Caves is a great, full fun, melodic, female fronted, punk rock band from Bristol, UK. About to embark on their second lengthy European tour, we thought it was a nice idea to ask them a couple of questions. Dave and Lou were happy to answer them for us, besides the two, Minty is also in the band to add a little bass to it all. Enjoy the interview and be sure to catch them live!
Could you please introduce yourself?
Lou: Guitar and vocals
Let’s do the most cheesy question right away; why are you called Caves?
Dave: Lou knows the answer to this, I’m afraid I can’t remember.
Lou: I was looking on an Ordinance Survey map and it showed some caves on the coastline of South Wales and I thought that the simplicity of a cave matched the simplicity of the songs and the way we play them. Simple tunes, uncomplicated arrangements – simple drums, simple guitar lines.
What made you decide to start a band and what were your goals when starting out? (when did you start)
Dave: I met Lou at a show I was running in Bristol, she’d recently moved down from Liverpool leaving her old band Flamingo 50 behind. She was looking to start something new and I the same. We enlisted Mike on bass and went from there. Personally the only goal I had at the time was to do something fun, release a record and play as many new places as possible, nothing mega like touring Europe or going to America. Just playing and having fun.
Lou: I had a bunch of songs that weren’t suitable for other bands I was in (I was trying to be in bands that were different to Flamingo 50). Turns out I missed being in a 3 piece tuneful punk band so I needed a band to play my new tunes in. That became Caves. My goals were to stay part of the UK DIY network. I didn’t want to lose being part of that community after finishing Flamingo 50.
Have you reached some goals and which are there still to be achieved?
Dave: Putting out a record on vinyl was definitely a huge goal for me, I love vinyl and to be able to release something of a band I’m in on vinyl was awesome. Playing shows out in Europe and making it to the States have been real highlights, getting asked back has just made everything even better. Goals left to achieve, record an album, release more vinyl and tour further a field. I’d love to get to Japan/Australia sometime.
Lou: I’m so glad we were able to play fest. Flamingo 50 had the opportunity of getting on it in 2007 (I think it was that year…) but I had to turn it down. Touring Europe and playing with bands like Good Luck, Bridge and Tunnel, Young Livers and Rvivr has really been some of the best things I’ve done. A major goal for me would be to release an album on vinyl – this is (hopefully) going to happen!
This is the second time you will do a full European tour. How is touring the mainland of Europe for you? What was the most pleasant surprise and what was the least?
Dave: I think one of the best things was arriving in Heemskirk for our show with Ninja Gun and meeting up with those guys again and meeting you guys as well. Was a great way to begin a first show in the Netherlands. I don’t think we had any bad surprises, I’ll admit that I struggle with languages and that really bugged me because I felt I wasn’t being polite in a couple of places.
Lou: Touring Europe is SO great – you get looked after so well. However a lot of UK DIY promoters do look after you the same as in Europe now though because a lot of them have also toured Europe and know that food and a place to sleep are really important for DIY bands. Most pleasant surprise was getting a hotel room in Montpellier. The least pleasant surprise was dealing with crazy drunk people in Montpellier.
You haven’t been around for very long but you’ve already been to the US. In the US you have played the Fest (<— link) last year, how was that? You have been announced on the line-up for the coming edition, what made you decide to go back again?
Dave: Getting asked to play last year was incredible. To be asked back is amazing. One of main reasons we’re going is because it is one of the best times you’ll have all year. Everyone will tell you how much fun Fest is and they are 100% right.
Lou: From what I can gather – playing fest is probably equivalent to if not better than doing a tour of the states. For a band like Caves we’d probably play to more people at the Fest show than we would in an entire week of gigs in the US.
Coming up on Specialist Subject Records (<— link) is a compilation of the songs you recorded so far, with two new songs added. What is the idea behind this compilation?
Dave: We wanted to be able to sell a record on our up coming European tour – we’ve recently sold out of the other merch we had (7” is sold out and 10” comp is nearly sold out). Also we’ve been asked so many times if we have CD’s we thought it made sense to put together all the songs we’ve released so far on vinyl, along with two other songs and make one CD. We’re all really proud of those songs so its good to be able to get them to people on a CD.
Lou: It was good to have everything released on one thing as a bit of a mini album and after this tour we will move on to recording and releasing a full length album. In fact I almost think of the CD as the first album and then the LP that we do next will be album no. 2
When can we expect a completely new release?
Dave: When we get home from this tour we’re booked in to record our first album which will be twelve songs that haven’t been released or recorded before. It should be coming out later this year in time for our tour with Sundials which will be in July.
Lou: The LP will be out in July!
Any (new) bands you highly recommend listening to?
Dave: The Lock & Keys from Leeds are ace, Sundials from Richmond have 6 awesome songs up on www.ifyoumakeit.com that you can get for free, there is a new band from Brighton called Little Ease who are made up of guys from Break The Habit and Cutting Class, I’ve not seen them yet but if their old bands are anything to go by they’ll be rad.
Lou: they keep cancelling when we are booked with them but I really rate Wellwisher from Manchester and also MEN from Sheffield (not the ex-Le Tigre group from the states)
Anything to add?
Dave: Check out Sweet Empire and bully them to put out an album!
Thanks guys, for answering the questions. We hope you have a great tour and we’ll see you soon! Ow, and to reply on Dave’s last comment; Sweet Empire is recording an album in April so please don’t bully ‘m!
Check out Caves’ myspace (including music and tourdates): here. We’ll be putting ‘m on at the Bakkerij, Castricum (April 2nd)! Check out the shows section on this site for more info.