The Cave Singers Invitation Songs

The Cave Singers Invitation Songs
The 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, he’s 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, Fudesco’s band) made it official. Quirk’s natural croak is what spurs so many of the band’s reviewers to use the word "Appalachian” as though it were an everyday adjective; it’s not the kind of voice you’d 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 it’s 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 Quirk’s character-filled voice, the band’s crowning jewel.

If someone had played you Invitation Songs five years ago, would you have believed it was your own work?
Derek Fudesco: I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be playing acoustic guitar — that’s 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 band’s 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. We’ve all been in bands for a really long time and this is sort of the first band where it just feels like friends and there’s no work involved at all; it’s just fun. Every band I’ve been in, I’ve loved the people but it’s all been a challenge. This is the first time it hasn’t been hard at all.

Are you worried that with a Matador deal, business might hack away at the fun? We’re 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. We’re just making it more like vacation than touring. (Matador)