2009 has been an incredibly eventful year so far for the guys in the hard rock band Cavo. They signed a deal with Reprise Records, released their debut CD and they have been on tour this summer as part of the annual Crue Fest. But it does not end there; in September Cavo will be sharing the stage with Shinedown and the Sick Puppies. Following those dates the band will be playing with Daughtry and Theory Of A Deadman this fall in arenas throughout the United States. I recently caught up with frontman Casey Walker just before the bands set in Virginia Beach and spoke with him about all of the exciting things happening with the band.
You guys are right in the middle of Crue Fest. How is that going? What has been the reaction of the fans to your music?
Casey: Crue Fest is great. It is the premiere rock tour of the summer and being able to tour with some of the biggest and best names in Rock and Roll is just amazing. The fans have been nothing but great. Every show the crowds get bigger and bigger, the album is out now, people are singing songs off of the album, and it is really cool.
Have you gotten a chance to meet the guys in Motley Crue?
Casey: I have not met them all yet. I have only met Nikki Sixx. I got to go on his bus and record some liners for his radio show. It was so cool. He is such a nice guy. He was just so down to earth and complimenting my songs.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Casey: We write as a four piece all sitting in the same room. It is like a practice session. We all grab our instruments, turn up the distortion and kind of jam on something. Every once in a while something will pop into someone’s head, it will be like hey I like that, we will play it again, and eventually it evolves into a song. Everyone writes their own parts but they are all written at the same time.
Now that your new CD has been released how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Casey: I extremely excited with the outcome. We sold a bunch of records the first week, the song has hit number one and I think the album has a lot to offer. I think there is something for everybody out there. We never really sat down and said we are going to write like this and we are going to be this style of band. We just kind of let the songs grow and build on their own and when they were done, it was that type of song.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Casey: When we first started, we were nervous and we took a little bit longer but towards the end, we were laying tracks down to three and four songs a day.
You worked with David Bendeth, a very well known well respected producer. How did you get in touch with him and what was it like working with him?
Casey: He actually heard our songs and contacted us. It was one of those things where he showed up to a showcase we had and he pulled us aside before we could talk to any of the label people and said, “I do not care if you get a record deal or not I want to make your album.” We were blown away by that. He obviously cared about the songs and the music. He was amazing to work with, especially for a young band like us. He taught us how to be a better band. We love David. I would venture to say we will probably work with him again.
Did he take you in directions you hadn’t expected?
Casey: Yeah, he pushed us a lot to by taking a songs we thought were good and making them better.
By gaining a major label deal at such an early point in your career it is clear that record execs see a lot of potential in your abilities. How do you not let that sort of pressure get to you when on the road or writing new material?
Casey: That is a good question. You have to trust your instincts; you have got to trust yourself. You wrote the songs that got the record labels attention, before there were the record execs, the producers and the lawyers. A lot of bands go out there and they try to top what they did on the first album. I do not think it is about trying to top what you did I think it is more about writing the best album you can possibly write at the point you are in life at that moment. Everyone is always trying to write there version of Sgt Pepper, you know one of the best albums ever written, I don’t think you should ever go about writing a song that will be a hit for the label or a song that your producer will like. I think you write a song and say, “I like this song” and just trust yourself.
Are there any songs on this disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Casey: My personal favorite song on the album is “Let It Go.” I actually am not a very big fan of telling people what the songs are about. I think it is great for someone to hear the song, place it into their own life and make it personal to them.
Take us through the writing and recording process for the new album. How many songs did you write in total?
Casey: For the album we wrote I think twenty to twenty-five songs. There were a lot of bits and pieces of songs as well, you know, like a verse and a chorus or just a chorus. There were about thirty ideas that we chose from. We all write as a four piece so it is tough because a lot of times there are four different opinions but at the same time it is the best way to write a song because they are not just one sided songs, everyone gets there own opinion in it.
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Casey: Definitely staying in shape. I try and make it to the gym almost every single day because you tell yourself you are going to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday while on tour then all of sudden you can’t make it on a Wednesday or a Friday but you could have gone on Tuesday or Thursday, you know. It gets really hot out here so you have got to stay in shape and stay hydrated.
Aside from the current Crue Fest tour, what does Cavo have planned for the fall and early 2010?
Casey: The fall is going to be exciting and crazy. Right after we get off from Crue Fest we are home for like five or six days and then we go out on tour with Shinedown and Sick Puppies. When we get through with that, we go straight to Daughtry and Theory Of A Deadman. Our first year of touring, literally I will be six months into touring, and we be playing arenas, that is crazy.
Has anything surprised you about the reviews you have been getting?
Casey: What really stinks right now is that we are in a van and we do not have internet. So I have been dying to get online and look into what the press has been saying about our album. But even if every one of them rips it all apart, it is not going to affect me. I know a lot of people say that and then it does anyway. But I am proud of the album and if they do not like it then that is their opinion. I think from what I have heard though it has been getting good reviews. I feel blessed. [ END ]