A good punk rock show should scare the shit out of you. Make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster or jumping out of an airplane. Put you in touch with what it feels like to be in danger, what it feels like not to know if you’re walking out in one piece.
A good punk rock show allows you to get wild at a level that isn’t acceptable anywhere else. It should be a forum for you to let go of your frustrations with your life, with your job, with your boyfriend, with your whatever. Most importantly, when it’s over, a good punk rock show should leave you feeling more alive than when you walked in.
In its short existence, D.C.’s Caverns has built a reputation for putting on taught, frenetic shows. Even though their music has been labeled everything from symphonic metal to post-post hardcore, Caverns remains a punk band at heart. More than anything else, a Caverns show is a cathartic experience, an invitation to cut loose like the world could end tomorrow.
Sound like something you might be into? If so, you’re in luck because Caverns will be playing the 9:30 Club tonight opening for D.C. legends Clutch. The show will serve as a release party for their new EP Kittens!, the follow-up to last year’s Sing Along, which has already received some glowing reviews, including one from our Baltimore friends at Aural States. We asked Caverns a bit about the show and the CD and you can find their answers and some songs below:
BYT: What’s with the name Kittens?
Caverns: We wanted to name the EP something that was the opposite of what one might associate with the type of music that we play. Heavy music, especially hardcore punk which is the tradition we feel like we come out of, is generally perceived as lacking any sort of sense of humor. The title Kittens! represents that, while we’re very serious about our music and our performance, we have a sense of humor about everything else related to being in a band. I actually hate cats.
BYT: How do you feel this EP differs from your first release Sing Along?
Caverns: Kittens! definitely feels more live than our first one. Partially because, unlike on Sing Along, we had played this material live for a while before recording it and partially because these songs were written with a more organic, less intricate approach. That doesn’t mean it lacks an experimental spirit, but it comes across as less fussy and more immediate. It’s way more in your face. One thing I am proud of that Kittens! shares with Sing Along is it’s range. No two songs on either EP sound a like. I think our instrumentation, particularly the piano, give us an immediately identifiable sound, but I believe you would be hard pressed to describe us as having a particular style.
BYT: How did the CD release show come about? What can we expect from Caverns and the other bands playing Monday night?
Caverns: There aren’t a ton of bands in D.C. right now doing music as experimental and out there as ours. The few bands we do know, like Imperial China, who are my favorite D.C. band right now, that are doing something spiritually similar to us are basically at the same level as we are in terms of exposure, so it can be tough to get in front of new people.
We were fortunate enough to play with The Bakerton Group (Clutch’s instrumental alter ego) last summer at a Cal Robbins benefit and it was an amazing experience. When we heard that Clutch was touring right around the time we were hoping to put out this record, we asked if we could hop on the 9:30 Club bill.
Clutch is one of our favorite bands of all time. They are a band who has done every single thing their own way and never compromised their vision on the path to becoming internationally famous. More than anything though, I respect Clutch for being a heavy band with a high IQ and great sense of humor. Neil Fallon’s lyrics have always been among the very best and most original I have ever heard in rock and JP’s drumming is mind blowing.
Chicago’s Russian Circles are one of the very few heavy instrumental bands operating on the national level, so they are definitely an inspiration for us. There is another band called Viking Skull from England that will be playing. Aside from having an amazing name, they are a great, fun heavy band. Oh, and Bam Margera’s brother plays drums for them.
It will be a great time, so I hope people will come early and stay for the whole show. Caverns is definitely planning on pulling out all the stops to properly release Kittens! into the world.
Here are some tracks from Kittens! for your listening pleasure:
Stop Being Paranoid