CAVE IN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, ‘FINAL TRANSMISSION,’ DUE OUT JUNE 7TH VIA HYDRA HEAD
In February of 2018, the members of Cave In gathered at their rehearsal space in Boston to work on material for their next record.
It had been nearly seven years since their previous album, ‘White Silence’, had been released. But they’d been writing and rehearsing methodically, off and on, to craft a worthy follow-up. In that time, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brodsky had started prog-metal power trio Mutoid Man, drummer J.R. Conners and guitarist Adam McGrath started psych-punk outfit Nomad Stones, and bassist Caleb Scofield was busy with simian rock supergroup Old Man Gloom and his own band, Zozobra. After jamming all weekend with Cave In, Caleb got in his truck and drove home to New Hampshire. It was the last time his bandmates would ever see him.
On March 28th, 2018, Caleb was killed in an auto accident. There are no words to describe what a devastating blow this was to his wife and children, his friends, family and bandmates—not to mention his countless fans around the world. A light had gone out—a light with a monstrous bass tone and a feral roar. An occasionally stubborn light with a million-dollar smile who loved his family and music above all else. To describe his death as a tragedy would be a colossal understatement. Caleb didn’t live to see 40.
Benefit shows were held in Boston and Los Angeles, complete with performances from longtime friends and touring partners Converge, Pelican and 27. Cave In played with Converge bassist Nate Newton and Caleb’s younger brother, Kyle, filling in on bass. Old Man Gloom played with Brodsky on bass. Even long-defunct comrades Isis reformed under the non-threatening code name Celestial for a onetime performance—their first in nearly a decade—in celebration of Caleb’s life and music. All proceeds went to his wife and children.
Most of the lyrics and vocals for ‘Final Transmission’ weren’t finished until after Caleb’s death. “The song ‘Shake My Blood’ was my first opportunity to express what I was feeling about the whole situation,” Steve explains. “It’s a mix of extreme grief, frustration and anger. I was trying to do something to gain the clearest answer about whatever the next move might be. We worked on the lyrics together, and all three of us sing on that song—Adam’s doing the high harmonies and JR is doing the low harmonies.”
Collaboration is one of the defining forces behind ‘Final Transmission’. “Over the years, the songwriting in Cave In has become more and more of a communal effort,” JR observes. “In my mind, it hit the pinnacle with this record that’s about to come out. It was so easy to throw around ideas between all four of us that we kinda got everything in there that we wanted to get in there. I don’t think we were aware of it at the time, but maybe subconsciously we wanted to put the best of what we’ve done in the past into this record.”
Even a cursory listen of ‘Final Transmission’ will offer glimpses of past Cave In eras, from the scintillating space rock of their 2000 breakthrough opus ‘Jupiter’ to the ripping metal melodies of ‘White Silence’. All told, it’s a direction that was largely spearheaded by Caleb. “When I look back at our email correspondence about the demos, Caleb had a really crystallized view of how to navigate the whole thing,” Steve reveals. “He was really digging the stuff that was spacey, heavy, a little bit weird, but with very pretty melodies and hooks—which is a very surface-level way of looking at ‘Jupiter’. So I think he was encouraging us to embrace what we’ve always been good at and what sets us apart from our contemporaries. That’s what made ‘Jupiter’ a turning point for the band. So there was definitely that creative motion to slip back into the spacesuits.”
Half of the proceeds from ‘Final Transmission’ will be given to Caleb’s wife and children. “I feel really lucky to have this record,” Adam concludes. “I love it, but I don’t like listening to it. I’m sure I’ll listen to it eventually, but right now it’s difficult. Just hearing him play kills me. I’ll miss him forever.”
‘Final Transmission’, Tracklisting:
1. Final Transmission
2. All Illusion
3. Shake My Blood
4. Night Crawler
5. Lunar Day
6. Winter Window
8. Strange Reflection
9. Led To The Wolves
Cave In, Live Dates:
April 10 – Berlin @ Festaal Kruezberg w/Old Man Gloom, Bossk
April 12 – London @ Electric Ballroom w/Old Man Gloom, Bossk
April 13 – Tilburg @ Roadburn Festival
October 19 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair w/ Miltown