“Banged out cutlery from a slang-mouthed region”—this seemingly nonsensical phrase serves as the slogan for The Destroyers Club, a recently formed Chattanooga-based group of multi-media creatives who strive to present exemplary art and music with vigor and a touch of mystery.
“It’s a twist on a line from an EL-P song that connotes rawness and a pride and truth in where you come from,” explained Carl Cadwell, one of the co-founders of The Destroyers Club, along with videographer Drew Belz and 2-D artist and designer Michael Mahaffey, during a round-robin interview conducted recently via email. “We tend to be drawn to the raw, the simple, and the forceful. We like to do it with our bare hands.”
Cadwell, a keyboardist and producer, is known as a member of the soul-funk group The Distribution, a former member of the electro-post-rock outfit Infradig, and the studio wizard brainchild behind the synth-pop project Summer Dregs.
“All of us are producers, collaborators by nature, and tangled up in the Chattanooga scene,” Cadwell said. “One day we were collaborating together and I said, ‘You know, we’re all in Chattanooga, I respect your work, and I’d like to be associated with you if you feel the same way … and then Drew was like, ‘Hey, that’s a good idea, but how about we get an organization together whose website is bigger than us, puts on the occasional party and show, and generally builds up Chattanooga.’”
“The way Drew explained it to me in the beginning was: we want to tear shit up, lift Chattanooga up on high, and have an amazing time all the while,” recalled Mahaffey.
Belz and Mahaffey met several years ago while working at CreateHere, after which Belz formed the video production company Fancy Rhino and brought Mahaffey aboard as art director.
“Mahaffey is the most down-to-earth guy and completely on point. It informs his work, which is simple and inspired at once,” Cadwell said.
“My design for The Destroyers Club is strong and iconic, but most importantly playful,” Mahaffey said. “The idea is that we take our work very seriously, but don’t take ourselves so seriously.”
The portfolio of The Destroyers Club is a growing collection of diverse projects, including the 2011 dual-EP CD release from Reeve Hunter and John Perry produced by Cadwell, Mahaffey’s impeccable designs for Track 29 concert posters for the likes of M. Ward and Wanda Jackson, and Belz’s music video for the Jumbling Towers track “The Ramifications of an Exciting Spouse,” a meticulously created 1930s period piece which ends in a stylish barroom gambling brawl.
The video “There’s a Fire Down Here,” which documents the East Lake neighborhood with a series of beautifully framed shots, is another standout and a Destroyers favorite.
Another current video project involves The Distribution tackling an assortment of “warped and joyful” cover songs, according to Cadwell, including tracks from Daft Punk and The Black Keys.
To announce The Destroyers Club’s presence, an idea emerged to throw a party and one-off show by The Distribution. The band willl appear at Velo Coffee on Friday, April 27.
So what’s in the future for The Destroyers Club?
“Constant creative mayhem,” Belz said. “Our goal is to help Chattanoogans and those outside of the city experience the best media and art Chattanooga and Chattanooga’s friends have to offer,” Cadwell said. “Of course we’re not there yet, but at least it’s a goal.”
The Destroyers Club presents The Distribution, DJ KRRS24, Famous Nater’s Sandwich Truck
$12 (includes beer) • 21+
9 p.m. Friday, April 27
Velo Coffee 509 E. Main St.