first international festivals later this year.

Pace also weight the pros and cons of existing outside of any particular category and how daring to be different means getting comfortable with always being the wild card.


Considering the band’s wit and obvious sense of humor, you gotta love that you are showcasing in Texas with a band name that cleverly fucks with their beloved Cowboys right?

Pace - It's hilarious to me. People in Texas either love it, or despise it and they're not shy to tell us which one. We've definitely gotten an earful at the merch table a couple times, but in our defense we didn't expect to get this far!

Celebrity Therapist was a statement album for the band. Every band says they don’t pay attention to the critics, but is there any sense of validation that comes from having your work being so highly praised in so many publications?

Pace - To see such high-profile publications show love for our record will never not be surreal. Having magazines like Kerrang and Revolver cover us is an honor of the highest degree, and something none of us take for granted.

From a thematic standpoint, the album references the Church of Scientology. What about the church and the celebrity center piqued your interest?

Pace - My interest was in the idea of these people being placed into stardom. Scientology might as well be the most connected talent agency in Hollywood, their influence is irrefutable. The idea of whittling down your personality, taking away your individuality to become a star through their connections must be incredibly alluring. I don’t know anything about Tom Cruise other than that he’s an actor and he does his own stunts, and he’s the highest paid actor in Hollywood.


ArcTanGent, Radar Festival, Brutal Assault - what kind of nervous energy is the band operating with knowing that you will be participating in international festivals season this summer? How much does it mean to you to reach fans in different parts of the world?

Pace - It's an intimidating prospect for sure. However, it's all we've been able to talk or think about, so we're definitely thrilled to be able to be a part of it all. I remember seeing lineups for ArcTanGent and just fuming that I couldn't go. Playing to people in a whole different continent for the first time will be a definite dream come true, and we appreciate all the support and outreach from our fans across the ocean.

Given the kind of touring slate you have been on in support of Celebrity Therapist - what has it been like trying to devote focus and time to your next record? Moreso, how has the energy and live experience from the road impacted you as songwriters?

Pace - Playing these new songs live definitely gives us clues as to what works and what doesn't. That being said, the connection you get from playing live music is one that's unlike anything else, and I think we keep that in mind when writing new stuff. Audience enthusiasm/participation is a key aspect to how we write, seeing how crowds react is more important than anything.

Stylistically, the band seems to thrive in being the wild card on the bill. Has that worked in your favor or against you when it comes to laying out touring plans?

Pace - It's a bit of a double-edged sword, it's fun to be the odd band out but sometimes we find our way onto lineups that we stick out like a sore thumb on. Our tour with Avatar was a great example of that, we got added on last minute and you could just tell we were out of our element a little bit. Even then though, getting to win people over (or trying to) was fun in its own way, and the dudes in Avatar were nothing but gracious to us.


Ahead of this play at SXSW for the Knotfest Showcase - what feels promising about this next generation of heavy culture?

Pace - There's a lot to be excited about! The sheer variety is my favorite thing, and this SXSW showcase is full of it. You have bands on complete opposite ends of the spectrum; death metal from Creeping Death to supercharged rock from Militarie Gun. It's all very promising, and seeing all these bands come up from vastly different places and genres is a pleasure to witness. There really is something for everyone.

Catch The Callous Daoboys live at the Pulse of the Maggots x KNOTFEST x SXSW showcase on March 18th along with Militarie Gun, Soul Glo, Escuela Grind, VCTMS and Creeping Death.

Access to the official SXSW x KNOTFEST x PULSE OF THE MAGGOTS Showcase will be for SXSW badge holders with an allotment of tickets available at the door, depending on venue capacity.

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