“I mean as far as early death metal vocals go, it sounded like those guys were actually dying.”
Making it in today’s music business takes more than just a cool name, it takes guts. There’s no longer a clear path to follow. Success literally is what you make of it. Desire is the biggest barometer of achievement. Sometimes, you have to want to play before you know what you want to say.
Cave Bastard from San Diego has the desire to play. The band crawled out of the darkness back in 2014 and has just recently found the limelight. Offering a sound and style that pays proper homage to the forefathers of death metal. This manifestation is here to devour.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Cave Bastard front man, Steven Pearce. Please enjoy some excerpts of our 4/15/18 interview where we discuss the origins of the Cave Bastard name, music videos and death metal vocals.
David Halbe: Who came up with the Cave Bastard name and what does it mean?
Steve Pearce: Well, that was a name that Troy (Troy Oftedal – Bass) came up with. We were sitting around trying to think of names for the band. The band at that time was kind of a working project. It stayed that way for nearly a year, without a serious name. (Laughs) When we finally came up with that name, we thought well that’s cool. After a while we thought, well what does Cave Bastard mean? So then Troy and I just sort of started brainstorming about the concept of the Cave Bastard. It’s a character, a being, that is a manifestation of all of the chaos, the torment, all the fucked up shit that happens in reality. We just started and worked from there. We gave it a back-story and a set of circumstances to move around with and that’s basically how it came to be.
Dave: Kick ass! Ok, explain the “Neo-Genesis” song and how it relates to the album’s title.
Steve: Yes, absolutely. That song in particular relates directly back to the Cave Bastard story. Neo genesis equals rebirth, remember the Cave Bastard is the manifestation of all the chaos, torment and fucked up shit that happens in reality, so neo genesis is the rebirth of a new chaos and torment. It’s like a catalyst that’s been unleashed upon the world, the universe. In a sense it’s the rebirth of a reciprocal chaos in a way.
Steve: Where that links to the title: The Bleak Shall Devour the Earth title is all that new chaos and torment that has been unleashed will now consume our reality, all that we know in a sense.
Dave: Are you saying those who survive this new reality, unleashed by the cave bastard, are the bleak?
Steve: The bleak represents what is created as a result of this manifestation of chaos, torment and death. Unfortunately, they are now being devoured by that. If that makes any sense.
Dave: (Laughs) I think it does in a sick and twisted way. This is one fucked up world you’ve created.
Steve: (Laughs) Cool.
Dave: So was the album sequenced to accommodate this concept?
Steve: I wouldn’t necessarily call it sequenced. As far as the order of the songs, we have them in that order so they would perfectly match a live setting. If you saw us live, we basically play the songs in that order because they just flow into each other.
Dave: I agree. That’s why I asked.
Steve: All the other songs do have a link in the story because they all have some fucked up shit relating to The Bleak Shall Devour the Earth theme. A lot of songs were inspired by current events or a personal event but they all have to do with torment, chaos or death maybe the fact that pain itself is existing. It all contributes to the whole Cave Bastard aspect of things. From the bleak devouring the Earth to the planet consuming itself.
Dave: Ok. Just to recap. All the songs follow the same theme but they’re in the order they are because you guys dug the flow and like to play that order live?
Steve: Yes. I’m the one that writes the lyrics. A lot of them were written before we even had any idea of where we were going to go, what the band name was going to be or whatever but you know those ideas all contributed to that same theme.
Dave: I really appreciate how the sound defined in those first few songs continues throughout the album. I think it makes the band more identifiable.
Steve: Oh yea.
Dave: Have any visuals been planned for the album?
Steve: As a matter a fact, we have a video in the works for the song “Purity Through Oblivion”.
Steve: That video is being done by our good buddy Neil, (Neil Barrett) he’s the drummer for Black Ops in fact he was just on tour. A couple of days after he got back home, he was going to finish the video but he got into a pretty bad auto accident.
Dave: Oh no!
Steve: Luckily, he’s ok. It wasn’t life threatening or anything like that. It was a big setback but you know, we totally understand. So we are patiently waiting for the completion of the video because the stills that he showed us looked really bad ass. We’re really excited to see it finished so we can really get a look at it but his recovery is what comes first and foremost.
Dave: I agree. Hope he gets better. Hey, didn’t you guys do a split EP with Black Ops?
Steve: Yes we did. We were even able to play a few shows with them out in Texas. They’re a bad ass band and a really cool group of guys. It was a great experience. You know we recorded the songs for the split at the same time we recorded the songs for the album.
Dave: No shit?
Steve: Of course, we had to wait for that split to be released before we could start promoting the album.
Dave: That’s cool. It gives you a chance to build more momentum.
Steve: Oh absolutely, but listeners first have to know who we are before they’d be interested in buying an album.
Dave: That’s where I come in. I listen to a lot of death metal. I think you guys have an original sound.
Steve: Thanks, I appreciate that.
Dave: Do you any upcoming events you’d like to mention?
Steve: Yes, actually this coming Thursday which is April 19th is our album release party.
Our actual album came out on March 23rd but we were unable to schedule anything until the 19th.
Dave: What are your touring plans?
Steve: In July, we plan on playing some dates but there’s been no official announcement yet. We’re still waiting on the final confirmation but essentially it will be a mini tour that will take us through the southwest and up the west coast. We are really excited about it. We’re playing a bunch of places we’ve never played before.
Steve: Yea. So we’re excited to hit the road and bring it to the people, for sure.
Dave: You’ve got to get out there and play, that’s the next step in my mind.
Steve: That’s what we really have a reputation for as a live band. If you come and see us play, bring your ear plugs or ear muffs or whatever because we are loud as shit!
Dave: (Laughs) Really?
Steve: Oh hell yea. Standing next to Troy’s bass, it’s like standing in front of a goddamn jet engine!
Dave: (Laughs) Kick ass!
Dave: So this is my final question. How important are the vocals, when it comes to defining a band’s sound?
Steve: Well, all of my favorite death metal vocalists are the ones from the late ‘80s or early ‘90s. When you were listening to an old Pestilence album you knew that was Martin Van Drunen or an old Cannibal Corpse album, you knew that was Chris Barnes. I mean as far as early death metal vocals go, it sounded like those guys were actually dying.
Steve: It sounded like they were just in the most intense amount of pain and that’s kind of what I try to convey though my vocals. If I tell you, we are going to be telling a story about chaos, torment and death then it has to sound like something agonizing.
Steve: So there is certain vibe to my work. That has been my goal. Somebody telling a story but they are telling it through an agonizing point of view. That’s my goal to get somebody to listen to this and go ‘Oh shit!’ there’s some really fucked up stuff going on here.
Dave: Fuck yea man. I think the agony gives you a defining sound.
Steve: Thanks man. I joined this band three and a half years ago and it wasn’t utill we found the name and flow that we actually decided which direction to go. I really appreciate those kind words.
Dave: No problem. Well, thanks a lot for your time today. Best of luck with those upcoming dates.
Steve: Thanks man, take care.
Cave Bastard are:
• Steve Pearce – Vocals
• Nick Padron – Guitars
• Chase Fergueson – Guitars
• Troy Oftedal – Bass
• Marlon Matthew– Drums