Cave Of Swimmers

Cave Of Swimmers have just released their sophomore studio album. Grande Rock talked with Perez (vocals, guitar, 6/4 bass, synth) so as to find out more about this odd duo from Florida. This interview as “weird” as their music is, so that is you’re going to read below… an interview with words and pictures!
Cave Of Swimmers band pic

Hi Perez… welcome to Grande Rock. Your new album “Reflection” is a splendid work indeed. Kudos!
P: Thank you!
Do tell us in brief, how you met with Toro? How did the idea to form COS occur?
P: We met in the 4th grade. We used to cover heavy metal tunes, and our first gig together was in a Black Sabbath cover band when we were 15, it was called “Mac Sabbath”. Prior to forming the band we kind of took our own separate paths, playing different styles of music with different ensembles… the idea to form the band came from wanting to be in our own comfortable zone, playing our own stuff.
Which are the similarities and the differences between your debut and the new album “Reflection”? What has changed musically on the band’s camp?
P: Our first album was recorded without a click, for instance… The first album is more “loose” in that sense. It’s more raw… this one feels more focused, I think.
Which are your major musical influences and how did this “weird” music blending of COS come about?
P: I can’t speak for Arturo but I know he’s into all sorts of stuff… when I started listening to music, Michael Jackson was it for me… then rock n’ roll stuff, and then the heavier stuff… if you went to a record store back in the day, picture the “rock” section from AC/DC to ZZ Top! But also, growing up in Venezuela, we were exposed to Latin rhythms and so forth, from Dominican Merengue to Salsa and of course, Venezuelan music. I think the band is a combination of those things, and then all the music that we discovered later, like jazz (Arturo plays in various Jazz groups here in Miami), classical and Hanna Montana.
What’s the message behind the album’s title “Reflection”?
P: Arturo came up with it. The instrumental certainly invites the listener to look within… for introspective moments, I guess…
How is the album’s title “Reflection” related with the cover art and that “reflected mountain” (?) we see beyond the huge gate?
P: Because the image is warped and ominous, and the children are dancing in a sort of playful, almost innocent way in front of it. We feel like those children… danger and ugliness could certainly be behind or even right in front of us and we’d still be dancing carelessly, like when Wolverine decided to tap Rogue’s ass even though he knew she could suck his life energy like...
 Wolverine in the bus
You say, on your official bandcamp page, that like your debut album, you do not really consider the new album an EP for you wrote more than 25 minutes of music. Is it something that you want to make clear to everyone out there? Why’s that? Was there any kind of issue at some point?
P: Because it’s not an EP. We could have separated certain parts of certain songs, like long codas and so forth, into different tracks, but it would have butchered and compromised the work. And also, I understand that there might be confusion because… I mean, if I see an album with only 4 tracks I’d say “ah, it’s an EP”… but it’s disregarding the amount of music that was actually written, and you can only know how long they run for if you actually listen to them. In this instance, even editing the songs down and cutting 5 or even 6 minutes – which we did for “The Prince of the Power of The Air” – it’d still be longer than 25 minutes. Having said that, we did divide the songs into chapters, which you can find in the physical CD…
Tell us a few things about each track…
P: “The Prince of the Power of the Air”: It’s been around the longest. The lyrics are about abandonment: “hear me father, oh rise up, hear my prayer”…
“The Skull”: It’s probably the heaviest track. It’s a continuation to “The Prince”, lyric and music-wise.
“Still Running”: This one features a bass solo in the middle… I love Jaco Pastorius… the bass solo is followed by a blast beat. This is probably the first and last time that “Jaco” and “Blast Beat” have been used in the same sentence.
“Reflection”: It’s an instrumental. Arturo plays his ass off on this and every track… it’s scary.
Why did you release a single edition of “The Prince of the Power of the Air”?
P: Because we understand that 10 minutes, out of which probably 1 or 2 are of “hear me father, oh rise up, hear my prayer”, is the stuff that they use to torture people, so we cut it down. Having said that, singing that line over and over is certainly cathartic for me, so there’s one version to please you, and one to please me… now everybody’s happy! :D
The production is powerful, rockin’ & sharp. Kudos for achieving such a great production. I guess Dana Salminen (recordings) & Ian Mercel (mixing) also had a key role on the final outcome, right? I must say that the production is way better than the debut’s one.
P: That’s a testament to how great they both are, because they recorded and mixed the first album as well – so that means they’re getting better. I have nothing but respect and admiration for them as people and as musicians… and they were both so patient with us...
You released “Reflection” independently. Is it better that way in order to have the total control of your work or not?
P: I guess so. It’d be nice to be able to fund a vinyl release at some point. Can you lend us some cash? (i.n.: Does anybody hear?!)
Were you approached by any label at some point? Would you sign to a label in the future or you prefer to go independently all the way?
P: We’re open to anything at this point!
Which are the pros & cons of being independent instead of having a label to back you up?
P: One of the pros is that you don’t owe anything to anybody but yourself. The cons is that you invest the money and it’s your loss…
If you have to define your band’s music style to someone who hasn’t heard of the band, what would you say?
P: It’s heavy music that you can hopefully sing, slam and dance along to.
Are there any plans to give any live shows (apart from your album’s release show which has already taken place)? Is Miguel Caliente a “steady” live member of the band?
P: We’re touring the east coast this summer. Check out our website for more info. Miguel is a unicorn, and by nature, his appearances are magical and random, like shooting stars.
Have you ever considered of adding a couple of permanent members on the band?
P: Yeah, a dog to iron our shirts. It didn’t work out!
Dog ironing pic
Which are your next steps and what do you wish to achieve at long run with Cave Of Swimmers?
P: To keep going!
Time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Cave Of Swimmers initially?
P: Our original name was the tunnel, but it was already taken. Cave of Swimmers was the name of a song that we wrote, and the title is in reference to a uterus. Tunnel and Cave aren’t that far apart when you think about it, symbolically speaking. We could’ve called us “The Vagina”, and if we were from Boston we’d be “The Vaginers”… but that’d be tacky…
Which is that band that has influenced most of the bands & musicians since rock music began…?
P: From the top of my head, Chuck Berry… and Little Richard… and The Beatles, Elvis, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, Black Sabbath… too many to count… Motorhead… The Ramones, AC/DC… I don’t know, I’m making stuff up at this point…
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
P: I don’t like to talk about negative things, because they usually come back to bite me in the ass. What I will say is that music, for some of us, is not a hobby – it’s our life’s work. So yeah, I’d love it if there was an industry for musicians to be part of that would allow the possibility of not having to consider suicide as an option when it comes to solving our financial issues.
Best 3 rock albums of all time?
P: Umm… that’s tough, man… I’d say, for me… I still listen to CDs in the car… so if I had to take only 3 out of my rock discography to listen to for the rest of my days, I’d take albums that I can listen back to back, like Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, Guns N’ Roses “Appetite”, and some new age album like Tears For Fears’ “Tears Roll Down” or some shit… maybe it isn’t even considered rock, and it’s actually a best of, but I don’t give a fuck…

Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
P: I don’t know… I just sit in awe and try to learn as much as I can. Honestly.
Which do you consider to be the best music era of all time & why?
P: Any era where there’s music is always the best in my opinion!
Is the “free downloading issue” the main reason why the music industry has taken the downhill or there are others, more important reasons for that?
P: I don’t know, but it wasn’t an issue when it was like…
 dialing progress pic
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
P: Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations… that man was a genius – both men, actually…
Best pick-up line that has worked for you several times in the past?
P: No pick-up lines, my game is so sad... I’m clumsy and sloppy when I’m nervous… like...
 Kid funny pic
What’s the worst thing you can say right after sex?
P: I think turning around and going to sleep disregarding the other party is worse than whatever you can say… unless she starts snoring right away, in which case I suppose you did either extremely good, or extremely bad; depending on whether you hear her snoring during or after the fact…
Steel Panther say “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’” – what do you think of it?
P: The intro sounds like Van Halen’s “Unchained”
If you could only ever sleep with one Porn Star, who would you choose?
P: You should ask Ronald McDonald
 Ronald McDonald pic
Which of the Seven Deadly Sins do you reckon is the one, that’s more likely to send you straight to Hell, in the afterlife?
P: Not good at judging people, man… but, I’ll tell you something, growing up where I did… watching so many people grow up in extreme poverty in such a rich country… I’d say greed.
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? J
P: I’d just pawn the ring, I guess…
We have finally come to an end Perez. Thx for talking to Grande Rock. Keep on rockin’ dude… take care!
P: Cheers! You too!!