South African alternative rockers Caelo have announced the release of their debut EP Visions.
The group formed in 2014 and consists of Vocals/Guitar – Joel Bronner, Drums/Vocals – Michael Dickens and Bass/Vocals – Matthew Winfield.
Let’s go back – how did it all begin?
“Well, two of us (Mike and Joel) actually went to pre-primary school together in KZN, but we only realised this in High School when we were re-introduced. The band’s earliest months were around mid 2014 – although those times were jam sessions more than anything else, it was a very creative period. At that time, it was just the two of us. We had always intended on being a three-piece. We weren’t exactly writing the kind of music suited to a two-piece. We had a vision of writing melodies where the guitar and bass would work together to create something different. Mat joined the band in September 2014 and that’s when we had our first proper song writing session. The energy of that time was intense and it’s something that we still bring to the shows we play.”
“We had played together for a long time before finally playing our first live show – it was well over a year. In the beginning we started to realise that if we wanted to be the band, and musicians, that we dreamed about being it would require a whole lot of time spent with our instruments. And that’s exactly how we spent our early months as a band.”
Where does the name Caelo come from?
“It took a really long time to come up with the name Caelo – probably well over a year after the first band sessions. We wanted our own “word”, or a unique concept, at least. It had to sound good, but it also had to be a peculiar idea, even if that meant people could not pronounce it or did not know quite what it meant. That makes it memorable (hopefully!). When at last we chose “Caelo” (It’s pronounced “Kaylo”), we actually learned that it means ‘sky’ in Latin, an idea that really brought everything together for us.”
What is the idea behind ‘Visions’?
“Visions really consolidates those early months we spent together as a group. We would meet regularly and just rock out. We wanted to be a band that played live a lot, but those early months were seriously just about practice. It was not one of those stories where a great singer, drummer, bassist and guitarist get together and boom, a band is formed. In the beginning, we didn’t have a vocalist, so Joel spent many months learning to sing so that we could remain a three piece. We always write collaboratively, and we would spend hours upon hours working on our seemingly obscure music. The journey that we each took, as a unit and individually, just to get to the point of being an impressive live act was really long.”
“Visions is really about that process. It pays homage to the journey we’ve taken, and to the one we’re committed to taking. It’s about realising that sometimes our dreams and visions are so much easier to fantasise over than they are to act on. That brings a pretty heavy reality to the table, and it’s dealing with that realisation that’s helping us remain grounded and approach this project with a new found energy and optimism.”
Which one song of yours best defines the band, and why?
“Catacombs, for sure. The guitar riff is devilishly simple, so that meant the rhythm section had to be really interesting, and we pulled that off… or at least we think so! Despite the fact that the song has a really standard arrangement, we feel like we worked some pretty powerful dynamics within that. It never started life as one of our favourite pieces, but the more we played it live, the more we really started digging it. That song is unapologetically a Caelo song. We normally end our live shows with it, it just packs a punch and once you reach that end chorus the song just runs away with you. It’s definitely one of the most fun songs we have in our live show.”
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why -(international and local)?
“Internationally: Muse – They’re just a powerhouse of a band. Their musicianship is on another level, and their songwriting is genius. As a three piece, they have really dominated the alternative rock world, and written songs that have rocked our generation.”
“Locally: Southern Wild – We’ve been fans of theirs for quite some time now. They bring a new level of soul to the stage. Each musician in the band really has honed their craft, and they’re so musically-aware as a band. They’ve got magic in their music, and they’re going places.”
Any up and coming tours/ gigs?
“We’ve had a pretty few months around this release, and we have a couple more shows left for this year. We’ll be doing some touring around SA early next year. October 21st at Mercury with OhGod October 26th at Bohemia with Jono Simons November 25th at Bob’s District 6 with Dangerfields.”