Beartooth dominated the scene back in 2014 when their debut full-length Disgusting came out, shocking metalcore fans in mosh shorts with a unique brand of honesty that’s hard to dismiss. With their follow-up album Aggressive having just been released, and an Australian visit lined up for this August, Peyton Bernhardt spoke to mastermind Caleb Shomo about the importance of meaningful music and why Aussie crowds are the best he’s ever had.
Hey Caleb, how are you going?
I’m going pretty well. Having a barbeque, got a beer in my hand.
That sounds good. Thanks for doing the interview for us today – I guess we’ll get straight into it. Your new album is called Aggressive. What are you aggressive about?
I mean, a lot of things. There’s a lot of personal things that have happened, in childhood, and then a lot of situations going on in the world today. But there’s definitely a whole lot of things. Diving into the record helps clear it up a little bit. It’s hard to talk about it all.
There’s a specific song titled ‘Rock Is Dead’, which I felt was a real change of pace for Beartooth. I was wondering if you could take me through what it’s about?
‘Rock Is Dead’ is just kind of a fun wave in the full band side of the record. It’s kind of like an over-the-top rock song, with crazy drums the whole time and outrageous guitar riffs and some shitty two string “breaking the strings” solo, quote unquote. Yeah, I don’t know. Basically, I grew up with rock and roll and that was kind of the only solid point that I’ve ever had in my life. Start to finish. And that song was just about loving rock and roll, I guess.
It worked well. Your music is obviously very meaningful; how have you seen that impact manifest in experiences with fans, and the feedback that you get from them?
I mean, as long as people get a positive vibe from the record then I’m good to go. You know, I just tried to keep it very honest and very personal and it seems to have turned out well.
It did indeed. Your first album was also very successful, and it wasn’t surprising but very impactful in the effect it had on the scene, in promoting authenticity, I would say. How did the success of that album affect this one?
I tried to make it not affect the songs at all. The first record was kind of like, a bit more of an intense personal thing. This record is a bit more outward. There are more themes on what’s going on within the world. But I don’t know, I mean, I try not to let the success of one record change the way I write songs.
What about what’s going on in the world did you want to touch on?
With the age of the internet, everything is at your front door. I mean, clearly American politics is pretty fucked up. So I don’t know, there’s been an influence from that. By no means are we a political band, but shit is so gnarly out here that it’s just kind of impossible to ignore. And then, I guess, things from childhood had influence, and stuff like that.
Beartooth are heading here with Pierce The Veil this coming August. Their first tour in Australia was actually with Attack Attack!, your former project – were you on that?
I was on that tour! I did not realise that was Pierce’s first tour there. I guess it just comes full circle a little bit.
I thought it was nice, a bit meaningful. What about Australia are you keen for?
I don’t know, I mean, I’ve been over there twice now – everybody seems really nice. You guys have cool accents. It’s good vibes. Australia’s awesome.
Does it ever shock you how universal the appeal of your music actually is?
Yeah, I mean, that shit’s nuts. You don’t expect when you make a record in your basement for it to be poppin’ off in Australia. But it’s very cool, it’s very flattering, and hopefully it stays that way I guess.
Have you had an overseas experience that wasn’t what you expected or which was far different to shows in America?
Sydney, Australia. We played the Roundhouse and, obviously not headlining, but we played it there with In Hearts Wake. I remember that being one of, still to date, the best Beartooth shows that ever happened. It was one of the loudest crowds we have ever heard. I think that was massive culture shock, because literally on the other side of the world, somewhere we’d never been, there were like, what, 2200 people there? And everybody was going fucking nuts and getting really loud. That’s a pretty big shock for anybody.
You can catch Beartooth on tour with Pierce The Veil, Storm The Sky, and Silverstein this August. Get yourself hyped with their new record Aggressive, which is out now via Red Bull Records and UNFD.
PIERCE THE VEIL AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
EATONS HILL, BRISBANE
TUESDAY AUGUST 16 – All Ages
BIG TOP AT LUNA PARK, SYDNEY
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17 – All Ages
THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE
THURSDAY AUGUST 18 – All Ages
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY AUGUST 20 – All Ages
170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SUNDAY AUGUST 21 sold out! (18+)
*MONDAY AUGUST 22 new show! (18+)
ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH
TUESDAY AUGUST 23 – All Ages
*2ND MELBOURNE SHOW ON SALE 10AM TUESDAY JUNE 21
Latest posts by Peyton Heart (see all)