Published Oct 30, 2007The Cave Singers press release states that the band, comprised of members of Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hint Hint and Cobra High, had no interest in folk music before picking up their acoustics. While guitarist Derek Fudesco dismisses this statement as ridiculous, hes the first to admit that the band had absolutely no scholarly interest in roots music of yore. The Cave Singers project was born of proximity Fudesco and singer Pete Quirk share an apartment, and what began as a home recording experiment revealed an unexpected musical compatibility. The addition of neighbour Marty Lund on percussion (and the collapse of PGMG, Fudescos band) made it official. Quirks natural croak is what spurs so many of the bands reviewers to use the word "Appalachian as though it were an everyday adjective; its not the kind of voice youd expect to come from an erstwhile indie rock guy, without a strained effort at least. Though their songs are low-key and graced with idyllic charm, you might argue that its folk in principle more than in practise. And although their melodies could be easily sped up and played on electric instruments, the Cave Singers make music spontaneously in a communal setting (well, a filled basement) with whatever happens to be lying around at their disposal. The Cave Singers seem to write their music with no particular direction in mind, yet the results are well-formed: simple, pretty songs highlighted by subtle production and distinguished by Quirks character-filled voice, the bands crowning jewel.
If someone had played you Invitation Songs five years ago, would you have believed it was your own work?
Derek Fudesco: I wouldnt have thought that Id be playing acoustic guitar thats as far from where I came from, musically, as I can imagine [laughs].
Why did Pete get a Cave Singers tattoo so early on in the bands career? There must have been drinking involved.
No, he did it in the early afternoon. I think he felt like doing it, putting it on his body. This is a different thing for all of us. Weve all been in bands for a really long time and this is sort of the first band where it just feels like friends and theres no work involved at all; its just fun. Every band Ive been in, Ive loved the people but its all been a challenge. This is the first time it hasnt been hard at all.
Are you worried that with a Matador deal, business might hack away at the fun? Were going to do everything that we can to not make it that way. Like, we did two West coast tours and rather than just staying in hotels and playing the show we went to some hot springs, and we went camping with Lightning Dust, and we went to the ocean. Were just making it more like vacation than touring. (Matador)