Caveman are anything but primitive. These New York indie rockers have grown more sophisticated since releasing their 2011 debut, CoCo Beware. Looking for a bigger, more cinematic sound, they recorded much of their new, self-titled album live. The approach paid off, drawing praise from Pitchfork and Filter. I asked singer Matt Iwanusa about both albums before the band's July 1 show at the High Noon Saloon.
You toured with CoCo Beware for a couple of years. Did the confidence you gained encourage you to self-title the new album?
Yeah, definitely. We played a lot of these songs on the road before we recorded them, so we knew we could execute them the right way [in the studio].
You've described CoCo Beware as a horror movie soundtrack. With that in mind, how would you describe Caveman?
This one would be more in the direction of a sci-fi thriller, or a movie that has a bigger budget.... I like to listen to a song and look to see how it would fit in a scene of a movie.
What had the biggest effect on the direction of the new album?
Things like getting really obsessed with hitting the right amp tones and the right keyboard sound, and [choosing] the right drum for a specific song.
Did you do anything new in the studio this time?
We were able to play live together. We could test out the room and put amps in different places to get the best sound. The first album we did in a really small studio, so we had to work with what we had. It was fun to take our time and experience all this different stuff for the second album.
What's your fondest or funniest memory from making Caveman?
There was a moment when we were recording it that we were all living together in a small place, so I think a lot of the songs were influenced by that. We would do these crazy walks together every day. We'd tour and then go home and be in the same living room, eating dinner.