By day, Christy Karacas helps craft 11-minute bursts of absurd cartoon mayhem for Adult Swim. By night, he helps make three-minute bursts of unrefined garage rock. It takes a lot of hard labor to keep things short and smart-stupid.
"Work in the day, band at night," Karacas says of his schedule.
Karacas plays guitar in the party-hearty Brooklyn garage band Cheeseburger, and co-created the Adult Swim series "Superjail!," which follows the adventures of a group of super criminals serving time in a jail built in a volcano that seems to exist outside of space and time. It's a busy schedule, but it helps that -- to him -- there are a lot of parallels between his two professions.
"There are a lot of similarities in constructing a song and constructing an animatic – things like pacing, dynamics – kind of constructing the 'parts,' making them go together, finding a good balance of ups and downs," says Karacas. "That said, I'm way more comfortable directing and doing animation than playing music. I love music but it’s way more of a struggle for me; I'm not a really good guitarist. Cheeseburger riffs are pretty simple caveman type stuff. I just try to have fun."
Karacas got his start on the MTV animation showcase "Cartoon Sushi" in the late '90s. A few years ago he and his partner Stephen Warbrick (who has worked on "Beavis And Butthead" and "Celebrity Deathmatch") made a short called "Barfight" that caught the attention of Adult Swim, which wanted to see a longer pitch that involved a little more story to go with all the nonsense.
"I had an old jail show idea I showed them but it wasn't weird enough so I was like, 'What if it’s just the most insane jail ever created for the most dangerous psychotic inmates in the world...a superjail? Kind of like if Willy Wonka had a prison instead of a chocolate factory?'" Karacas said.
Karacas says the band is writing new material, adding "we're still playing, licensing tracks off the new record, and of course, partying."
The second season of "Superjail!" just came out on DVD , and below we have proof of Karacas' party claims, a clip from the DVD bonus material that features Cheeseburger performing the "Superjail" theme song "Coming Home" live with help from comedian Jon Glasser and The Warden.