Caleb talks the creation of album three.
ALL WRITING AND RECORDING WILL CONTINUE TO JUST BE DONE BY YOU?
Says Caleb Shomo: "Yeah, that’s a very important thing for Beartooth, just because of how personal the songs are. Every piece of that is a part of me and I have to put that on the track. The drums, guitars, vocals, bass, everything - I have an equal amount of passion and love for it all. So I think for me to really get the point and emotion across, that’s very integral."
RIGHT FROM THE START, THE THING THAT'S STOOD OUT ABOUT THE BAND IS THAT YOU'VE NEVER HELD BACK EMOTIONALLY. DO YOU THINK THAT SENSE OF FEARLESSNESS IS IMPORTANT?
"Yeah, if you’re scared then you’re going to do a few things: you’re going to just conform and make your radio rock record and isolate your entire fanbase, which we’ve seen time and time again in the music industry. And that’s absolutely out of fear because people get a taste of success and then get addicted. They’re like, ‘How much money can we get for this show? How big can this show get? Well, if we need to do that, we need to be on the radio – if we need to be on the radio we need to write a radio song’. But look at the biggest bands that have been on the radio. Those bands didn’t write those songs for the radio – the radio came to them. Radio and commercial success needs to be the afterthought, because at the end of the day if you don’t have an honest product that people are going to attach to and fall in love with, you won’t have that success that you’re looking for and if all you’re looking for is that success, you’re not going to be able to write those songs, so the songs needs to come first always."
AS YOU MENTION, YOU'VE COLLABORATED ON BOTH PREVIOUS RECORDS. WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONTINUE THAT STREAK?
"I love writing with other people don’t get me wrong, but for Beartooth it’s a little different. I love working with John Feldmann because I’ve been working with him for so long that he understands how we work and we can write very easily. It’s more so that I rarely ever write whole songs for Beartooth when I’m co-writing, we just write parts or concepts. When we come up with something great, we record it at the time and then I usually take that home to my studio and work on it. I love co-writing though because it just expands your mind. I record all of it and do the majority of writing myself, but yeah I think it would be a bit narrow-minded to not give it a shot with some other people and see what comes out. As long as I’m still taking it back and sitting with it in my studio and making sure it has the right feel, it’ll be good."
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE HUGELY STOKED ON THIS. EVERYTHING CONSIDERED THEN, ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THE RECORD THE TIME IT DESERVES?
"Oh yeah absolutely. I’m doing some new stuff and trying new things. I’m travelling to LA, New York, Tokyo and working out some other places too. I just want to go and explore cities, because when you travel on tour, you show up, you load in, maybe go and get a beer and a slice of pizza somewhere and then that’s it, so I feel like I’ve been around the world but I haven’t seen any of it. I want to go and experience that, some of my favourite places in the world, and then go work out of a studio. And that’s another thing, the last two records were made in my basement, don’t get me wrong, at this point the studio in my basement has become pretty serious, but there’s something about the energy of places."
"I want to track the record at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, which I’ve never done before, I’ve never gone to a full fucking studio with the whole nine and made a record. But at the same time it’s not going to be the usual way. I’m going to go in with just me and an engineer that knows the studio and all the gear and just start recording from there. I’m really excited about that, I’m a recording nerd and they have the coolest shit that you can get, they just have it all. So I’m basically just going to be a kid in a candy store for two months trying to make a record that’s as loud and vicious as possible."
IS THAT A NERVE-WRACKING PROSPECT?
"There’s always going to be nerves man! I’m always scared to this day showing people new songs, but I think that’s got to always be there, otherwise it’s going to feel like a job, like I’m going into my nine to five. I’m always nervous, I’m always questioning whether people are going to like it, like ‘Is this a good Beartooth song or is this bullshit?’ That’ll never go away and I hope it never goes away."
To listen to the full interview with Caleb, check out the Rock Sound Podcast here.