Interview with Adam McGrath: Cave In According To Cave In

How has the response been for the EP?

You know, from what I can tell, it’s like any Cave In record—there’s people who love it, there’s people that don’t give a shit about it, and there’s people who hate it. And that’s pretty much the same with every Cave In record (laughs), the people who love it love it and the people who hate it try to publicly humiliate us in the way they hate it.

Yeah, I saw that Decibel review.

Yeah, you know, whatever man. I know exactly who that dude is and it’s a fucking joke. The thing is, if you can get a reaction out of someone like that, you’ve obviously doing something. They’re feeling something from the craft that you do. That’s all I know, it’s like, ‘Dude, you’re the one that hates us that much, I don’t give a shit.’ (laughs)

Aren’t there listeners who have kind of grown to like your sound as its changed or the other way around?

Especially when I played in my other band Clouds, I’ve had people across the board tell me all the different things they liked about Cave In and no one really said the same thing. I appreciate that about us. Everybody likes different records for different reasons. I can’t complain about that. I can’t tell you why, I can’t tell you what our best work is. Some people only want Jupiter, some people only want Until Your Heart Stops, some people just want to hear Antennae. I hear people’s reaction from the set we play now is ‘They’re playing too many old songs now and just catering to their older fans.’ Even with Planets Of Old having some heavier songs they’re ‘just trying to get back to Until Your Heart Stops.’ Other people are like, ‘I’m pissed off because I want to hear Antennae shit, I don’t want to hear this heavy shit.’ You can’t really please anyone (laughs).

You guys are pretty divisive.

The way I look at it is being in band you want to be the best at who you are. I don’t consider myself a metal person or a rock and roll person. I come from hardcore, suburban hardcore, and I know who I am, and I guess you have that Bad Brains attitude of the Bad Brains were good at all kinds of things, playing fast and playing reggae, so they did it, and they did it great. Not that we play reggae or anything, but I want to do everything we’re good at and not be ashamed of it. The Frank Zappa attitude, just if we can do it, let’s try to pull it off.

You’re not trying to cater to anybody but yourself.

Exactly. Like the Planets Of Old review that we’re talking about in Decibel, he didn’t like it because we didn’t follow the rules of being Cave In according to him. And I say what are the rules of being in Cave In? What are these rules in punk rock that I’m supposed to follow? Because I got into punk rock because there are no rules.

After this extended weekend of shows, what are the long term plans?

We just kind of want to get down and write more songs. We have a handful of songs that aren’t recorded yet but I know we want to do more. We’re going to record more songs now then we tour because that’s just the way this band is going to go now. I know touring for J.R. and Caleb is a huge undertaking and would take a huge amount of planning to even pull off and I know Caleb has a second child on the way. We work around the families now, but it’s also like a new era for the band, spending time with the little ones man, it’s a total trip. I hope to record more music especially next year. This year has been kind of wild, J.R.’s in Doomriders and they have a new record out so he’s doing other stuff as well. Steve just did a week-long tour with the Annuals doing solo stuff.

Are you planning on EPs and putting out little bursts here and there?

That’s what it feels like right now but there certainly isn’t any sort of plan. I know we’ve talked about EPs, but the thing is you have the Internet now, so do you want to put out twelve free songs at once or four free songs at once? (laughs) It’s just the way the Internet works. Seriously. That’s the way you have to think of things now. As soon as you put out a record, it’s free. It’s kind of something to think about.

Cave In play the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Nov. 19 and the First Unitarian Church in Philly on Nov. 20. Planets Of Old is available on vinyl now and on CD/DVD Jan. 26, 2009, or stream it at