Interview: Caleb Shomo (Beartooth)

Pre-show we went to meet Beartooth‘s Caleb, a young guy that’s been on one hell of a journey. He’s been on the music scene since age 15, starting out on Keyboards for Attack Attack! and moving on to Vocalist, leading the band to number one on the US Indie Billboards chart. Having left the band to sort himself out after some personal issues, this multi-talented guy masterminded new project Beartooth on his own, in his home basement, laying down the record solo and filling in the band members later..

“Honestly when I started it, I was just making it as songs on the side that I didn’t have any intention of really using on a bigger scale, I thought it was just gonna be a weird thrashy sound thing that I would just use to get my anger out, and not really do anything with. My intention wasn’t to find some gap in the music market and put a sound there, I was just writing songs for the hell of it. I mean, hopefully it sounds a little different than most of the stuff going on right now, but I think that’s mostly because I guess when I feel angry or whatever, those bands that I listen to are more like hardcore and punk bands, like thrashy metal stuff, instead of like slow drowner metal and things like that. I just try to be more aggressive I guess with the tone of the music because it helps me to be able to write easier and get the emotion out that I need to. The whole point, it’s just a personal thing.”

With the aptly titled EP ‘Sick’ out now and having been received well, this year you can expect a Beartooth full length album, so keep eyes peeled, this is what Caleb had to say about the album sound and writing process..

“I mean it’s kind of more a discovered sound for me, when it turned into a like- your actually going to be touring with this, doing the whole thing and stuff, because I’d written some songs previously, before I’d really taken it serious, but for the most part I just explored more with sound and now I was like I have a full record to do what I want on it, because Beartooth doesn’t have a specific thing about it, other than its just easy for me to get my emotions out to. I think it has a lot more depths, more like a full album, up and downs, unlike like a four song EP that you’ve just gotta cram in intensity in just four songs.”

This six date tour with Of Mice and Men was Beartooth‘s first time in the UK, we asked Caleb how we were taking to his new musical outfit.

“Yeah, It’s gone surprisingly well, I have been having a great time, the crowds don’t know the songs, well some of them do, but for the most part not, because we’re a new band and this is our first time here. But its more so the energy in the room, its perfect, everybody is getting involved and having a good time.

I have toured with Of Mice and Men before, and the singer Austin- we were in a band growing up. I’ve know those guys for a while. I have known those guys separately, touring with your friends is the best, there’s nothing better than touring with people you like.”

Coming out with some force, its obvious that Beartooth have some mega industry support..

“I have an absolutely incredible team, Red bull records is amazing, best record label on the planet I’m convinced. I have great management, great booking, and amazing publicists. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people, it’s perfect.”

With two super polished slick videos off of one EP that support is never more telling..

“We put a lot of time and effort into those videos, and a lot of discussion went into what they’re about, and the vision behind it, and I think that’s worked out for the best.”

Beartooth is a pretty big diversion in sound from Attack Attack! With Caleb having that existing fan base, have those fans followed through to Beartooth?

“I think if there is any translation it’s just to the emotion of the lyrics, and of the music itself, maybe not the actual music, just the energy of it. I think the only slight relation there could possibly be is maybe you know, lyrically its similar to the later Attack Attack! stuff I was doing, and relate it to that. Although I don’t try to create a whole new sound or new thing, or to relate it to Attack Attack!, I’m not trying to take Attack Attack! fans, I just want people to like Beartooth for what it is, its own thing.

It’s difficult to find a new band with a truly different sound, and even those with one like Beartooth get their influences from somewhere.

“Punk and Hardcore? More than anything it was just the energy behind that music, I didn’t grow up as a hardcore punk kid or like, that was what I was into. I mean I think when I was like 16, 17 I started discovering these bands that had been doing this kinda stuff for years and years. I watched videos of old gigs like CBGBs and just all of this chaos, but everyone is just there to have a good time, and like everyone is involved in the same energy, it’s not like, obviously, you know fights breakout and stuff, but that’s not the point. The whole mentality is people just go to be a community, people who love to listen to music and have a good time. So I think that energy influenced it a lot.  All I really want is, I would like for people to come to the show, and get involved, just for their own well being. Because I think for me, it really helps me mentally to go to a show and go crazy and get all this negative energy out, in that half hour and walk away refreshed. That’s why I write songs that people can sing along with and get involved in. I don’t write them so I can stand up there and be like ‘ah this is so sweet, people are singing my songs’,  I say on stage- don’t sing these songs for me or for anyone else, sing for yourself, sing because it effects you. That whole thing is what influences what I write.”

Speed Round Seven

What would you like to be remembered for?

Being an honest hard working person I guess, that the music brought people to discover more about themselves, their deeper desires as a person.

Aspired dinner guest, dead or alive?

Freddie Mercury, I find him so interesting, I would love to sit down with that guy and talk and pick his brain. Him or micheal jackson

How long do you spend looking in the mirror?

Five minutes, I go in and do my thing and I check to make sure I don’t look like a moron. When I’m home I’m the laziest person ever, I just live in pyjamas. Its gross but..

Favourite swear word?

Shitballs

Best excuse to breakup with someone?

I don’t know. I have been with the same person for years now so I don’t remember the last time I was with someone else.  (Aww.. )

The best day of your life was..?

Probably signing with red bull. Obviously aside form my wedding, ha, but that’s a given- we went to Hawaii and had this big beautiful wedding. But personally and for my own accomplishment, yeah signing with Red bull. Its unexplainable how awesome they are. Freedom was part of the deal, anyone I was talking to I was like look, if you wanna sign this you’ve gotta understand that this is what it is, it’s just me writing songs in my basement, it’s not gonna change, so if you wanna be apart of this cool, but I’m gonna keep doing it, so they were very supportive of that.

Worst thing you’ve put in your mouth?

Haggis, in Scotland, it was bizarre, I don’t even know what to think about it. I spat it out, I couldn’t handle it.

Massive thanks to Caleb for a great interview, an awesome show and my new favourite profanity..

Check out the guys at www.beartoothband.com and their videos www.youtube.com/beartoothband