I Dream of Vinyl

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Music to My Madness – an Interview with The Cavs

A band that should definitely on your radar for 2023 are Manchester indie quintet The Cavs. Having formed in late 2019, they recently released their fantastic debut EP Music to My Madness on streaming services and it is due for a vinyl release early next year. The four tracks showcase the band’s songwriting abilities with the title track and the anthemic “Find a Way” standing out. Having supported bands like Spangled, The Chase and Howlers, next year should see The Cavs continue to go from strength to strength.

We caught up with Elliot Craven (Frontman), James Mcauley (Rhythm Guitar), Chris Terry (Lead Guitar), Michael Carney (Bass) and Arthur Townson (Drums) to chat about the EP.

How’s everything going right now?
James – Hi, everything’s going pretty well at the minute. We’ve had quite a busy couple of months with the EP coming out, releasing 2 singles from it prior to its release (Music to My Madness & Find a Way) and then the whole build up to the EP Launch gig. We’ve had a couple of weeks doing some other bits now with our free time. Writing, demos and working on some stuff for early next year. It’s been fun.
We’ve got a lot of great stuff in the pipes for next year as well, so it’s an exciting time to be a Cavs.

What Classic album cover is your current mood?
Mikey: Not very exciting , but we’re currently all sat around my living room so we’d have to say Definitely Maybe. Minus someone face up on the floor, it’s a pretty chilled affair over here. It’s one of our rare get togethers outside of the practice room where we get some band-min stuff done. Hard to choose a classic album that describes the mood based on the cover. Good question though.

Your debut EP, Music to My Madness, is out on now. What can you tell us about how it was written and recorded?
Chris: How long have you got?! It was an abnormally long process this time around, due to one thing or another out of our control. The EP began being written probably mid way through 2021, with some home demo sessions, a couple of our own studio demo sessions with our engineer/producer and a fair amount being finished in the actual recording sessions.

‘Music to My Madness’ started as a home demo recording we all did, very different lyrics but most of the musical ideas that came from that session made it in someway onto the actual recording. We find a lot of ’the magic’ comes when the red light’s on.

‘Salvador’ & ‘Find a Way’ were primarily written by James through lockdown, so we’ve been playing them for quite a while before the EP was really a thing. There wasn’t much changed from the first few practices of those 2, right through until the demo/recording sessions. Iain, our producer, did some gnarly studio work on ‘Salvador’ in post production, which really elevated what we thought was a great song!

’See You There’ started as a riff idea from Elliot, but the majority of the song came from a jam session with us all there. It was quite an amazing feeling when it all came together. This was another song where a lot of it came in the studio when we came to record the song for the EP. Experimenting with different amps, guitars and sounds was pretty consistent throughout this whole EP, but this song especially.

We recorded all the guitars from our own studio/practice room, which is great because we have everything at our disposal.

It’s also getting a vinyl release in February 2023. How difficult is it for a new band to get a physical copy of a record out right now?
Arthur: Financially, it’s very draining. When you’re a DIY band it’s tough, but the dream is always to have your music out on the original platform, being vinyl. We’ve worked really hard to be able to make this happen, so it’s exciting that it’s on its way. Physical releases in general are something that we want to be able to do, so whilst Vinyl is completely unrealistic for every release, CDs are pretty accessible for us. We like to throw some collectors items on there as well to keep it interesting.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Elliot: “Everything You’ve Come to Expect” The Last Shadow Puppets.
It’s Kane and Turners best work in my opinion. Listening to it on vinyl, it’s the most effortless and complete piece of music. The mix of sounds, be it orchestral, guitars or synth make it probably the most interesting album ever as far as I’m concerned.

How did the band get together?
Chris: Long, boring story short…
I knew Mike from working at a restaurant, James knew Elliot for a few years before this, and Arthur was recommended to us from a mutual friend of my guitar teacher from back home in Burnley. It’s really as dull as that. We did gel straight away though, so it’s been nothing but laughs since. Sort of.

What music did you listen to growing up and how has it influenced your sound?
James: We all vary slightly in age, so we’ve all grown up listening to a lot of different stuff, and got varying tastes in music. There’s a common ground there for sure in terms of what we like listening to, we all ride the indie/alternative train and we’ve said a few times that Kasabian, Elbow and The Libertines are some pretty solid influences on our sound. Mike and Arthur are quite into hip-hop, grime and electronic music. Synths and such. Me and Elliot have been pretty heavily into Doves over the years and Chris has a Led Zeppelin-AC/DC side to him as well. We’ve probably introduced each other to some new music along our way, even if it doesn’t all stick!

What is The Cavs live experience like?
Mikey: Pretty Spectacular! We’ve put a lot of work over this last 6 months to try and elevate our live show. We’ve started using in-ears so we can add a new dimension to the gigs, without taking it too far from reality. It’s still the 5 of us bringing the noise, but a few of our self recorded synth lines, or having the live strings that we had recorded in the studio by some amazingly talented music students, is really giving us an edge.

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Chris: My signature pizza would be topped with Meat & Potato pie, mash and gravy. Folded over into a pizza. I’ll call it the ‘Meat & Tater Cavs-zone’

What do you have planned for 2023?
Elliot: We’ve got quite a lot that’s being planned, new music definitely. Bigger gigs we’re working on, better live shows. Some festival slots would be amazing, but only time will tell. Obviously the Vinyl lands in February as well which is super exciting.
We’re doing some great work with This Feeling, some great opportunities coming up from them. We don’t want to give too much away really.
Just keep an eye on us. Now’s the time to get on board.

You can find out more about the band and pre-order the EP on vinyl at their website and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news.

Photo Credits: Debbie Ellis Photography

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