Monday, May 24, 2010

Interview with Clan of the Cave Bear

Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine catches up with Brandon Sedlak (guitar) and John Delzoppo (drums) of Cleveland shred fest, Clan of the Cave Bear on their way to NYC. Look out this Saturday, May 29th for their return to CSMA, this time up in the 3rd Floor Auditorium.

IU: How has the first week and a half of tour gone?

Brandon:  The tour is going really well! All the shows have happened. We spent a day in the Smokey Mountains, rented a cabin there, and got real romantic (laughs).

IU: Glad all is well so far! This is one of your longer recent tours, correct?

Brandon: The longest tour we ever did was when we went out to the west coast. That tour was a little over a month. This one is a little longer than normal though.

IU: It’s been almost  a year since we last had you two out here with Upsilon Acrux, what have you been up to?

Brandon: We’ve been spending a lot of time writing new material. We did a final tour of ’09 in the winter and didn’t play another show, even locally, until May.  We’ve been working on writing, we’ve done a few recording projects with other
musicians – nothing’s out yet but that will be happening after the tour.

IU: Are you premiering the new material on this tour?

Brandon: Yeah, definitely. Half the set will be new stuff. We have three new pieces that are regular in the set.

IU: Any new directions for the new material?

Brandon: It’s definitely Clan of the Cave Bear but we’re experimenting with a few new sounds, new pedals, but it’s all still brutal…

IU:  …which is always good to hear!  You mentioned working with other musicians, what else is in the works?

Brandon: We’ve been collaborating with some guys around town - our buddie George Viebranz and a sax player Jack Smiley. We recorded some of our old songs and had our friends remix them.  We were hoping to have it for tour but it wasn’t quite ready. It should be coming out on tape in the near future.

IU: We’ll look forward to it.  Looking back a ways, how did you and John meet and start playing music together?

Brandon: John and I have been playing in bands together for about 10 years. In 2000, he joined a band I had started called Oblongata.  I’m not quite sure how he even joined the band but my drummer found him and asked him to be in the band to play bass. We did that for about two years, did one tour and one self-released album.  When that band ended John and I wanted to play together so we formed a band and just started writing – him on drums and me on guitar.  We’re going to release some unreleased material from that project.  Not sure what media we’ll release it on but we’re really into vinyl, that will all depend on money though.  That will likely be released sometime soon as well.

IU: Great, we’ll look forward to the retrospective as well. Keeping with the theme of where you came from, what is each of your musical training background?

Brandon: Well, John pretty much started playing drums for this band.  He just taught himself.  I’ve been playing guitar since 5th grade. I took lessons for a bit but then just learned on my own.

IU: That’s amazing you two are so technically proficient without the traditional means of schooling!

Brandon: Yeah, we just play what we can play.

IU: Cool. It seems like you guys have played with a good chunk of the bands we’ve had out here (Thunderhole, Realicide, Zs, etc) – do one of you book shows back home in Cleveland?

Brandon: Yes, John takes care of most of bringing national acts into town. He sets up a lot of shows. We’ll play with most of them or my other band will play the show.

IU: How long has he been doing that?

John:  About 8 years.

IU: Nice! How did you get into that?

John: At the time, bands that I like didn’t know who else to go through in Cleveland so I just started putting shows together.  If a band had trouble getting a show, I’d make it happen.

IU: That’s great that you were able to set it up, facilitate that happening in your town and help out the touring acts. Who does all the great artwork for those flyers?

Brandon: Our friend John G. He’s been doing our tour posters and other show flyers around town. He draws 24 hours a day.

IU: So he did the large ones you guys sent for this tour?

Brandon: Definitely.

IU: So, Megachurch mentioned "compass-dick" and said you'd tell us more. Story?

John: (Laughs) That's too much to get into. Total nonsense!