It’s easy to do so on a track like Devastation, where the cries of ‘Cathartic / Lethargic / I’m sealed inside these walls…’ capture the mania and misery of being stuck at home for months on end, or to look into The Answer’s declaration that ‘I’ve been staring in the eyes of my future self / Conversations in the mirror with somebody else…’ and see a potent distillation of falling into an uncertain future. As Caleb sings, ‘When I disappear, no-one will care about a single word I’ve ever put in the air, 'cause I know saying that I’m hurting’s getting old…’ on No Return he’s reflecting on how “batshit”, how “unrealistic” his thought process last year had become. Even Fed Up’s seemingly defiant declaration, ‘I never want peace, I thrive in the panic,’ he admits is the sound of “lying” to himself in the interest of going on.
“It was just this word-vomit of pain,” he reflects “To sugarcoat it would have been a disservice.”
With Ohio state governor Mike DeWine’s announcement hours before we speak, of the widespread rollout of COVID vaccines in his area, Caleb allows himself to look forward to the “FUUUUCK!” moment when band and fans are able to scream their catharsis and breathe a sigh of relief in sweaty communion. "‘This was insane,’" he imagines speaking words from a stage. "‘We all felt this. But let’s sing together and remember that this was just a moment in time and we can move on.’"
Before going forward, though, we need to come to terms with what we’ve come through thus far. That’s the thought Caleb leaves off on as we press our final question: What message, exactly, should fans take from this set of songs?
“I wish I had a good answer for that, but, honestly, I don’t,” he sighs, bloodied but unbowed from a battle that’s more relevant now than ever. “What I want people to know is that they weren’t the only ones thinking these outrageous thoughts that were going through their heads. Below is about capturing that feeling, and this moment in time. It’s about facing the reality. It’s about people knowing that they weren’t alone. This is the dark shit that everybody’s been bottling up and hiding from the world.
“If you didn’t want to say it, then hopefully I’m saying it for you.”
Below is released on June 25 via Red Bull Records. Pre-order/pre-save your copy now.
Bearooth tour the UK in February 2022 with Motionless In White and Stray From The Path. Tickets go on sale Friday at 9am BST.
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