THANKS to Cavey for kicking this week off...
by telling me about the latest single, About to Start, and how it came together. I discover how the band came together and what is coming up in terms of gigs and material; which musicians and sounds inspire what they do – they recommend a rising artist to look out for.
I ask whether there is a favourite career memory so far and what they want to achieve before the end of this year; the advice approaching songwriters should take to heart – the interview is completed with a rather good song choice.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! We've had a busy one preparing for the single launch, celebrating too!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Cavey; a four-piece Alt-Rock band from London. We try to tastefully combine playing styles into our particular sound; the interplay between Jazz harmony, electric guitar and my songwriting. It’s just Alt-Rock, but that's a pretty broad umbrella. There's something different in us and it comes from the band's technicalities.
What is the tale behind your new single, About to Start? How did it come together?
I haven't asked, but I'm sure most musicians experience a sort of double-reality; one in which they are fulfilled by the joy of playing and connection with bandmates and the audience and another in which nothing they do is ever enough to satisfy the abstract idea of success portrayed in films and the media. One is always in danger of succumbing to the latter, which can include overworking yourself, neglecting others and feeling incomplete. About to Start is about the conflict of love and the belief that the only way to make it is to sacrifice everything.
Was it cool having Blaenavon’s Frank Wright produce? What was that like?!
Frank and I have been friends for years, so it was very comfortable. Because we know each other so well it makes it easier to communicate musically. I feel like we both know we can criticise each other constructively without negative consequences - which is always good - because then we're serving the song and not somebody's ego.
Might we see more material from you guys next year?
How did Cavey get together? Do you all share tastes in the same sort of music?
Cavey formed two years ago after Frank Wright (Blaenavon) introduced me to Adrian (drums) at a show in Kilburn. I had a couple of songs that weren't right for any of my current Country or Hard-Rock bands, because the songwriting was a little gentler and a little bleaker, so I decided to form a new project. Adrian introduced me to a bunch of Jazz musicians at Guildhall and the songs I had written grew into a more cohesive sound that seemed like a good kind of different.
We played a few shows as a trio, with Alex (keys) doing the bass parts with his left hand, and had great feedback and support from the crowd so we decided to record a few tracks. We tracked them cheaply at a studio beneath Camden Roundhouse and they went on to become our first E.P., Night Time. We had Josh Eggerton of Social Contract play bass for a while, but he got too busy with his band, so Adrian suggested Refa playing double bass. She had all the songs down in like three days and smashed the E.P. launch so she was definitely in! That's still our current line-up.
Refa, Alex and Adrian all studied Jazz music at Guildhall and they have their idols in that discipline, Sonny Clark, Tony Williams and Charlie Haden, as well as more contemporary Rock and Pop stuff. From Radiohead to ABBA, they really know their stuff! I learnt guitar with Classic-Rock and Blues. Classic stuff like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and Sabbath on the Rock end and Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker and Freddie Kind on the Blues end. But, now I tend to gravitate towards the lyrically talented musicians - Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and Joni Mitchell to name a few. So, we are quite a mixed bag but there are definitely cross over points.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Now the single is out, we're gonna spend a while writing songs. I'm gonna try and have an album’s worth by Christmas.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Hopefully, the recording and release of that album!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
We played a show at Barrel Project in Bermondsey recently, but we weren't playing Cavey songs; it was mainly Jazz and Funk tunes. It was great to see Adrian Alex and Refa in their element and put myself out of my comfort zone too. In the end, we had such a great jam. It's sometimes more pressure playing originals so it was nice to blow off some musical steam like that!
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Adrian: Life to Everything by Phronesis
Because it’s really good.
Cavey: The Best Air Guitar Album in the World... Ever!
After listening to that a few times, I asked my dad for an electric guitar.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I'd support Ryley Walker. I’d ask have the promoters install a nacho cheese pump in the green room and serve us a sh*t-load of crisps and beer...and a million pounds.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
29th November at The Old Queen's Head. Tickets are £4 here.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Practicing and playing all the time are more important than a social media presence. Get your sh*t together before you start spreading stuff everywhere.
IMAGE CREDIT: Dick Stusso
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I recommend Dick Stusso.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Yeah, but I normally feel guilty for not working hard enough, so it can be difficult. If I can remember to tell myself I'm working hard enough, I'll go out and blow off some steam. I like dancing and karaoke is always fun.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
How Do You Think It Feels by Lou Reed