It’s with a broken heart that we share the news that Andy James Chaves of the Tempe, AZ based band Katastro has died in a car accident along with 2 others on Thursday morning at about 12:46am on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, CA near Newport Blvd.
According to Newport Beach Police:
A car carrying three people that was traveling east on the PCH hit a curb in the median and then slammed into roadwork construction equipment.
The three people in the car, two men and a woman, died on scene. They were identified as Crystal M. McCallum, 34, of Texas; Wayne Walter Swanson Jr., 40, of Newport Coast; and Andrew James Chaves, 32, of Arizona, according to Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Steinle.
Three roadworkers who were standing nearby when the collision occurred were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.”
Andy James Chaves formed Katastro in 2007 in Tempe, AZ with drummer Andrew Stravers, and Tanner Riccio before later adding bassist, Ryan Weddle. They are known for being a fan driven, hard working, lyrically profound alt. rock band led by Andy’s ability to rap and deliver melodic hooks around party anthems.
Since 2007 the band had released 6 full length albums, 2 acoustic records and a couple EP’s. Andy was just featured as a guest appearance on Kash’d Out’s latest single, “Highway Robbery” that dropped on April 29th, 2022. Just recently, Andy was shown in the studio working with members of Dirty Heads as it was reported that the group was writing for a new album with plans to hit the road this summer with Iration, Atmosphere & The Grouch. The group had just performed on April 30th at Red Rocks with Sublime with Rome.
The Pier last spoke to Andy via Twitter on April 15th when he posted a picture of his band’s album discography hanging on the wall. The albums are framed, displaying the cover art & CD with a caption that read: “You think my dad put this up right before I got here or what?”
We replied, asking, which one holds the most sentimental weight? Any one in particular over the others? To which Andy replied: “For me probably Gentle Predator, Washed and Sucker. Feel like those were the ones that really made things different for us after each release. That being said if I hear Wonderful Daze I immediately get thrown back to the beginning and my mouth tastes like plastic bottle liquor.”
Watch: Katastro TV Episode 16: Red Rocks (4/30/2022)
To the fans of Katastro: If you’re reading this, go stream the shit out of Katastro’s music right now! Put it on repeat. Go buy every single piece of merchandise available from the bands store — Show them this community is here to lift them up, to celebrate their music & the positive impact they’ve had on our lives the last 15+ years. Let’s wear Katastro merchandise to each and every show this year & show the band how far our love can reach. When we see each other wearing Katastro merch, give each other a hug & share your favorite Katastro song. You can purchase Katastro Merchandise by clicking HERE!
Our hearts go out to Andy’s family, friends & loved ones! To Gonzo, Andrew, Tanner & Ryan and the extended Katastro crew & family, we are so sorry, we love you guys, we are here for you guys and our hearts are with you.
To Andy: Thank you for the music, your words, your energy, putting yourself out there and inspiring so many in the process. You are forever loved, forever missed and you will never be forgotten. R.I.P.
Watch: Katastro – “Hotel Lobby”