Cave In Biography
This is where Cave In has come from and what they have done . . . according to Stephen Brodsky
Cave In began as a remedy for boring suburban hell in the early springtime of 1995. Jay Frechette (ex-vocalist) and I grew up a couple blocks from each other in the not-so-nice part of Methuen, MA. It was in his parents' basement where we first began to write songs as Cave In. This is also the same place where one of Jay's little cousins would drink bleach and sit inside J.R.'s bass drum during practice. There were plenty of attempts at doing bands prior to Cave In, with names like Quinine and System3 (who's repetoire included the occasional Snapcase or Threadbare cover song) and they were all a hell of a good time. With myself, Jay, Justin Matthes on bass, Adam McGrath on guitar, and John-Robert Conners on the skins, we put our tiny brains together and tried to sound heavy and also combine everything else we liked about music. Despite our naivety and high school confusion, we got serious and recorded our first real "demo" that summer on my little cassette 4-track machine.
We played almost every show we were offered. Taking 3 car pools to Orange, CT and back for one show, opening for a Deadguy no-show at the Living Room in Providence and playing in front of virtually no one except the folks who'd driven us to the show: this was "paying your dues", as they say. So it was a nice break to befriend local bands like Piebald, Converge, Gambit, Splintered, 357 Noise and countless others who would help us along the way.
Sometime in the autumn of 1995, Jay Randall offered to self-release a Cave In/Gambit split 7" and we were delighted. Brian McTernan was operating Salad Days in Brighton MA at the time, so we bummed rides from everyone we could to do the sessions because none of us had our driver's licenses yet. Nervous as hell, we somehow managed to squeeze out 4 songs in December of that year, and the release of the Cave In/Gambit record followed shortly after.
We recorded more songs with Brian in April of 1996 for two releases: a Cave In/Early Grace split 7" on the Tampa-based Independence Day label and a Cave In/Piebald split 7" on Moo Cow Records. Talk about splitting headaches, hah hah. Justin played on these songs with a fresh cast on his left hand from a mishap that took place outside in a nearby park while we killed time waiting to record. The shit just hits the fan exactly when you need it. Both of those records were released together in the autumn of 1996, and we trudged on, somewhat disgruntled that no one had yet to offer us our own Cave In release and not another split record. That is, until Aaron Turner of Hydra Head caught a Cave In show sometime in the early winter of 1996 and expressed interest in the band.
Piebald & Converge, both new to the Hydra Head family at the time, were filled with nothing but good things to say. Aaron offered us our own 7" on Hydra Head and we kissed his feet. In the winter of 1996-1997 we booked more time with Brian at Salad Days to record songs for our next single. We wrote 2 of the heaviest & longest suckers we possibly could, and Hydra Head released the 7" sometime around May of 1997. It was great to finally feel a part of a good record label that actually worked at getting our name out there. Andy "Gondiva" Kyte became our new bass player shortly after the recording, and we did our first little east coast tour to Florida and back that summer. This time marked the leaving of vocalist Jay from the band (he went to briefly play guitar for Ten Yard Fight) and taking Dave Scrod to fill his position. Late that summer is when we really began concentrating writing songs for "Until Your Heart Stops".
In the meantime, we decided it would be nice to have everything we'd done up until that point available on one "discography" CD. So Aaron gave us the 'go' and we reworked some guitar & vocal tracks on the older songs to give them some new life (we can now admit that some aspects of this decision were quite foolish), while recording a few new ones to round the thing out, and "Beyond Hypothermia" was born. However, Dave Scrod's spot in Cave In was short-lived after a Cave In/Piebald winter tour in 1997-1998, and shortly after we recruited Caleb Scofield of Strike 3 - fame to play bass in the band. We decided to play by the "3 strikes and you're out" rule with our rotating 5th member situation and didn't bother to fill the spot of 'lone vocalist' with someone else. Instead, we shrunk to a 4 - piece band and rehearsed the songs for "Until Your Heart Stops" this way. It was liberating to finally play music again without the nuisance of a 5th ego.
In late April we began recording "Until Your Heart Stops" at Kurt/Converge's new God City studio in Allston. By the summertime the record was released and we went on our first real U.S. tour with Canadian rockers Ire. They hid poop in our van, we lashed back by attacking their van with it, and we all had a splendid time together.
By this time the band was really settling into being a 4-piece and we felt it was time to play around with some new ideas. Brian offered us a free recording in November of 1998, and we went to Gloucester to record some songs we were playing around with that eventually became tracks on our next EP.
Adam & I scraped up a few 4-track pieces that fit the mood and dumped it all together to make "Creative Eclipses". We all agreed that the band wasn't ready to dive into writing songs for another full-length, so we thought it best to release something small until we were ready to begin the next project. After a short winter tour with The Dillinger Escape Plan & Converge, "Creative Eclipses" was released on Hydra Head.
We spent the rest of 1999 writing, recording for both a Cure and a Bad Brains tribute compilations, and touring extensively with Isis & breifly with Neurosis.
I always wanted to write a record titled "Jupiter", and by the time the EP got into people's hands we had started writing songs for our next record. Being our first real album as a 4-piece band, "Jupiter" was our first opportunity to create songs that carry no demons from past incarnations of the band. But I'd say we had a hell of a time trying to write this thing. The blazing van fire we experienced on our tour with Isis didn't help us much either: we lost most of our equipment and it certainly threw off the speed of things, not only for the writing of the record but for the band in general. We took some time in February & March to lay "Jupiter" onto tape, and it's easily our favorite record so far.
So that's it for now, the thrilling life story of Cave In without the rock n' roll excitement of drugs, senseless violence, teenage pregnancies, and. . . well, yes there were some pyro-technics involved. . .