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Cave In | Tides of Tomorrow | interview | Steve Brodsky | rock | Lollipop

Cave In

Tides of Tomorrow (Hydra Head)
by Tim Den

An interview with guitarist/vocalist (and my ex-roommate) Steve Brodsky

Tides of Tomorrow (Hydra Head)
Okay, this is really the last indie release from space rock giants Cave In. Seriously. Expect nothing less than a bombastic, major label full-length from them next time. But for now...

The band describes Tides of Tomorrow as their Jar of Flies (Alice in Chains) or Lies (Guns N' Roses): A different side, but one that's engaging and shows depth nonetheless. Indeed, the six songs here stray from the prog tendencies and deal with acoustic elements instead. For friggin' hell, the title track is almost a Hawaiian song! On other tracks such as "Everest" (futuristic "cowboy Western" guitar riff), you can almost hear the band holding themselves back from blazing solos. Okay, so "Come into Your Own" and "Dark Driving" crank just as loudly as their Jupiter counterparts, but there's still a "laid-back" vibe to their delivery. Setting us up for the ROCK OPERA to come, I'm sure.

Being one of the most exciting rock bands today, I'll take anything I can get from Cave In. New single? Yay! New EP? Yay! Just keep 'em coming!

I heard you've been working with a lot of producers on this new album...
Over the course of the year, yeah... (but the album) is really one producer, one studio. We did the album with Rich Costey. All the tracking's done, we're just going back and forth with mixes. Feb. of 2003 is the tentative release window.

We did Tides of Tomorrow with Andrew (Schneider) in the Spring, and we demoed with Mark Trombino for one day at Sunset Sound. Mark tried to sway us into backing off on the volume of our guitar effects. He's very pro-computer recording, very adamant about using ProTools entirely. Funny enough, the computer that we were recording on crashed for four hours. And since we only had a day booked there, it was kind of a catastrophe.

Damn shame, since you were probably looking forward to him making you guys sound like Jimmy Eat World.
Uh... (awkward hesitation and sly grin; Steve used to complain about Jimmy Eat World all the time) I like Drive Like Jehu a lot. (changing the subject... very clever, Steve-o!) And I like a lot of other records he's done. I was a big fan of Boys Life in high school. I can probably pick out a lot of obscure 7"s that he's recorded, too. So yeah, that was part of the appeal. But as for Jimmy Eat World... I don't think they're a bad band. I think they play well. But it's musical fast food, man.

Life in the "major league"... Describe your situation with RCA.
They pay the rent. Tour support is an option, but we haven't dipped into it yet cuz it's not necessary at this point. I haven't had a "job" in two years, even before we signed with RCA. I was able to quit my job and live off of the tour we did for Jupiter. (The band members) split a pretty fair sum of money between us and we all got to not work for a little while. It's pretty nice.

I remember doing a job painting public schools. The hours were crazy: waking up at 5 am, riding my bike to school by 6 am. I had a few bad temp jobs, too. One was at the Charles Hotel where I had to answer phones. I got fired cuz I didn't have enough of a perky phone smile.

What's the new record gonna sound like? A continuation of Jupiter? Or more poppy like the self-titled two-song EP? Or Tides of Tomorrow?
I'd say it's more an extension of Jupiter, but with more refined song arrangements. Less random straying from the central theme, musically and lyrically. Maybe like Jupiter if it came wrapped in a Twinkie bag or something.

Dude, Twinkies are bad for you. And artificial.
Too fattening? Alright... how 'bout Yodels? They're better cuz they got that "borderline between hard and soft" thing. (back to being serious) A little easier to swallow in its first dose.

You just played the Reading and Leeds festivals in England, right?
Yeah. I was gonna make some joke and bring a book on stage, like "What? I thought it was a reading festival!" We played fairly early in the day... it was kind of unsanitary. We didn't have a bus and there was nowhere for us to hang out, so we were in the hot sun all day in this open field the size of three race tracks. Breathing in all this dust and dirt... but it was a cool vibe. I'd never seen that many people at a concert. We got to stand on the side of the stage during (headliners) Foo Fighters' set. The closest thing I can think of to describe the sight of it, is war. A sea of people moving in all different directions. Plus, Foo Fighters have a pretty arena rock production. Smoke machines, lights that shine to Mars... it was amazing. The volume of the crowd was deafening. It was awesome.

Did you get to see any good bands?
Yeah! Black Rebel Motorcycle Club blew my fucking brains to the back of my skull, man. They're like The Jesus and Mary Chain if they got Lou Reed to produce them.

Okay, I have to ask this - even though I'm sure you're sick of hearing it -- are you still metal?
Who says I turned in my badge, man!?

But you don't play any of your early, first-two-albums/tech-metal material live...
But that doesn't mean I don't like listening to (that kind of stuff). That's probably a big misconception about our band: That we traded in all our metal records for stupid pop records and that's why we write our kind of music now. I tell ya, man, I still love listening to heavy metal just as much as I used to. All of us do. Every night we put on At The Gates and Meshuggah. I'm psyched that I'm gonna be home when Meshuggah comes through with Tool.

But in the live situation, the (old) songs just don't gel together. Physically, it's impossible for me to even try to sing the older songs and retain some sort of musical voice. There was a point where we were playing old stuff and new stuff together, but for me, it felt like a schizophrenic experience. Now, I feel like all the songs flow together. We've found our niche a little more. It translates into us playing more passionately than we used to. And I think we've been playing the new stuff (out on tour) enough - for anyone who has followed our band for the past three years - to not expect old stuff. Plus, we haven't played any of those songs in ages. Some of the songs we haven't played since we recorded them! It wouldn't even be worth people's money to hear us do it. It'd be bad and embarrassing. We're just trying to spare the audience.

What about the solo album you recorded with Brian McTernan a few years ago that has yet to be released? Mutual friends have said that it's better than any of your other solo records...
It sounds a lot better than the other records. I'm happy with the songs, too. But it's not an entire album; it's eight songs, not all of which are good enough to be on a record. If I ever find time in the future, I'd like to go back to the originals and spice 'em up a bit, record other songs to replace certain ones, maybe put it out if there's interest. But my main focus is always Cave In. Which is fine, cuz I feel more at home playing in a stupid rock band with my friends than doing my own pop project.
(PO Box 15609 Boston, MA 02215)

 


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