Interview with Cavernlight Wisconsin Crushing Doom Metal

There is nothing more crushing than Doom metal done right. Today I spoke with Wisconsin based Doom band Cavernlight. It took a while but we finally made this one happen!

* So I have been checking out the new tracks on your bandcamp – absolutely crushing stuff – so how did you guys get into playing doom?
We’ve all been into slow, atmospheric, heavy music for varying periods of time. But it’s a constant favorite amongst us all. Playing this way just came natural when we got together.

* Not a lot of people realize its probably harder to play really really slow and keep it interesting as opposed to super fast – what’s the secret in putting together a good song but keeping it so slow and pulverizing?
I don’t think there’s any real secret for us. We just try to spin a certain feeling or emotion into the songwriting process. And yeah, playing slow can be difficult. But just like playing a blazing fast tempo, it becomes easy in time.

The early Southern Lord catalog really turned my head

* People were shocked when Lee Dorrian left Napalm Death (the worlds fastest band) to play in Cathedral (the world’s slowest band? {well at least the first album}) What was the gateway band for you guys as fans of the genre ?
Our personal doom tastes all vary greatly. I personally don’t click much with what most people consider the “classic doom” sound. It wasn’t until the early 2000s when I started to dig what was going on, and it was mostly US bands like Asunder, Khanate. The early Southern Lord catalog really turned my head.

* Outside of doom artists what would you say are the major musical influences on Cavernlight?
Jason Molina (of Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Company), Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Barn Owl, Neurosis

As the album was completed I realized the record meant too much to me

* You guys made some leaps and bounds from your demo – how did the deal with Gilead come about?
Gilead Media is actually my own label. Initially I was intent on not releasing the Cavernlight material myself, but as the album was completed I realized the record meant too much to me. I only approached one other label to release it when everything was said and done. They weren’t interested, so I did it myself.

* In writing the songs for this record – how did you start? With a guitar riff? With a mood you want to convey? Please explain
Much of the songwriting comes from a mix of those things, a mood transposed through guitar. That’s generally our basis. From there we flesh out the remainder of the song together as a group. Scott and I then write all of the lyrics and vocals as we come up with a concrete formula for the song.

* How was the recording process for this album was it analog to digital or did you guys choose the all digital route? if money was no object would you record full analog like the old days?
We went all digital, but the final mixes were dumped to tape and then re-imported for mastering to give it a small amount of analog quality. I personally would opt out of recording on tape at any point, as any real-time editing can be done so much more efficiently digitally and studio time costs are quite high.

* As far as I am aware you guys tend to play more events than tour in the traditional sense – has any of the band done national touring before (in other bands) and if not is that something you guys have planned for the future?
I toured a couple times in my youth and I’m not a fan. Two of our members are fathers, I run my own business, and the other guy is very focused on his own creative visual work. And I think it’s safe to say none of us are particularly interested in touring and playing every night. We much prefer to play shows infrequently.

I spent much of my youth driving to Chicago for shows

* When you think of Metal scenes, Oshkosh isn’t one of the first places that springs to mind – is there a scene there and if not where do you guys go to travel for shows? Milwaukee? Chicago? Canada? (I recall the guys in Deadbird telling {they were from little rock Arkansas} that it would be nothing for them to drive the 8hrs or so to New Orleans to catch a touring act yet people in NYC might think twice about a subway ride to Brooklyn in case the next tour the band plays Manhattan ha ha)
A metal scene? Not particularly, although there are some great bands from around the area. The art scene is indeed rich here, but it’s a small college town so many people just leave when they’re done with school. There are a number of very talented musicians, but most people here seem to be content writing music for themselves and playing with people they’re close to. I spent much of my youth driving to Chicago for shows, frequently visiting the Fireside Bowl in Chicago.

* Outside of playing music – what is worth checking out in Oshkosh? Local microbreweries? etc (I used to go to the Milwaukee metal fests in the late 90s early 2000s even then Milwaukee had some great local breweries)
Honestly, Oshkosh is a weird place. Only half the band lives in town here, it’s just sort of where we operate out of. There isn’t much in terms of destinations in town, it’s not a tourist hotspot or anything. There are places that have their charms, and businesses run by some wonderful, passionate people. And of course a couple small craft breweries, but overall it’s the sort of place you seem to find yourself and not a place you typically travel towards intentionally.

If someone wants to fly us somewhere to play a great show, we won’t say no

* What touring goals do you guys want to achieve with Cavernlight? Play NYC? Play Hole in the Sky Norway? Hellfest? etc
Our only real goal with Cavernlight is to continue creating, that’s really it. We’ve already done more than we originally set out to do, so after this anything else is just going to happen as needed. If we need an outlet, if we feel the desire to play and record. Etc. If someone wants to fly us somewhere to play a great show, we won’t say no. But it’s not something we’re necessarily chasing.

* What can we expect from the band for the rest of 2017?
We’ve just played our first shows of the year, we hadn’t played out since Migration Fest in Olympia in August 2016. We’re writing for a possible split LP release, learning a couple covers for another potential split, and working on material for another new full length we intend to record in December 2018, possibly at Electrical Audio with Scott Evans at the helm. But we will see what happens there.

Surrender to your misery

* Good luck with the album release and any final words?
Surrender to your misery.