Preview: Cave Painting

Appearing at the Clash Issue Launch tonight...
Cave Painting

The latest issue of Clash Magazine hits the shelves today and it's an end of year extravaganza, double the size of the usual magazine, with features reviewing the year that was, as well as looking forward to the artists that are going to define 2013. To celebrate the launch of Issue 81 we're throwing a party at The Lexington featuring Get People, Cave Painting and Ivory Seas performing live.

Having released their debut album 'Votive Life' in September, and toured with Alt-J earlier in the year, 2012 has been a huge year for Cave Painting. We caught up with the lead singer of the Brighton-based band, Adam Kane, to get the lowdown on an exciting 12 months...

How did you guys meet originally and get the project started?

Only one of us is from down here, which is Sam, he’s from Brighton. He lived down here and him, Harry and Rich were studying together. Myself and Jon moved down here to study a couple of years later and someone put me in touch with Sam in a pub I was playing by myself. John happened to live next door to me and we also ended up working in the same recording studio so that’s where we ended up getting together and practicing, and forming a band really.

When you first got together would you say the sound that came out of these sessions was a result of you guys having similar musical taste or did you all bring different ideas to the table?

We’ve played in bands before as well and I think we stopped concentrating on just getting songs done so we could play shows. We had time to just write for us, we were in no rush so we had more freedom to just do what we wanted I think. A lot of things come from Sam because he’s really creative and he’ll do a lot of things by himself, like the basics, and then that’ll get brought to rehearsals where we’ll all have a listen and everyone will bring their own part to it. Everyone likes similar music but then we all like a lot of different music as well. Jon mostly listens to hip hop and soul and Motown, Harry probably listens to heavier music, rock stuff, and myself and Rich are into Bon Iver, I’ve been listening to a band called Efterklang at the moment, who are really good.

How does the songwriting process work with you guys?

Sam will do a lot of work on his computer, all the basic skeleton of a song. We get in the rehearsal studio and listen through things and then just jam the idea and see where it goes from there. There have been songs where we’ve just been messing around, we’ve been in between things and something will start and we carry on relentlessly until we get bits of it. We used to record every single rehearsal and at the end of the day we’d go home and listen through, trying to pick out bits and combine them.

What were the recording sessions like for your debut album?

We did it in Kent with a guy called Barny Barnicott, he’s just amazing. Him and the engineer Ian Dowling work together so well. It is weird when you go into the studio and there’s two other people basically being involved that you don’t really know, but we just got on really well and he understood us and gave us freedom to do what we wanted to do. His way of working was very much live, I feel like when people record nowadays a lot of effects get added, but the amount of stuff that was in his live room... we were making the reverb in the room then recording it. Jon’s drums would be going through amplifiers then coming back out and being recorded, just going to the desk. We drank a lot of wine, Barny liked to send us to the shops for some wine, I think it was the first thing he did actually. There was some really late nights, I think some of the best things happened when it was late and you’re just relaxed about what you’re doing and trying everything. There’s a track at the end called ‘Me You Soon’ and that was sort of made up on the spot. We did it really late and I think it’s one of my favourite parts of the album; I think it’d be nice, if we get chance to do another album, to do more things like that.

Would you head back to the same studios for your next album?

I think, after the relationship we built up during the first one, that yeah it’d be really good to do it there. I think Sam is going to be a lot more hands on as a producer because since then he’s been working with Barny and Barny’s been showing him lots of things. He’s been producing a couple of bands and he’s getting quite good at it and becoming comfortable with it, so I think that will play a massive part in what we do next.

Is the writing for the next album already underway?

There’s quite a lot of stuff yeah. We’re really eager and excited to be working on it. There are loads of ideas floating around, we all share a Dropbox and everyone puts their ideas in there. There’s more than enough things in there to make a big dent into the second album I think.

You were touring with Alt-J earlier this year, how was it watching them gather the momentum that eventually won them the Mercury Prize?

Mental... so weird, so strange, but they’re a great band so I’m not surprised at all. It’s just really odd because we spent so much time with them and now you just see them popping up everywhere. I feel really proud of them in a weird way. The gigs were packed and you could tell everyone was excited about seeing them because they were the kind of gigs where people would see us as well because they wanted to make sure they were there to see Alt-J so got down fairly early. They were just really good shows, really enjoyable.

What was your favourite moment in 2012, a breakthrough year for the band?

It’s really tough but I guess it’s the album coming out and knowing people were getting to hear it, and people’s reaction to it... that’s quite special. 

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Cave Painting are set to play the Clash Magazine Issue 81 Launch Party at The Lexington tonight. Facebook event HERE.

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