The Underground Sounds Of America: Cold Cave
Welcome to the latest installment of U.S.A.: The Underground Sounds of America, our series that shines a spotlight on the most underrated rock, metal, punk, and hardcore bands in the United States. Each week, we ask one band member to answer five unique questions so you can get to know them better. Because if you aren’t already a fan of the artist featured below…you should be.
To honor the tenth anniversary of the release of their debut album Death Comes Close, Los Angeles goth duo Cold Cave performed at a very special venue: Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The husband-and-wife duo of Wes Eisold and Amy Lee played two shows at the fabled LA corpse depository, both to sold-out crowds. And while many goths would focus on the pure morbidity of performing at a cemetery, Wes is much more concerned with how beautiful and supportive everyone was.
“It was really a celebration of life even though we were in a cemetery,” says Wes. “It’s all really so short and difficult and beautiful and everything in between, so to share our music with so many familiar faces on the ten-year anniversary of our Love Comes Close album was really magical. It felt like an exorcism and a rebirth. We worked with this really cool incense company called Blackbird to create two scents, titled Love and Death to burn on each night of the shows. It all just came together.”
Defying expectations has always been Cold Cave’s MO. Though the band’s music often has all the darkness and danceability of traditional goth, Eisold and Lee are always willing to inject odd and abrasive sounds into their music. Rather than follow the usual album cycle process that most bands adhere to, they’ve gone off the rails and begun releasing singles on their own (and, in the case of 2014’s Cremations and Full Cold Moon, released several albums in quick succession).
Perhaps most surprising of all, Wes and Amy have not only been able to survive as both partners and bandmates, but they’ve actually thrived off of the connection.
“I had a dream but I couldn’t really define it,” elaborates Wes. “I was drawn to making music because music saved my life. I never had a Plan B. I always felt so alone, that’s the way I grew up. To be able to make music, tour and and do this with my partner and family is the greatest most humbling gift I could ever imagine. She’s kept me alive and made me a better person, to my core, and challenges me in songwriting…Maybe the rarest thing on earth is an opinion you can consistently trust. She’s that.”
With blackened hearts bursting, we reached out to Cold Cave to try and learn their darkest desires — and also, where they like to tour…
1. If you had to play a newcomer one new song to introduce them to Cold Cave, what would it be and why?
Glory is so Cold Cave. It’s hopeful, desperate, honest and with resolve. You can dance to it alone or with another.
2) Who are your greatest musical influences?
The Velvet Underground, New Order, 39 Clocks, Suicide, The Cure, Leonard Cohen, The Doors, Genesis P‑Orridge and Morrissey. I tried to narrow it down, but can’t…
3) Of your many creative pursuits outside of Cold Cave (as a poet, publisher, etc), which would you say you’re most passionate about, and why?
Definitely poetry. It represents peace to me and a clear head. Power and freedom. I want to get back there soon. In life only a few things have made me happier than waking up at 5:00am, having a coffee, a smoke, and writing with no schedule. And if it’s raining, even better.
4) What inspired Cold Cave to release their music as singles and EPs, rather than a full-length?
Seeing friends’ bands in peril as they waited at the mercy of a record label or booking agent to control their fate based on an outdated idea of a record cycle. It’s no way to sustain or grow. We release in music in real time. We aren’t anti-album but we are pro-DIY in whatever steps you have to take to progress. For us it was bowing out of convention and touring and releasing music ourselves whenever we want. Believing in ourselves and finding people who believe in you go a long way.
5) On your upcoming US tour, is there a town that you’re especially excited to hit, or one that most might not consider an amazing crowd/market for Cold Cave?
So far the most surprising was our show in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. We had played there once before with The Jesus and Mary Chain but this was our first headlining show and it was perfect. Sometimes when you’re playing and everything’s going right you feel like you’re in a movie, in the perfect room, with the perfect crowd all acting out the perfect way. That was Edmonton the other night.
Cold Cave’s new single, Promised Land, is out now on Heartworm Records.
Make sure to get your goth on with Cold Cave live at one of the following dates:
27 — Chicago, IL @ Metro
28 — Detroit, MI @ Majestic
01 — Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
02 — Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
04 — Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel ^
05 — Washington, DC @ Union Stage
06 — Carrboro, NC @ The Cat’s Cradle
07 — Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
08 — Tampa, FL @ The Crowbar
09 — W. Palm Beach, FL @ Respectables
10 — Orlando, FL @ The Abbey
13 — San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
14 — Dallas, TX @ Not So Fun WKND
15 — Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolfe
17 — Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
19 — San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
20 — Tijuana, MX @ Black Box
21 — Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
22 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Theater at Ace Hotel W
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