"I don't like too many cooks in the kitchen when I'm recording" - In Conversation with Beartooth
Beartooth, the brainchild of frontman Caleb Shomo, have just released their third album, Disease. A record that continues the deep dive into the human psyche and a continuation of the previous albums emotional rollercoaster we spoke to Caleb and Kam at this year's Reading Festival.
Looking forward to your set later on?
Caleb: Yeah man it's good, we just pulled into the festival, had to get the ferry at like 6am. Had a nap and now straight into press duties [laughs]. It was quite rough on the ferry, having to go up onto the top deck every ten minutes.
You're on the verge of releasing your third record, Disease, How does it feel being this close to the record coming out?
Caleb: It's starting to feel relieving, once the record is done and you're sitting on it. The anticipation of it kind of sucks. We put three songs out, and some of them leaked out there a few days before Warped Tour "accidentally". The songs are out and we are happy but that anticipation is a killer.
Kam: For us releasing that first song is super nerve-wracking because it's a gauge on what the rest of the record will feel like.
Talking of the new album, how was the recording of it.
Caleb: For the recording process, I do everything myself. Drums, guitars, vocals, bass. That's just the way it has been from day one, anybody who joins I tell them how this project runs and everyone is cool with that.
You set the standard right from the beginning.
Caleb: Well originally it wasn't going to be a full-time thing, I was going to do some songwriting, I was like, this is just my way of taking the pressure off me. I can write a lyric, a melody, a fully formed song and no one will know about it. Some people heard it and here we are at Reading and its been quite a journey. To me it was really important to me to keep the writing and recording process the same. There are so many facets to being in a band, that I keep to myself. We all hang out in the studio and some people have said "you're a fucking asshole!" because of my recording process but the current band really get it which is great.
Kam: Some people ask me, are you mad at this process and I'm like "No! I couldn't care less, I know where I stand and I do my best and it's great!"
Caleb: I am checked OUT of anything other than writing and recording. None of the politics when it comes to being in a band. Everybody is important in this band and within its dynamics but my part is the writing and recording.
The three records feel very emotional and internalised, almost an emotional trilogy. Was that a plan from the outset?
Caleb: Not really but that's another reason why I record and write this all myself because its incredibly personal and I get super anxious when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. People saying do this or don't do that on things we haven't tried yet. That's just for writing for this band though, I love writing with other people, I've worked with co-writers here and there, Oshi has a writing credit here and there, it just depends on the situation.
Rock music is seen as 'outsider' music, but do you think there is something like an 'underground' scene still with the easy access to music, and art in general, these days?
Caleb: I think its a turn of phrase because I think back in the day you had to find a tape or a CD. The only bands like Foo Fighters are the ones who break through. Metal tours aren't doing the numbers or rooms they used to, it is smaller. This is how it is, Beartooth isn't out here to save rock 'n' roll but we are going to do our part. We have Bring Me The Horizon and Architects who are at the forefront of our scenes.
What do you hope Beartooth fans take away from the new record?
Caleb: I hope this record helps people confront any issues they might have, help them dive deep into the darker parts of their personalities that may have been repressed and work through their problems and get help with it.
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