Floridian Black/Death band Caveman Cult has been causing a bit of a stir in our underground of late, their debut demo 'Rituals of Savagery' has been released on no less than four formats and debut album 'Savage War is Destiny' has also been released to widespread acclaim. With a split release to be shared with up-coming Irish band, 'Coscradh' also due in the future via underground label Invictus Productions I thought it was time we caught up with the band to find out a little more - read on for a full interview with drummer, Rick, and a sample of their seriously good music at the foot of the interview.
Interview by Trevor Proctor.
Hi, I hope all’s good with Caveman Cult. Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for The Lair of Filth. For anyone reading who may not be familiar with the band could you please tell us about Caveman Cult and its main aims/beliefs?
Rick: Caveman Cult is a metal band with no politics or beliefs. Our only aim is creating violent noise.
I think Caveman Cult is a strange yet brilliant name for a band, why did you select the name and were any others considered at the time?
Rick: The name was thought up by our guitar player Harold. I was apprehensive at first, but now I understand his vision, and can't think of the band operating under any other name that would be more fitting. I like that some people won't take us seriously because of it too.
Your first release was the ‘Rituals of Savagery’ demo which Rotting Chapel Propaganda released on digital formats and 305 Death Squad released on CD in November 2014. Since then Wohrt Records brought out a cassette version and Larval Productions a vinyl version which was released in April this year. Did you ever imagine your first demo would prove so popular and are there any plans for further re-issues?
Rick: We had no expectations when writing and recording the demo. Wohrt Records' cassette version was the first to be released. CD and vinyl followed. As of now there are no plans for any re-issues beyond what's currently floating around out there unless there is a demand further down the line.
I understand the vinyl version of the ‘Rituals of Savagery’ demo was the first ever release by Larval Productions – how did it feel to be the first release on a label and were you happy with how the final Larval Productions version turned out?
Rick: Rudo who runs Larval is an old friend of mine. He's the one who initially turned me onto lots of great underground metal bands beyond entry level death and black metal. We've known each other for about 17 years now and used to tape trade early on. He's a true underground noise freak who has an outstanding work ethic.
Since ‘Rituals of Savagery’ you didn’t release any further music for around eighteen months when you brought out the ‘Barbaric Bloodlust’ demo in April this year, was Caveman Cult dormant during this period or were you still playing live shows?
Rick: The 'Barbaric Bloodlust' demo was recorded and then scrapped shortly after in favor of saving the songs for our LP. We then decided to release it months later in a small edition for some live shows in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana with Abysmal Lord/Grave Ritual. We were actually very active in writing/recording during our "absent" period, just as we are now.
Your debut album ‘Savage War is Destiny’ followed a mere month after ‘Barbaric Bloodlust’ when Rotting Chapel Propaganda released it on digital formats and CD. I recently bought the CD version and am very impressed with it, how happy is the band with the final recording?
Rick: We did the recording and mastering ourselves, and are pleased with the outcome. It sounds fucked up.
This was the third time you’d released music via Rotting Chapel Propaganda – how did the band initially come to work with the label and what factors do you believe have contributed to this fairly long term relationship?
Rick: Rotting Chapel has been my label since 2005. The label is not limited to metal, but I've worked in the past with some bands and projects that are relatively well known in the metal world like Revenge, Wold, and Moss. I have upcoming releases planned for Abysmal Lord and Dead World. Releasing our own material gives us lots of control over our product as well as being able to work at our own pace. We have little to no desire to work with well known labels.
I’m aware Larval Productions has just released ‘Savage War is Destiny’ on vinyl, is this a label you also intend staying with and are there any plans to issue a vinyl version of the ‘Barbaric Bloodlust’ demo?
Rick: We'd be happy to continue working with him as long as we're a band and he's interested. His releases all look and sound top notch. No vinyl release is currently planned for 'Barbaric Bloodlust', but Cloven Hoof in the Czech Republic will be officially re-issuing a pro-cassette version of the demo in Europe.
Your music has been compared to the likes of Revenge, Conqueror and Tetragrammacide, would you agree with this analysis and was it ever the original intention to have a similar sound?
Rick: We like those bands, so that's fine with us to be compared to them. There was surely an intention to create music similarly brutal to those mentioned for sure.
Tetragrammacide have also released music via Larval Productions who released a vinyl version of their three way split with Lord of Depression and Infernal Sacrament – have you heard this release and could a future split with yourselves and Tetragrammacide be a possibility?
Rick: We would be open to it. I haven't received a copy of that split from Larval Productions yet, but I do own 'Typhonian Wormholes' 12" from Iron Bonehead Productions.
Caveman Cult’s music is a very different sound to what a lot of people would expect to hear from Florida, how big an influence did early Floridian Death Metal play in your lives and which bands, not necessarily from Florida, would you say have influenced Caveman Cult’s sound the most over the years?
Rick: Florida death metal is an influence for sure. We grew up in it. We're influenced by that kind of stuff, as well as 80's death thrash, lots of South American metal, early grindcore and hardcore, harsh noise, Finnish and Australian black/death metal, pretty much anything brutal and ugly. I'd say our biggest influences in our sound would maybe be Sarcofago, Blasphemy, Conqueror, Bestial Warlust, and other bands in that vein.
I understand you have an upcoming split release which you’re due to share with Irish underground band, Coscradh, how did Caveman Cult first make contact with Coscradh and do you know them on a personal level?
Rick: We communicated over the internet with Coscradh and they're cool dudes. I was drawn to their theme and content. It's unique, not just another rehashed war/death/nazi themed metal band with a self righteous attitude, which is becoming played out as fuck these days. I've been to Ireland many times and am of Irish descent myself. We haven't met in person yet, but hopefully will if the band ever makes it overseas or I find myself in Galway again.
Can you reveal at this stage which label will release the split, have you your track(s) written for it and is there a scheduled release date yet?
Rick: Invictus Productions will release the split. We were hoping to be written and recorded by the end of September but due to family troubles on my end things are running way behind schedule. We should hopefully have our side ready by the end of November I would say. No release date as of now.
Coscradh are signed to the excellent Irish underground label Invictus Productions – are you familiar with the label or many other bands from its roster?
Rick: Absolutely. Great label with an eclectic line up. We've traded with them in the past and they're extremely reliable and put out proper releases. We're proud to be distributed by them and be working with them in the near future.
What are your writing plans after the split with Coscradh, it’s been an extremely productive year for the band, will you take a break from writing?
Rick: I think the plan is to write and record a 7" EP on our own after the split is finished. After that point we will likely take a break from writing and try to start playing some live gigs unless a really cool offer comes up.
I’m aware you played on a bill featuring Perdition Temple, Father Befouled, Encoffination and Gnosis last February, how did it feel to be playing on such a high standard bill and had you played many live shows before it?
Rick: We'd played a handful of shows before that. It's always cool to be included on gigs with powerful line ups though, so that was cool. We played first to almost no one. Sometimes it's even better that way for me personally. Set the bar high at the beginning of the show.
You’re also playing the ‘Cathedral of the Black Goat’ festival in October this year – another sterling line-up featuring Bestial Raids and Antichrist who are playing their first live show since 1994 along with over ten other bands, which are you looking forward to seeing the most and have you any other live dates planned for the rest of 2016 or even early 2017?
Rick: No live shows currently planned this year besides 'Cathedral of The Black Goat,' although we are open to it if it's possible for us. As for the festival, I'm looking forward to seeing Bestial Raids, Antichrist and Nigrummagia. I plan on checking out every band's set though.
Which gig have you enjoyed the most so far and which bands would you most like to tour with?
Rick: Not sure which gig I've enjoyed the most. Probably the Gainesville gig with Abysmal Lord because people were going fucking nuts and the room was completely filled with fog and red lights. It felt chaotic.
To date 2016 has been another phenomenal year in terms of underground releases, which have you enjoyed most and what future releases are you most looking forward to hearing?
Rick: Perverted Ceremony demo, the Grunt cassettes on Freak Animal, newest Ride For Revenge... these questions are hard when put on the spot. I try and check out as much music as possible all the time. I'm looking forward to the Crurifragium full length, new Bastard Noise 3"cd on L.White Records, the list could go on forever...
I feel extreme underground music is experiencing its most productive period ever, with more bands than ever - would you agree and do you think extreme music will command the same audience in five years’ time?
Rick: It's hard to say. It seems to be an ever-changing thing. I would say the underground as a whole has a ton of artists currently pushing boundaries, sure. But there's also a million bands I find to be stale and lack any kind of substance. No new ideas, just lots of people hopping on a bandwagon trying to look and sound exactly like some shit that's already been done.
If you had the choice of releasing your music now or during the early 1990’s which period would you choose and why?
Rick: 1990's for sure. The internet as well as the internet generation are a fucking plague. We live in the surveillance age, and people are scared to have fun because someone might catch them banging their head on camera at a gig or whatever the fuck. Too much posing for the fucking camera. Too much sitting and typing, not enough getting out and being active.
Rick, thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions for The Lair of Filth it’s very much appreciated, any closing comments are all yours….
Rick: Think for yourselves and don't follow trends or adopt beliefs because your favorite bands say so. There's nothing weaker than being a clone.
Vinyl editions of 'Rituals of Savagery' and debut album 'Savage War is Destiny' are both currently available from Larval Productions with 'Savage War is Destiny' also available from Caveman Cult's Bandcamp page and other leading labels/distros including Invictus Productions and Iron Bonehead Productions.