Cold Cave’s Wesley Eisold spent a number of years in the seminal hardcore bands American Nightmare and Give Up the Ghost. He took a moment before heading out on tour to explain why he made the leap to synthpop and his how his inability to express himself makes him the ideal front man. He performs July 25th at Great American Music Hall.
The New York Times said that Cold Cave is the “flawless recapturing of an era that most nostalgists have begun to let go.” Do you feel that is an accurate statement? I certainly feel where they are going with that comment but do you feel you set out to recapture an era, or a specific sound, when you began working on this project?
I feel nostalgic often but never in the sense of trying to do recapture or even trying at all. Maybe my nostalgia coincides with music that people consider retro at this point but that’s not something I’m interested in.
You were pretty involved in the hardcore scene for a while, what made you take the musical leap you did into the magical world of synthpop?
Necessity. I wanted to make my own music by myself without relying on anyone else and I am limited to the equipment I can use, which are basically machines. Cold Cave grew naturally but rapidly into its sound now from minimal industrial and noise influenced “songs.” I stumbled into this pop element and I really like presenting my ideas and words to music like this.
Growing up, did you have pretty eclectic taste or were you more directed in your musical choices, both in playing and listening to music?
I’ve been obsessed with music since I can remember and never limited to anything. The first show I went to was The Swirlies and Lilys, but then I toured the world in hardcore bands and now I’m making this music and also playing with Prurient, so it’s always been all over. And the reason for it being that way is because genres by and large are not what is attractive about music, but the people making it are.
As not only the lead singer of the band but also the main producer of the tracks how did you fill in the rolls in the band to adapt to a live setting? Is being a front-person a role you feel comfortable fulfilling?
I do because I believe in what I do and nothing else I’d ever been a part of has made any sense to me. I don’t really know how to express myself or communicate any other way. I fumble through conversations. I’m blushing in corners. I’m terminal to relationships. But I like playing my songs. And some work live and others don’t and some people play with me live for a bit and then they don’t. Change can be good and bad but it’s never what you expect.
You are about to embark on a US tour. When is the last time you jumped in the van – or bus – and hit the road?
We’ve been on tour since the record came out in April, though this is actually our first full US headlining tour.
The latter half of your dates are with Canadian band Austra providing main support. It seems like a match made in heaven – are you a fan?
Yeah I do like their album.
How do you envision the future of Cold Cave? Is it something that you feel you will keep near and dear, meaning you will continue to be the main producer or – now that you have built a band – are more collaborative efforts in your sights?
It’s important, to me anyway, that I keep it mostly to myself. If I lose that then I lose the reason that I started it, and then there’s no point anymore. Live is a different thing, but in recording and writing I have to be my confidant.
Cold Cave play Monday, July 25th at The Great American Music Hall. Austra provide main support and Prurient open up. Doors are at 7pm, tickets are $16 and the show is all ages.