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Published: 2012/03/17
by Sam Robertson

Caveman Cometh

Do you feel with Jimmy making guitars and being into gear opens up more possibilities in the studio?

Matt: Yeah I mean, they’re really great guitars too and they all have their own specific sound. If you build it, then you know so much about it and you know every sound and every component of it. So that helps out a lot.

Stefan: Having a few guys, having not only Jimmy build guitars but he and Jeff (bassist) and Sam (keyboardist) all have experience having worked at the great guitar stores of New York. That helps a lot.

Cool, so you guys all have experience working in music stores, and you guys were all part of the New York music scene for years before putting Caveman together. Can you talk a little bit about those days and when you decided to form a band together and make it happen?

Matt: Yeah, all of our bands broke up that we were all in. Stefan and I had played in a band together. We played like two shows, it was just some fun, quick thing we did and I played in a band with Jeff and Jimmy and Sam you know, just randomly, a jamband. And so we were all just playing tons of music together and Jeff and Sam were playing together cause Jeff has his own band too called Starcrossed Signs. So they were playing, and then Jeff and I would hang out at the bar he was working at. He was liking the songs and then Stefan and I were hanging out and so it all just kind of came together at the right time with all this not being in bands at that moment but all playing enough together and wanting to play shows together for a long time. That brought us all together.

Did you get together with the idea that you would write new music with that group of guys?

Matt: We started to write new music together once we all came together. Before that we’d occasionally write… well Stefan and I were writing some songs together but not anything we were taking serious, we were just joking. It was more about the idea of playing together and that was the same thing with the other side things we were doing, excluding obviously Jeff’s other band, which he does really have a direction for.

Stefan: Yeah, me and Matt it was something where he was the one who actually came to me because we’d had so much enthusiasm to play music together but the short-lived project we had was just for kicks.

While we’re talking of about pre-Caveman projects, in terms of songwriting, the songs on CoCo Beware, were they songs that you wrote together or were they brought from previous projects?

Matt: A lot of the first record is like half songs that I wrote and half songs that we came up with together. And mostly just like an idea, you know a small idea that I brought to the band, but nothing really was anything that was part of other projects. It all kinda started when this project started.

You would bring in an acoustic skeleton?

Matt: Yeah it depends. It could be just a quick chord progression, a quick melody and then it’ll turn into a four minute song when everybody plays it so it’s gotta start somewhere, it’s gotta end somewhere.

CoCo Beware received a ton of critical praise including a rave review from the New York Times. Do you feel any added pressure for a second album after so many great reviews?

Matt: No. I mean we’ve all done records before that have gotten like zero press. So whatever, we’re gonna write another record, if it doesn’t get any, we’ll write another one. I’m not worried about it.

Stefan: It’s more inspiring and exciting, getting the hometown support.

Matt: It’s great to get it, there’s definitely nothing better than it, but at the end of the day, we’ll still write records and try not to worry about it.

What was it like selling out Bowery Ballroom, speaking of hometown support?

Matt: It was crazy.

Stefan: The best.

Matt: I would go there as a kid and see shows, and remember thinking “that’s the place, when you do that you’re doing something” and nowadays, it’s so cool, what an amazing place to be able to play.

Stefan: It feels like a real benchmark, that place.

Matt: Our first show ever was at Bowery, opening for The White Rabbits. But yeah it was an amazing moment, just cause I always loved that place. Definitely means something in your hometown, cause you’ve got the hometown behind you.

Stefan: It was incredibly exciting.

One of your favorite experiences as a touring band?

Stefan: As a person. Probably one of my favorite experiences as a person.

While we’re on the topic of live touring, I wanted to ask about opening for The War On Drugs and what that stint was like?

Matt: Oh it was great. Although Stefan didn’t have as good as a time.

Stefan: We had the best time, halfway through I got sick and had to go off the tour but I’m better now. But it was the greatest. They’re definitely one of our favorite bands for sure. And they’re the best dudes.

Did you take any lessons from them in terms of how they perform and approach their songs?

Matt: I think they just like to be relaxed and have fun playing and we could really relate to them on so many levels, with music and just as people, which was great. And that’s what made it a really cool experience.

Were you fans of their music before touring with them?

Matt: Yeah, totally.

Stefan: Yeah it’s just like double after that tour. They’re making such good records.

You guys both have a dreamy, jangly sound going for you. Are they a bit of an influence or just good friends?

Matt: Yeah just good dudes. I think we’re all influenced by similar things.

What are some of those bands?

Matt: They love Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, they are all about that era of music, they’re into feel good jams. Emotional feel good jams.

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