Philly Band CAVEWOMEN Prepare to Unleash their Analog-Driven Aural Experience on Unsuspecting Tapeheads Everywhere! The Cult of the CAVEWOMEN Compels You!
The CaveWomen duo of dudes, smothered and covered in most excellent analog excess. YES.Can you tell us a little bit about your creative history? Your old bands, projects, etc? First there was Drink up Buttercup. I can't describe that any way other than a psych pop clusterfuck of calamitous noise and 3 part harmonies. We lasted around 5 yrs, touring all over the US and Canada before we imploded on ourselves and went our separate ways. It's difficult when you have a band where every member contributes to the writing process. Then came The Family Rat. That was a very short lived trio I started that came mainly from us circuit bending a weird old electric air drawn organ we found in a basement that was light enough to carry around. We distorted the capacitors and installed a line out so we could plug it into an amp. It sounded so gnarly that we basically formed a band around it. It was a fun project, but with the demise of DUB, the other members went on to do the digital 80's revival thing which led me to where I am today...
A still from the auto-cannibalistic insanity in Drink up Buttercup's video for "Seasickness Pills" Watch it HURR.What was the impetus to start CaveWomen? I was getting sick of computers taking over people's stage presence. Tons of boring guitar delay and programmed drum beats. I wanted to show people you can still do a lot with a little while still being different. So I conceptualized CaveWomen: 2 people, all analog, no guitar, no loops, no computers, no DVD. Dig that, mang. So, for the uninitiated, can you give us a description of the CaveWomen sound? For a lack of better terminology, CaveWomen Is a psychedelic punk duo, that also gets really sludgy sometimes, I guess. I sing leads, play bass, a pile of analog synthesizers, and run weird video tape visuals. My drummer (Chris Swish) simultaneously plays drums, organ, and sings harmonies. We play very loud.
Some VHS cover love in flyer form. Dig the choice titles, brother.Can you tell us a little bit about your live show? You have clip collections from VHS running in the back, right? RIGHTEOUS. This is fact. We have a pretty impressive wall of amps that line up across the stage. I've collected a plethora of old color TVs that I stack on top of the amps and hard line them into a VCR. I make custom dubbed VHS tapes of heads exploding, Godzilla battles, blood, gore, kung fu, 80's tits, and any other wild scenes that make me squirm, shout, or laugh out loud from old VHS tapes. It's something that started as just a creepy background visual during practices in our basement, but it's grown to far more than that. We'll typically start the set with post apocalyptic scrolling text and voice over ( e.g. Class of 99, Dead Man Walking, The New Gladiators, etc.) and that usually sets the tone for the show. I've found that certain scenes work better with certain songs so our set has kind of morphed around the tapes. And I usually run a credit sequence at the end of the tape so I can look up at the screens and keep track of our set time. The shows are very sweaty, loud, and hopefully liberating.
Ben Mazz shoutin' it out with Chris Swish bangin' it out. Old-school TV sets scrollin' analog era gems along the backline. NOISH.You’re currently working on recording your new album, right? How’s that coming? Recording has been a love hate relationship with us until recently. We have a bunch of friends with digital studios which helped us getting our demos together but it never sounded how I wanted. I knew that if I was ever gonna release something it had to be full analog, and then fate dropped and old Tascam 388 in our laps. Now we are on the brink of a recording revolution. We are doing it all ourselves and at a breakneck speed. 2014 is going to have a lot of CaveWomen... Can't wait to hear that shit! How has VHS and films of the video era inspired CaveWomen? That's hard to pin down. VHS has been synonymous with my creativity for as long as I remember. I started filming shorts in high school on VHS. When I turned to music, they just became a source of inspiration. The stories, the colors, the static, and the cheap low budget worlds they create. It's unparalleled and it moves me...
A still from the shot-on-video music video dropping soon from CaveWomen. You can peep the teaser trailer RIGHT HURR. All grain, all glory.You’re a VHS collector yourself. What’re some of your favorite flicks / favorite tapes? I know you just let go a lot of your collection, and please feel free to elaborate on that, too! I have so many goddamn VHS tapes that I figured I had to share the wealth, and I couldn't bring myself to just throw them on craigslist (yuck). So I figure kill 2 birds with 1 stone and find my people: I sell and swap VHS at my shows. Our merch stand has become more of a post apocalyptic video flea market of sorts. Piles of VHS tapes on the merch table. That being said there are some tapes that are so coveted to me that I'd grab them before running out of a burning building... My desert island 10 would be: 1. Rolling Thunder - Vestron 2. Street Law - Vid America 3. Escape from New York 4. Coffy 5. Class of 99 6. Shogun Assassin - Goodtimes 7. Fist of the White Lotus -Wu tang collection 8 The Final Mission - HBO release 9. Dark Star 10. Blastfighter
A total VHS-classic and must see, indeed! Videovore approved to the max! Scan from the groovy Lost Video Archive Blog.What is it about the VHS format that compels you? What’s so attractive about it? Watching a VHS is a participatory experience. To properly watch a vhs takes equalization. You tweak the tracking, adjust the contrast and brightness and colors. It forces you to be a part of the experience. And it feels personal. That, in conjunction with ludicrous plot lines, buckets of blood, and the fact that less than 1% of the world's population has seen most of this stuff: makes for the best personalized film experience a person can have. But if you're reading this you already know that... You’ve been known to make some groovy custom mixtapes… bitchin’ 1 of 1 editons! Can you spill about those a little bit? I crafted a makeshift editing station at my practice space where I've linked up 2 VCRs and TVs and I cut together all sorts of edits. It started with just grabbing great scenes I love and clumping them together but as I make more and more I'm getting better and more creative. I've found scenes that have a circular quality to them and I cut them over and over to create an actual loop. An example would be the Tall Man from Phantasm pulling the boy through the glass mirror at the end of the film. So, it kinda looks like he keeps pulling this child back and forth through a glass window over and over.
A look at a too groovy custom graphic with levitating VHS tapes in a cave, taken from the now circulating promo video. This rules.What do you think of the resurgence of VHS appreciation and celebration as a whole? I couldn't be happier. When I found your magazine it exploded my mind. I was so happy to know that there is a culture that surrounds one of my deepest passions and I wasn't just a psycho for collecting them (like many a past girlfriends have said). Hopefully this community expands and raises awareness for what these films truly are, little treasures. VIDEO VINYL!!!
Dang, dude, I don’t! Or maybe... I do? I’ll have to check and get back to you on that... But maybe YOU do?! Yeah, you! With the nachos reading this blog! Either way, be sure to groove on over to the CaveWomen Official Facebook and their BandCamp page to check out their most groovy slice of analog-aural worship tinged with horror homage “Sympathy for the Hookman”. You’ll be glad ya did, mang. Stay tuned to these here Spare Parts for updates on the upcoming CaveWomen VHS release this winter. I have a feeling your VCR is gonna love it.
Groove and Groove and Let’s Go to the Moon.