Ikväll, 14 november, öppnar amerikanska Beartooth för Bring Me The Horizon på Fryshuset i Stockholm. Rocksverige svängde förbi Arenan och klev in i turnébussen. Där väntade Beartooths frontman Caleb, som var märkbart tagen av gårdagens fruktansvärda händelser i Paris och han insåg att konserten på något sätt blir annorlunda:
“For me, I don´t think it´s gonna be the average show. I´m just gonna be trying to work through it. Trying to still do my best obvioulsy and do what I can, but today we´re definitely playing for something. We´re playing for all the people that were lost and it´s fucking heavy, very heavy, so we´ll see what happens.”
You guys played Paris two weeks ago, didn´t you?
Caleb: Yes we did. I think today has been kind of a bizarre and more than anything, super fucking sad day for everybody. For us, on this tour, it´s just very bizarre. Being on a metal tour and seeing that shit happen and at that venue. I don´t know man, it kind of rocks your brain a little bit.
It really puts things in perspective.
Caleb: Yeah, for sure. You really forget about any petty shit when something like this happens. There´s some reality that´s going on in the world. My heart and my prayers and thoughts go out to everybody that was involved in that shit.
What´s it gonne be like walking out on stage tonight?
Caleb: I don´t know, man. I´ve honestly been feeling really weird about it. I don´t know. For me, I don´t think it´s gonna be the average show. I´m just gonna be trying to work through it. Trying to still do my best obvioulsy and do what I can, but today we´re definitely playing for something. We´re playing for all the people that were lost and it´s fucking heavy, very heavy, so we´ll see what happens.
How´s the tour been otherwise?
Caleb: It´s been great and the shows have been very, very cool. All the bands on the tour are really awesome and it´s some of the best shows we´ve ever played.
Is there a difference between the European audiences and the American?
Caleb: I feel like European audiences love to jump. They love the up and down, which is great for us. It just seems like the energy is always at 10, like everybody´s super wild and always moving around going crazy. For us, that works great, because that´s our kind of band.
The American audiences then?
Caleb: It all depends on where you are. You can play some places in the US where people are just bored out of their minds and you can play some place where they´re going absolutely crazy. We´ve played shows where people have jumped off balconies and it´s pure chaos. It all just depends on what show you get.
As I understand it, Beartooth was initially thought of as your own project and then it just got bigger?
Caleb: Yeah, much bigger. Originally it was just gonna be a small project that I just did at home and maybe two weeks or three weeks a year, I´d do a tour or something. I never expected it to be like this, but the ball just started rolling and some people got involved that really know what´s going on and I just kinda said “Screw it, we´ll give it a shot.” Things have been going pretty well.
Your album “Disgusting” came out last year. What was your idea behind the title?
Caleb: I was in a really bad place mentally when I was writing that album and it felt like a word that really summed it up. A lot of the lyrical content on the record is pretty dark and messed up, so I figured that was somewhat fitting to wrap it all up.
Are you in a happier place these days?
Caleb: Yes, much. That record really helped me through a lot, man. Just to get it out recording it was very therapeutic for me.
It´s interesting how powerful music can be. Back in the 60´s people really believed that music could change the world. Do you think there´s anything like that today?
Caleb: Yeah, dude. I think music helps tons of people and I know it´s helped me. It´s a great thing if you find the right music and you find what you really love. For me, it helps me through hard times. It´s like something I can kinda cling to and it keeps me moving.
About the title, what´s the most disgusting thing you´ve seen on the road?
Caleb: Venue toilets. Dude, it is shocking what goes on in there. It is crazy. I don´t know how some people can do what they do to a venue toilet and I don´t wanna get too far into it, but that´s probably some of the most craziest stuff I´ve ever seen. Terrible. (laughs)
Do you have a certain kinda ritual before you hit the stage?
Caleb: I usually do a small stretch, trying to get loosened up and I´ll usually do some vocal warm ups and drink a bottle of water while I´m doing those. Other than that, not really. Just hoping it´s a good show.
Any plans for the next album?
Caleb: Yes, we´re working on it now. Obviously, on tour I don´t really work on records. I just try and focus on the shows more than anything. We´ve been working on it on and off this year and after this tour we´ll just drop everything and focus on the album. It´ll be out in 2016, we don´t have an exact date, but hopefully sooner than later.
As a musician I guess you want to evolve musically, but on the other hand you can´t stray too far, if you wanna keep your fans. Is that difficult in any way?
Caleb: Honestly, for me with writing stuff for Beartooth, it´s not that difficult, just because I´m so comfortable writing the songs and also, there´s no real stipulation on Beartooth, like death metal or hardcore. I don´t really even know what genre it is. More than anything, it´s me writing songs and trying to write the best heavy songs I can. Whether that´s a song that has more singing to it or more guitar riffs to it… I´m really not worried about that with the next record. I think it will all flow together pretty well. From what I´ve written so far, I´m pretty confident.
What kinda stuff did you grow up listening to?
Caleb: A lot of classic rock like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I have a couple of people in my family that were really into that era.
Was there a particular moment that made you go with the heavier stuff you play today, instead of the more classic rock type of music?
Caleb: I think going to metal shows and hardcore shows. I just really loved that energy and there were no rules and you could just go insane and everybody´s there for the same reason and it´s a very family vibe. Then getting into bands like Slayer and Pantera. Seeing all that and it was just super cool to see how crazy everybody went. Taking bits and pieces of everything and putting it all together.
You recently toured with Slipknot, right?
Caleb: Yeah and they were all very, very nice. We hung out and it was all super normal.
Can you learn things from a band like them?
Caleb: You can learn a ton from them. Just the way they run their shows and they were very accepting and they have a big family element to their tour. It´s a massive show and tons of trucks and buses, but it still felt very comfortable and they definitely did their best to make everybody feel super chilled out. It was all “We´re all here to hang out, so let´s have a good time and put on a great show.”
One last thing. There´s a lot of girls outside the arena?
Caleb: (laughs) They love Bring Me The Horizon. The girls love them.
I guess it´s Oliver Sykes? A bit of a pretty boy, isn´t he?
Caleb: (laughs) A little bit. We´ll see.
Text: Niclas Müller-Hansen
Foto: Bandets hemsida