Friday 10 January 2014

Interview with Cave Of Swimmers

 Cave Of Swimmers cover art

Today's guests are Cave Of Swimmers. Two dudes from Venezuela now playing their blend of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/Stoner Rock in Miami.

Their brilliant S/T début album is one weird ride into the unknown. This is what I had to say about the album.

Now how the fuck do I describe this brilliant band and their insane crazy fucked up S/T début album. As these guys are very hard to describe. 70s Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal combine for one crazy ride.

Cave Of Swimmers are brilliant and they have a truly wonderful sounding album you all need to check out now”

I had to find out more from these insane rockers. As their album is very strange indeed. So lets get started with Cave Of Swimmers.

Q1 – Hi guys. How are you today. Thanks for doing this. Really appreciate it.

Guillermo: thank you for having us, Steve. I’m doing well!

Arturo: Doing real well amigo; thank you for having us.

Q2 – For people not in the know, can you give a brief history on how the band came about and where it is today.

G: well, the first time we jammed was probably in 9th grade. Mostly stuff from Metallica, Megadeth, Sepultura… bands that had that 80’s thrash sound, which was what we were into, at the time. Our first gig together was in 99; we played Metallica covers with other two buddies at some high school. We’ve both been involved with different musical projects since then, but we decided to get our own thing going maybe a year and a half ago, or so.

A:We started out playing music together at 15. He was the first person I called when first got my drumset. We played a lot together, mostly as a duo playing a bunch of Metallica and Megadeth. Then we had a Rage Against The Machine cover band during senior year in high school and early college. Then I moved to the US and


We had both moved to the US basically to have a brighter future in music. And we had been here for a few years together and even though we were playing in different bands, doing all sorts of crazy random gigs, we weren’t really playing together for real, writing songs or not even jamming. Guillermo really took the initiative of cutting the crap and getting to work. 

He got the moog pedal synth and things got spooky. We got together and played some old stuff with used to jam when we were kids, all kinds of stuff; even The Beatles. Very spontaneously we started coming up with our own material. We played our first gig at Churchill’s about 3 months after our initial get-together-for-real-this-time; we had such an amazing response… We knew we had something special that needed to be developed and ultimately shared with people. That’s where we are right now. Working on being tighter as a musical unit and spreading the “good news”. We have a weeklong tour coming up this arch, and plans for a longer one in the summer.

Q3 – Your originally both from Venezuela and now based in Miami. How did you end up in Miami. And have you known each for long.

A: We met in the 4th grade. I moved to Miami in 2004. My whole family moved to pursue better horizons here. I had been majoring in music for a couple of years in Caracas, and then applied to University of Miami and got the chance to finish my studies there.

G: Music was basically all I knew, and I was curious to see what was going on with it up here. Arturo was already here in the States, so I crashed at his place for a few weeks, and then went on my own to venture. I’m very grateful for all the cool experiences that I’ve had, and all the wonderful people that I’ve met. It’s been a huge learning experience for me.

Q4 – How is Miami treating you guys so far. Do you miss home country or is Miami now considered your home.

G: Not only Miami but South Florida in general has been good to us; we’ve had enough gigs to get by, and I’m grateful for being here. I do consider it my home. Venezuela is where I grew up, so I guess it’s natural to miss certain places, people… but everybody has been supportive, which is great.

A: Love Miami. It’s a truly unique place very different from any other American city. There are great bands here and fantastic musicians. I feel very lucky to be in a place with such diversity and great music happening. I do miss Venezuela for obvious reasons­­­—I lived there until I was 20—but moving to Miami was a rational decision; and after almost 10 years, I feel I can totally call this place home.

Q5 – Now congrats on your new album Are you guys pleased the album is finally out of there for everyone to hear.

A: Yeah, feels great.

G: Thanks! Yes, definitely!

Q6 – How would you describe your sound as you guys include a lot of different noises, sounds and ideas. Even I have a hard time describing it.

G: Best way I can describe our way of playing is… I guess we roll like an egg… it may not roll as smooth as a ball would- the edges are not consistently round- but it rolls. In terms of musical style, I much rather leave that to the listener to classify; we’re not really trying to come across as anything, we just play what we feel like playing.

A: It’s hard to describe your own sound. It’s easy for me describe someone else’s; compare it, label it, put it in a box; but when it comes to describing what we do I draw a blank and can’t put my finger on it. We’re trying to sound as natural as we can, as spontaneous as possible. After all, we’re only making sounds with a guitar, a moog synth, voice and percussion.

Q7 – Was it a hard album to record for. And would you change anything about it.

A: Wouldn’t change a thing. I came together pretty easy. We had the songs down cold. We tracked everything in about 12 hours.

G: It was hard to record in the sense that we came into the studio with an idea of how we were going to go about it, and it was everything but what we thought it’d be. We recorded the basic tracks live in probably less than 2 hours, but it took us 5 or 6 to realize that that was the way to do it… and those 5 or 6 hours were a pain, especially for Dana- the guy who recorded us- God bless him. But after the basic tracks were done, it was smooth sailing; I did the main vocals and solos in maybe a couple more hours, and then Arturo did some backing vocals… and that was that.

Q8 – Have you been pleased with the responses so far you have had for the album.

G: Yes. Like I said, we play from the heart; I’m very humbled for being here- I’m not even supposed to be here, if you take a look at my background and where I grew up- so the simple fact that I’m talking about our music with someone other than Arturo, whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter, I feel blessed for the opportunity to make music that I enjoy, and if there’s people who relate to it… it’s a very humbling feeling, for sure.

A: Yes. It’s very positive and humbling experience.

Q9 – What is the song writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is it down to one individual.

A: It’s about a 100% and 100% from each. We get together in this small room and start playing. When something feels good, we keep it, and figure out where to go from there. That’s about it.

G: it’s certainly a collective thing. Any of us can come up to the practice room at any given day with an idea- a riff, a beat, whatever- and then we build upon it.

Q10 – What is the whole concept of the album. Or do you want people to find this out for themselves.

G: It’s not so much a concept album, but rather a collection of thoughts, feelings... Our next album will certainly have a concept, and I’m very excited about that one as well.

A: Yes, open to interpretation. I wouldn’t call it a conceptual album by design. These are the first 4 songs we wrote together.

Q11 – Now where did the name Cave of Swimmers came from. And what is the meaning behind it.

A: We were called The Tunnel before C.O.S. We needed a more unique name, and we already had song with that tittle, so it made sense. “Cave of Swimmers” evokes a more interesting image than “The Tunnel”.

G: It’s a womb. I don’t know where it came from, but we all certainly came from it (hehe), seriously though, it stemmed from the song of the same name.

Q12 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians. As I detected a lot of influences when listening to it. Melvins, Sabbath, Pentagram and even Thin Lizzy. Though that could just be me detecting that one. HA HA.

G: hehe. Well, I like those bands that you mentioned, and also Hendrix, Cream, Santana, SRV, AC/DC, Metallica, Van Halen… also newer stuff, but those bands/artists certainly made me want to pick up the instrument.

A: There you go! You heard similarities with those great bands. Though, personally I’ve been influenced a bit more by The Beatles, RATM, Nirvana, Metallica, Bob Marley, Hector Lavoe, Issac Hayes, Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon, Juan Luis Guerra, Kurt Vile, Snoop Dogg, Philip Glass, Miles Davis and a bunch of other jazz groups and world music.

Q13 – What made you want to become a musician. Any particular group, album or life changing event.

A: I didn’t see myself doing anything else, especially after high school. I attempted to study electric engineering for a few months, lol. Bad idea.

G: I honestly don’t know. I love dancing, I think it’s the most basic reaction anybody can have to music, and I liked dancing to Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker movie when I was a kid. My family would laugh their asses off, but I didn’t give a shit, I was diggin’ it so much! Haha.

Q14 – How big of a help has BandCamp and the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal community been in getting your music across to fans.

G: it’s been very important, for sure. That’s how I hear all my favourite bands’ stuff; 9 times out of 10 they have a Bandcamp page. I keep spelling it “Bandcamo”. The “p” is too close to the “o”.

A: Love bandcamp. I really like their simple and clear format; it makes things easy.

Q15 – Do you perform many gigs in your Miami or do you have to travel further away to perform live regularly.

A: We play in Miami about once every couple of months. But we’re going out of town more and more now.

G: We’ve been fortunate enough to be actively gigging locally, but we’re looking forward to venturing out this year.

Q16 – Are you all full time musicians or do you all have full time jobs

G: I was a full time musician for many years, but a few years ago I discovered I like to edit videos. I now divide my time between music and video editing.

A: Yes, pretty much full time musician. I teach drum set and play around town other styles of music.

Q17 – In 5 words or less – describe the live Cave of Swimmers experience.

A: “Dude, what the fuck?"

G: honest music and honest performing.

Q18 – If you could give advice to someone wanting to start a band. What advice would you give them.

G: Do it, have fun, write music, get gigs. Don’t get too much equipment; less stuff to carry/set up.

A: Do it. Practice hard and be honest.

Q19 – Finally, Do you have anything to say to your fans.

A: They’re the best. It’s really humbling to be around them. I’m very thankful.

G: We appreciate you all, be blessed, and thanks so much for your support!

Well guys, thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. Best of luck with your album.

G: thanks for the interview, Steve, we certainly appreciate it!!!

Thanks to Cave of Swimmers for the great interview. Awesome band I highly recommend you check out now from the links below.