Capetonian alt-rock trio, Caelo recently release their debut EP Visions. Influenced by rock legends Muse, Royal Blood and Biffy Clyro, Caelo soared from obscurity to local popularity within weeks of their debut performance. We caught up with the band to find out more abut this debut EP, and they also supplied us with some cool artistic #RandomFootShots.
First off, congrats on the release of your debut EP Visions. For those out there who haven’t yet heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
Thank you! That’s a great question, and it’s one that we always struggle to answer! We would say there’s an emphasis on melodic content and dynamic range, and that gets topped with fuzzed up riffs, huge chords and sugar coated with clean vocals and harmonies.
What has been the most exciting and rewarding part of releasing your music?
We actually heard some people singing our songs with us at a show the other day. That was pretty rewarding! Probably more rewarding than that is the fact that we can finally share our work with people. Now when we speak about the band, we can back it up with a solid body of work. It’s been a real journey putting that EP together, and now we’re past that milestone and we’re gaining momentum and working harder than ever.
We actually heard some people singing our songs with us at a show the other day. That was pretty rewarding!
Where was the EP recorded, and tell us about the recording process?
Visions and Renegades were tracked at Penny Lane Studios, in Wynberg. Then All You Need and Catacombs were done at Cape Audio College. Our drummer, Mike, is a pretty insane sound engineer. He had a huge hand in the recording of all the songs, and he mixed Visions and Renegades. Richard Harriman was a big part of our EP – he recorded Catacombs and produced it, then he mixed it as well as All You Need. That’s why there is a
tonal difference between the pairs of songs, but that really adds some depth to the EP.
The sessions at Cape Audio College we great, it’s such a well kitted out studio, you feel like anything is possible there. The sessions at Penny Lane Studios were quite different. It’s pretty much just a house, and as you walk in the door you can see so much amazing gear. That studio really has a good feeling about it, it’s a space where you can really get creative. Christiaan Rossouw is in the in house engineer there, and he was a pleasure to work with – and he actually was an assistant engineer to Richard Harriman, which was a great coincidence.
We actually recorded six songs, and chose four the EP. So we’ll be putting out the other two as B-sides quite soon, which we’re quite excited about!
THAT IS EXCITING!
It’s been a real journey putting that EP together, and now we’re past that milestone and we’re gaining momentum and working harder than ever
You have said that music is a means of self-actualising. Can you elaborate on that?
Well, when we started the project, it was pretty far from conventional. In the beginning, there were just two of us for a while, and then Mat joined after a couple months. So at that point, we had all the instruments we needed to jam together, but we didn’t have a vocalist. In those early sessions, I think we were a bit starry-eyed about the whole band thing. It turned out to be so much harder to become a good band than we anticipated. We could all play our instruments well when we first got together, but to play them in such a way where we could executed super dynamic, three-piece alt rock really took some work. Joel had to spend months upon months learning how to sing so that we could remain a three-piece.
We really dove into the depths of our musicianship, we had to dig really deep to become the band we are now. That whole process really informed the song writing – the songs became these vehicles for self-actualising our visions. The music, at this stage, is really about asking ourselves if we have what it takes to do this. And as time goes on, our music is getting better, we are getting better and our philosophies and beliefs around our music find answers and meaning with each part of the writing process. Each song really captures a stage of our growth, it’s quite a special feeling to look at what we can do now as we reflect on those early sessions. It’s definitely been so humbling to do this, and that’s something we hold on to.
Each song really captures a stage of our growth, it’s quite a special feeling to look at what we can do now as we reflect on those early sessions. It’s definitely been so humbling to do this, and that’s something we hold on to
How does the song writing process work in the band?
It’s really a collaborative effort, in every sense of the word. Sometimes, Joel will bring an almost completed piece to the rehearsal room and we’ll work from there. Sometimes, Mike (our drummer) will write a song on the guitar and teach it to Joel and Mat, and then Mat often writes sections and will bring those to the table. There’s no formula. However, something we try to do is allow freedom to write within their instruments domain. For example, Joel will never write a bass line because Mat is super creative on bass and has a really unique way of playing the instrument. Mat and Mike are also responsible for writing all the harmonies, while Joel only focuses on the main melodies. We typically just try to write music that is fun to play but requires a certain level of a challenge to go along with it. We also don’t allow guitar solos, that’s probably the only strict rule we keep.
Which song are you most pleased with and can you tell the story behind it?
Catacombs, for sure. The guitar riff is devilishly simple, so that meant the rhythm section had to be really interesting, and we pulled that off… or at least we think so! Despite the fact that the song has a really standard arrangement, we feel like we worked some pretty powerful dynamics within that. It never started life as one of our favourite pieces, but the more we played it live, the more we really started digging it. That song is unapologetically a Caelo song. We normally end our live shows with it, it just packs a punch and once you reach that end chorus the song just runs away with you. It’s definitely one of the most fun songs we have in our live show.
We really dove into the depths of our musicianship, we had to dig really deep to become the band we are now
Who is your favourite artist of the moment (newly discovered) and one of your oldest favourites?
We’ll have to mention a few… because picking a favourite is just too hard!
Newly Discovered Favorites – Husky Loops, Nick Hakim, Moose Blood and Remo Drive
Old Favourites – Muse (Obviously!!) and Biffy Clyro. Mon the Biff.
Are you active on social media?
We are indeed. Although, we’re not posting content everyday, we do share updates a few times a week about our movements and progress. You can reach us here: www.caeloband.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Where is the album available?
It’s available on all major online streaming and music stores. The best ones are listed below:
Where can people see you playing in the coming months? Will you be touring the album?
We’ve been playing quite a lot recently, and we have a few more shows to play in Cape Town this year.
26 October – Bohemia
25 November – Bob’s District 6
You can keep up with show dates right here.