"I had never imagined all of this," says Cave In bassist Caleb Scofield during a short break from the band's opening slot with the Foo Fighters in the spring. "You know, being on a major, traveling around the world when we first started the band."
Firmly planted now, it was college radio, specifically support from Emerson College's WERS in Boston, that put Cave In on the map in the late '90s. "There's no agenda, and they're into helping out the bands they love in a free format," Scofield remarks about college radio. Some time has passed from those embryonic days, but at the core, the band has come a long way while remaining the same passionate outfit.
In recent years, the band's initial goals -- having fun and doing what they love -- have been eclipsed by playing to thousands and gaining recognition from their musical heroes. Early incarnations of the band saw a group of guys interested in the velocity of sound that brought a much rougher product to the table. Although Cave In has traveled further down the road musically, the members' hearts remain in the same place as they were when Until Your Heart Stops dropped on Boston's Hydra Head in 1999.
Anyone who has just casually listened to the band's work over the years will be aware of a change in sound. Scofield describes it as an "insane, drastic change," but the seeds for the band's move from metal-influenced hellions to a group that married that sound with progressive tendencies were sown four years ago with the expansive Creative Eclipses EP.
"As a band, all heads are put together to make it a group effort," Scofield says. "There's a lot of changing so we can push ourselves and keep things interesting." Antenna's new arrangements and pop direction were logical steps from Cave In's previous output, a change that not only pushed the band as a recording unit, but also diversified its fan base.
Opening for the Foo Fighters, the band came into contact with its biggest group of potential fans ever. Playing in front of thousands of people each night was a new challenge, but the band was up for it. The band's latest album is its first for a major, a move that made perfect sense to them as a growing unit. Seeing as though some of their friends received equal and even better treatment on major, they decided to take the plunge.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs as a band, and both indies and majors have their fair share of shitty people, but you just need to surround yourself with people you trust," Scofield says about the band's jump to RCA Records. "We have a lot of freedom and space, which is not the case for a lot of bands. All we want to do is continue being in a band while touring and recording."
This summer, Cave In was on the bill for the resurrected Lollapalooza festival, and most likely had the times of their lives. "If it all ended tomorrow, we'd be happy," Scofield remarks. But it's this kind of gracious attitude that will help ensure it won't end very soon.