InterviewsOctober 21, 200411,714 views

Cave In interview

By Mark Keraly
Interviewer/photographer Mark Keraly caught up with Cave In frontman Stephen Brodsky at a recent show in Southern California.

What really happened with RCA? I think most people suspect that you guys didn't sell enough albums, so they dropped you.

Well, we pretty much decided ourselves that we didn't really belong on the label any longer. We approached them with that notion and they were cool with it, they let us go... it really was an easy thing.

In hindsight, is it pretty safe to say that you regret signing with RCA?

Oh, not at all! Here's a giant corporation that gave us a ton of money to tour and to make an album and do a bunch of other stuff... make free recordings and free promotional stuff.

Yeah, I guess you guys really cant complain then.

No, not at all. We were able to use their tour support and gain strong followings over in England and Europe, and in Japan.

That would be pretty hard without a major backing you?

It would have taken us longer.

Were there any other major label offers on the table?

There was like... three or four... maybe five.


Virgin made an offer, Capitol made an offer... maybe even Maverick, but I'm not sure.

In your opinion, why wasn't Antenna a huge success from a commercial perspective?

I really don't know, I mean... I guess it just wasn't meant to be, which is ok. I think there were certain mechanical factors that happened in terms of the structure at our label falling apart. Our A&R guy left RCA as soon as our record came out and that really put a damper on things. Some people are just lucky with that sort of thing and we happened not to be so lucky. I don't necessarily look at it that way. I look at it as the luck being in our favor because of that. Mainly because the soul fact that the new songs we're working on are more exciting to us than anything we've done in the past.

How would you describe the new songs?

I think upon first listen it's very noticeable that they are a little bit more aggressive.

Until Your Heart Stops aggressive?

No, I don't think we could ever do something like that again. I think if you took all of our past albums and tossed them into a blender you could probably get an idea of what our new stuff sounds like.

People in the "scene" figure that since you didn't sell a million copies of Antenna, you're returning to your metal roots in some sort of attempt to re-connect with your original fans. Any truth to that?

It's not a conscious effort. I think it's a mutual thing where people sort of appreciate us not pretending that we didn't come from this kind of scene or don't appreciate it. I think by doing that, we honor the fact that people really like Until Your Heat Stops and we play some of those songs live now. We've kind of learned a lot from the experience of being on a major label and it really isn't the world for us. Maybe we sort of took other things for granted.

What do you feel you took for granted?

Maybe just the idea that our fans really like us for all different reasons musically and we kind of ignored that for a while by not playing older songs or trying to play the role of a different kind of band... it just didn't work for us. It didn't feel natural, you know?

Do you have any regrets in that sense?

Yeah... I mean there's a few regrets here and there. Some of it has to do with business decisions.

Anything you can mention?

I think some of the touring choices we made were not so good.

With bands or locations?

I think... I think both.

So what jobs are you currently doing to stay afloat?

Adam works at a record store. Caleb and J.R. don't work right now. I have just been working on a new record of my own, so I don't have a job.

What's your own stuff like?

It's just some stuff I've been doing on my own. I actually have some demos... I can give you a copy.

That would be great, thanks. Can you kind of describe what it's like?

Adam calls it Syd Barrett video game music.

Is it folky, acoustic style or what?

I don't know... I'll give you a copy and you'll see.

(Upon listening, Stephen Brodsky's solo work is really good... definitely something to look forward to.)

Out of all the material you guys have put out, what is your favorite Cave In release?

I would have to say Jupiter.

Why's that?

I think because it was a really bold thing to do at the time that we did it. It would have been really easy for us to try and make another heavy metal record and just sort of play the role of being in a hardcore band, when really that wasn't what was in our hearts.

A pretty ambitious move. Is there anything that you guys have released that now makes you cringe?

Oh, yeah... there's certain songs that I cant really listen to anymore.

Can you name a few?

I don't want to spoil the listening experience for anybody. Let's just say "Crambone" probably isn't one of the most important things ever created in the universe. (laughing)

Most bands that have been around for as long as Cave In seem to be plagued by lineup changes. Why has your current lineup remained solid for so long?

I think the four of us really respect each other as people and as players. There's this sort of unspoken honor system where the band really is four individual parts that come together and make something really unique, and if one of those parts happen to disappear then it would be like a table losing its leg or a car without its wheel. It just wouldn't be able to serve its purpose.

That's a damn good analogy. A lot of bands are missing that apparently.

Each band is its own entity... I'm sure it differs from group to group.

Do you guys consider yourselves a part of the hardcore/metal scene?

We're friends with some bands that play that kind of music. We're friendly with people who submerse themselves in nothing but that kind of music, but as people and as music listeners, that really doesn't describe us at all. Our music tastes are so much more eclectic and obviously our playing styles are a little bit more broad than just being strictly heavy metal. I think we've kind of proven that.

What do you think of the new Converge record?

Oh, it's great! It's very punk! It's got a good attitude to it.

So what's next for Cave In?

It's kind of hard to say. Some of the guys have moved to different parts of the country and that's kind of a new things or us. We've always lived in the same area with each other.

(Converge begins playing "Forsaken" inside the venue)

Yeah, Forsaken...

So good.

You want to go in and mosh?

(laughing) Ok, I'll give you my questions and you can finish it. I've got to go floor punch the ceiling. (laughing) No, I'm cool. I've got some word associations for you, you know how those work?


Neo and Trinity

Geometry. Oh... cause for a second I didn't know what you said!

From the Matrix...

Oh! "Whoa"


Ron Anderson. And that's because Ron Anderson is a vocal coach that I went to and his technique specialized in opera, he's an opera singer. He changed my life and really helped me out a lot... and he always talked about Liberace. (laughing)

New Jersey

Dillinger Escape Plan

Berlin Wall


Victory Records

Between the Buried and Me. We're on tour with them.

Kid Kilowatt

Pink. Because I stare at that fucking CD every time I sell merch. It's just like... this pink think sitting on the table! (laughing)

Women's suffrage

I picture a fist.


Prune like.


Moby Dick


What is Gmail?

Google's email

It sounds like a hip hop thing...

Boston Beatdown


Pear got laid

Could I just ask why you're asking me this?

It's just some old stuff I've had compiled... Flo from Cryptopsy.

Oh, sick drummer!

Great, that's all I've got. Thank you so much, it was a lot of fun.

Yeah, no problem, man.


Post Comment
anonymous 11/3/2013 5:37:05 PM

Legit artist, legit band.

anonymous 11/3/2013 9:50:37 PM

i've so much respect & admiration for this band. keep doing what you do Steve, Adam, Caleb, and J.R.! i hope you guys can make it to S.E. Asia one day. - Z