We could easily write up a glowing introductory paragraph about Beartooth, their music, their new album, ‘Aggressive’. We could, but singer Caleb Shomo would probably loathe us for that. (See: ‘King Of Anything’). So, screw it, we’ll just jump right into our recent interview with Shomo.
With you writing and recording all the band’s music, does that ever put a lot of pressure on you for the music and band to succeed? Because then it’s all on you, in a way.
To a point, I think. At the same time, when I’m writing, if I’m feeling good about it then I’m having a good time. That’s what I really focus on with everything.
Of course, you’ve gotta do it for you first. As you’re the main writer, though, are you ever worried that that will limit the bands sound? It’s a tricky thing to balance; having one writer or having too many members writing and it resulting in having too cooks in the kitchen could stale ?
So far I think it’s been going well. I never think of it that way. With Beartooth, it’s just me writing alone in my basement and tapping into emotions I don’t usually tap into. The rest of the band is cool with it, and that’s how we roll. That’s the Beartooth sound.
With that Beartooth sound, I went back and listened to the final Attack Attack! album, ‘This Means War’ and it gave me some massive vibes.
For sure, that’s the Attack Attack! album I had the most hand in making. I engineered that record, I mixed it, I mastered it, and I wrote a lot of it. Naturally, I think it’s similar because whenever I write music, it’ll always have that vibe. With Beartooth, I could do whatever I wanted. Attack Attack! also had a lot of electronic elements, and so when I had my own chance and went pretty ape-shit. That’s where the ‘Sick’ EP came from. Since then, I’ve refined the sound and made it more consistent.
I wanted to ask you about the new album’s final song, ‘King Of Anything’. It seemed like you don’t want to be made out as a hero or as a rock star by the fans and the press, and all the bullshit that comes with that. Am I right in saying that?
Dude, you are 100% right. That song is absolutely about not knowing how to handle those allegations. For me, I’ve never really set out to be a role model. I know a lot of front men really get off on that shit. But I don’t think I should be looked up to. All I do is write honest music, and if people connect to that, then that’s amazing. It’s great when people come up to me and say our songs really helped them out, but as far as being a “hero” or “savior”, that’s not me.
So does it weird you out when the band or you get nominated for awards like “Best Band” or Best Frontman”?
…I don’t really know [laughs]. I don’t know how to think about a lot of it. I think there’s a difference between appreciation of performance and putting someone on a pedestal as an idol. This is very uncomfortable to talk about, but a lot of people tell me that they I saved their life. That makes me extremely uncomfortable. If people tell me I am a good performer or a good singer, that’s awesome. But if someone tells me those more extreme things, I don’t feel as though I personally saved anyone. When I get put on any pedestal, I don’t know how to take it, personally.
I remember Joel Birch from The Amity Affliction saying that he was really weighed down by their fans telling him he had saved their lives. And that it put a lot of emotional pressure on him as a vocalist.
Yeah, for sure. I would never go as far as to say don’t write in or don’t send appreciation because I really respect when people get something out of music. I’m sure Joel would tell you, it’s cool when anyone can get a positive reaction out of your music. I think being idolized and the way people look up to you can get kinda gnarly.
Well said man, it’s a fine line, I think. Now, about that tour with Slipknot last year, did you ever get booed at or have things thrown at you? I’ve heard stories about bands supporting acts like Slayer and the crowd turns on them.
Well, I don’t know if we’ve been outright booed off stage [laughs]. With that tour, there were definitely a lot of ‘Fuck you’ and middle fingers cause everyone wants to see Slipknot, and we were so random band. At the same time, massive shout out to Slipknot for bringing us on that tour, though.
Well, that’s good to hear! Anyway, we’ll leave it there Caleb, thanks for your time today.
Cheers dude, thank you.
‘Aggressive’ is out June 3rd through Red Bull Records.
Beartooth will be supporting Piece The Veil and Silverstein this August alongside Storm The Sky. Tickets can be found here.