Thu, 25 Mar 2010 18:25:59
Cavo bridge a longstanding gap in rock music.
On one end of the spectrum there's the cock rock that Motley Crue and all of the '80s stalwarts cranked out so well—carefree, booze-fueled, good time party jams. Then there's the more sensitive, smart artful alt rock that came courtesy of Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and many others in the early '90s. All of those bands are juggernauts in their own right, but there have been very few that could share stages with the likes of both. However, Cavo can hang though…
In fact on their Reprise Records debut, Bright Nights Dark Days, Cavo churn out arena-ready anthems such as the hit "Champagne" with as much style and charm as they tear through the darker, more thoughtful moments of "Let It Go" and "Useless." The band's got the spark of Motley Crue and the soul of Alice In Chains, and it's a damn good combination.
While out on the road with Daughtry, Cavo mainman Casey Walker spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author about being honest for Bright Nights Dark Days, bringing "the album" back, taking a cue from Stone Temple Pilots and Big Fish.
You guys bring an old school sense of fun back to rock 'n' roll but, at the same time, the songs definitely feel meaningful. You balance those extremes very well.
Thank you, man! I think that has a lot to do with our producer David Bendeth. Our whole goal was to make an album with quality songs. We knew "Champagne" was a hit—but it was never about that. We weren't going to just sculpt the album around that blueprint. We actually tried to make a quality album that could stand the test of time. Dave kept saying, "You already recorded this song and this song. Now, let's make an album that'll last." It really meant a lot to us when we recorded it.
Was storytelling also one of your goals?
My favorite artists are Pearl Jam and Blue October. I love bands who are completely honest. I look at writing songs as an opportunity to take a snapshot of my life at a certain period of time. A lot of the time, it's not going to be pretty, but if it's honest, it's better. I get to tell people what I was going through. They have the chance to judge you based on what you're saying, but they don't get a chance to talk back [Laughs]. That's one of the best parts of writing a song—you can get what you want out of your head; and it's a beautiful thing.
Were you aiming for this record to have a "live" feel?
Definitely! When we were recording, that was one of our main focuses. We didn't want overproduce the music and create something that we couldn't reproduce live. We're only a four piece. A lot of bands can have 80 guitar tracks on their albums, and they don't play most of them. When we're on stage, we want to make sure it feels like the album.
Creating a rock record that people can kick back, crack a beer and got lost in is a bit of a lost art these days…
Exactly! The bottom line is rock 'n' roll's supposed to be fun. Like you're saying, it's supposed to be something that you can have a beer to and chill out to. At the same time, the best rock 'n' roll is meaningful—people can take something away from it. They can say, "I've been through that. I've had those same issues." When someone can relate to you, that's when you can create a fan who's going to be around for life.
What's the story behind, new single, "Let It Go?"
"Let It Go" is actually my favorite song on the album. It's a very meaningful song. It's the most personal song I've ever written. In my opinion, the first line of the second verse is the catalyst of the song—"There's a chance to change or stay the same." I was at a point in my life where I realized that I had two options. I could either change or go down the other road and stay the same. Thankfully, I chose the right option. I can go back and think about that moment in time every single night that we play live and know I made the right choice.
You pack a story into a short period of time.
Being able to write songs that people pay attention to is a great gift. I get to say what's on my mind every single night on stage.
If this album were a movie, what would it be?
Big Fish! I actually just watched it a couple of days ago. That movie has so much heart in it. It's a movie about someone's life—it's not simply about September to August. It captures an entire life which is a lot like our album as well. That's similar to our album. A lot of these songs are about when I was a kid [Laughs]. The lyrics come from a lot of personal experience. If I walk into practice having a bad day, I'll write a song about it.
Given the love for some classic grunge, are you a big Stone Temple Pilots fan?
Oh yeah…I'm so excited about Stone Temple Pilots' new album! A lot of the time, Scott's lyrics come from happenstance—they happen to be what he's thinking about at the time. I love the fact that it doesn't have to rhyme, and it doesn't have to make sense. Scott can feel something and say it. It's important to him, and it comes through in the actual song. Scott was into what he was saying at that point in time. Great art comes from honesty. If you're not honest, the art isn't going to be as beautiful. A lot of times, it's hard to be honest and the things you're being honest about are ugly. That's what people relate to though. They'll say, "I had that same day!" It means a lot to people when you can be honest with them.