2013 has been an epic year for hardcore, and Caulfield are no exception. On the back of their stunning debut Vanity, we sat down with Andrew to chat about the release, moments of reflection and what is in store for the band in 2014.
By Meghan Player
Congratulations on your album, Vanity. Are you excited that it has now been released?
In a word – stoked. We put a lot of effort into recording the album and really pushed ourselves and this band to its very limits. We faced a lot of challenges along the way with two of the original line up leaving which ultimately delayed the release, but there was no way we were going to let that stop us from sharing the album with the world.
The album reached number one on the Australian metal charts in the first week of its release – that must have been a pretty rad thing to see?
Yeah, that was like a wild roller-coaster for us. It exceeded any expectation we had going in. It was funny because it jumped up to 4th at first and we were like “this is amazing”. We checked in the next day and it had jumped to 2nd. At that point we were over the moon and didn’t expect it to go any higher. The next day it hit number one and none of us could believe it.
You’ve each been in bands prior to forming Caulfield – did those past experiences have any baring on the way your current sound turned out, or did you see it as an opportunity to create something new?
Yeah definitely. Mahan, Ned (the original guitarist) and myself started a band way back in the day. It never did anything and we ended it and joined other bands which is where we all got our first taste for jumping on the road, releasing EP/albums. When we ended those bands we wanted to do something heavier and that leads us to where we are now.
There’s some subtle electronica at play throughout the album – which seems to be finding its place in a bunch of hardcore releases of late – what inspired you to mix these two, very different sounds together?
It’s not really a new thing. Enter Shikari and Underoath having being doing it forever and Amity and House vs. Hurricane have been doing it in Australia for a while as well. It came naturally to us because Mahan (our scream vocalist) played keyboard in the bands he was in prior to Caulfield. In terms of new inspirations the whole band is really into Japanese band Crossfaith who are on HALFCUT with us.
What I love about the album is the moments of reflection that pour through it – especially on opener, ‘A Letter To Myself One Year Ago’ – how much of yourselves did you put into writing the album?
Thanks for saying. Yeah, I think a lot of the albums lyrics are subtle and vague but that track is particularly unambiguous. When you write and label a song ‘A letter to myself one year ago” it’s pretty clear that a song borrows from your own personal perspective. I’d wanted to write a song from inside the headspace of someone who was lying in a hospital bed unable to move.
The prose of the songs changes from the first and second person narrative, this is done on purpose to convey the lack of ownership we sometimes have on our past actions. As dark as the concept is, I think it would motivate them to change their beliefs and future behaviour after dwelling on their mistakes and what they could have done differently.
Most artists – be that writers, musicians, painters etc – believe that expressing yourself through your art is a cathartic experience. Did you find that writing the album allowed you to release any “inner demons”?
Not really. To me being in a band and making music is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a teenager, so writing and releasing an album is just part of that. That was really fulfilling. In a way sitting in the studio hearing back for the first time is an amazing experience. I write the riffs by myself and hear how they should come together in my head but hearing it back though the studio speakers the way you wanted it to sound is always breathtaking.
That being said, are there any lessons or insights – or maybe a message – that you’re hoping your fans take away from the album?
I think the main message that’s embedded in all the lyrics in our album is that you got to stay positive and live your life without regret.
How do you see the band progressing from the sound of Vanity? Will you go deeper and darker?
It’s interesting you ask that because that’s a question I’ve found myself asking. In short – yeah. I think our next release will be heavy as fuck. We want to keep making it more epic. Make the heavy parts more heavy and pretty parts more pretty.
There’s been a ton of epic hardcore releases this year – do you have a favourite?
I thought Bring Me The Horizons Sempiternal was great, even if it stray from the hardcore sound. I’m getting into A Day To Remembers new one as well.
You’ve been playing a few shows around the country in support of the album release – how have they been going? How have the fans been reacting to the shows?
Yeah, really good! The crowd reactions have been phenomenal. It’s cool when old fans come and we get catch up with old friends, but the amount of new faces who’ve really embraced it has been thrilling for us as well.
What are the plans for Caulfield in 2014? More touring? Another release?
Definitely. We’re scratching the surface regarding touring overseas. More immediately we’ll do another video for Vanity. We’ve been waiting so long to share this album with the world so we’re looking really forward to getting out there!
Many thanks to Andrew for taking the time to chat to us. ‘Vanity’ is out now: http://www.facebook.com/caulfieldoz