As one of the most hardworking bands that we know of in Singapore, The Caulfield Cult is all primed and set for another explosive show tomorrow and yet another European tour (their third one if we're not mistaken!) in support of their latest release "Things Can Only Get Worse From Here".
Tireless, relentless and extremely passionate about their music, we spoke to Nick (lead vocalist & guitarist) ahead of their album release show tomorrow at BluJaz as we chat about the new record and the harsh realities of being on the road.
Hey guys, what have you been up to for the past few weeks?
Hey man. The last few weeks have been crazy busy. We've been prepping for our release show and tour. Figuring out all the stuff we need, sending massive amounts of e-mails for promos and what not. Meeting people for interviews, practicing and practicing. All while juggling school and work. It's exhausting, but it's going to be fun and fulfilling month I reckon. We'll just sleep throughout the whole of July and rev up again in August probably.
Tell us more about your new record "Things Can Only Get Worse From Here".
We recorded this new record with Leonard Soosay starting back in early January this year. Basically they're material we've been writing for over a year, literally since right after the release of our last record. Honestly, there's no particular inspiration or motivation other than us wanting to write, and have ourselves and people listen to what we write.
We went for a much cleaner sound in this record, I think its evident in the guitars especially. It's obviously less punk-influenced than the last record. Most of the songs are shorter, in proportion to the progress of our attention span, and also slower, in proportion to the fatigue we get from playing live. It also features the slowest song we ever wrote and the fastest song we ever wrote. So I'd like to think its more dynamic overall.
It's interesting that you guys chose to press your record on vinyl. Why though?
Our bassplayer, Brian collects a lot of vinyls. Most of the people I know have been really starting to collect vinyls in the last 2-3 years as well and people would definitely be more willing to spend money on a vinyl rather than a CD, because the former has more collectible value. Also, we've always wanted to put out a record on wax - it's just a really cool concept that seemed very impossible and un-affordable in singapore. And since we're lucky enough to have a label willing to put it out for us, so why not.
What is it like working under UK and US record labels?
It's a relief that they're handling the release in those said countries, because I would have no idea what to do. We put out our first album by ourselves and it was so slow in promotion that a lot of people that have heard of us right now, dont even know that we already have a full length album out two years ago. Even though Rooftop Records and Dont Shoot The Messenger are small time labels, they have been rad lads to us so far, and the fact that they are willing to put out and fund the release of a small-time, unknown band like us is really awesome.
You guys have travelled overseas extensively to play shows - what were some of the challenges you faced during the days on the road?
Money. We're always broke. In every tour, at least 2 of us are doing our national service. So we get paid almost nothing. Progressively, one has ORD-ed and one has enlisted, with one more awaiting to. Either that or we'll be in school, and none of us are trust fund kids so we're pretty broke.
Sometimes we don't get paid enough for a show or don't sell enough merch and need to fork out money to pay for gas to get to the next town. I'm ashamed to say it, but in more than one occasion, I've called my dad halfway through to borrow like 100 dollars to last the remaining week.
Also, when we were in Europe, the weather. Both times, the weather really screwed us over. We experienced snow in April last year. WHY WOULD IT SNOW IN APRIL YOU MIGHT ASK? I don't know. But when we went over again in December, well, we were just asking for it.
What did the European audiences have to say about you guys?
I don't know, I don't speak any European language.
Tell us about your experiences abroad on tour.
The experience of being in a far away place with my best friends, knowing that we're going to play shows every day for the next two weeks to strangers, knowing that we will wake up in a different town tomorrow, seeing all these things we've never seen and experiencing cultures that we have never experienced.
It's hard and it's not at all glamorous like how they showed it in the Parkway Drive DVD or whatever. It's super tiring - 6 hour drives, carrying a drumset and stack amps to the venue, setting up the merch table, packing everything back into the van.
On good nights, we get a full house or close, on bad nights (which happens more often than not), we'd play to 15 people who don't give a shit. But every time I'm back home, I always want to do more. It's a sick disease and it's eating up all my money.
What's next for The Caulfield Cult?
We have the release show this saturday and the tour 3 days after. We're probably gonna rest july off, maybe playing one or two local shows. We're planning an Asian tour for the year's end. And of course, there are still many many places we have yet to go to that we will.
Top 5 Influential Albums
Clockwise from top: Manchester Orchestra | Mean Everything To Nothing, The XX | The XX, Brand New | The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Samiam | Astray, Sunny Day Real Estate | Diary
Half of these don't sound like us at all, and half of these are too over-produced for our liking. It's really hard to say because we all really listen to very different bands. But I think these are some of the records that set the influence of the mood of our new record as well as the slight effort for a more dynamic and cleaner sound.