J.W. Schuller – ‘Caterpillars’

No Mud in Joyville contains the song Caterpillars, it’s a song about rebirth which is highly reflective of the album cover as well as the tone of the instrumentals. The rebirth which is in the song is the way a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Into something more beautiful, powerful and at the same time more gentle than it was before. The album cover is also reflective of this message. Also nature, which is riddled with rebirth, is a powerful image that is used everywhere throughout the album. The flowers and insects work to add warmth as well as contribute to the message of growth and change.

The photo that is used as the cover for the No Mud in Joyville album is of a clay miniature skeleton riding a sunflower with a blue sky colored background. The figure appears to be descending with a feeling of happiness, although the skeleton does not have a clear expression. The title, No Mud in Joyville is a title that matches the scene that is painted on the cover. It’s biting and yet has pleasantness to it. Mud implies trouble and the title is stating that there is none of that dirty mud in Joyville.

The band’s genre is of the indie/punk persuasion. The group consists of J.W. Schuller on acoustic guitar and his nephew on drums. Schuller first began his musical journey when he was 12. His play style progressed from loud to nursing homes and eventually wound up where he is today. The country/ rustic style of the duos look as well as the look of the website continues the theme of nature in a consistent and surprising manner. This keeps the pair both fresh and still authentic.

The song Caterpillars is a unique song in the unique album, No Mud in Joyville. It addresses the optimism which has been presented thus far by the duo. The intro begins with just guitar, and then other instrumentals enter. It has a great relaxing and yet fast paced sound. The inspirational lyrics create a level of cheer which is reflective of the album cover. Cheer is also created by the repetition of the word “butterflies,” it adds to the theme of rebirth, of growth and optimism which is their ultimate intent.

No Mud in Joyville’s Caterpillars is a breath a fresh air. It carries with it a sense of optimism that most bands cannot touch. The reason for the intensity behind it is the authenticity. The feeling of cheer is carried out in a way which doesn’t explicitly use the words; joy, happiness, or cheer. It is created by setting up the stage with great images. These images also play off of the refreshing vibe which nature inherently gives off. It is the same calming and relaxing feeling which consumes us when we are in a park or the sun is shining on our faces. This band creates true feelings by manipulating the portrayal of images through instrumentals and vocals.


By Max Wegman