Cold Cave is the pseudonym of LA and NYC based musician Wesley Eisold. The project, in existence since 2007, has 2 full albums under its belt – Love Comes Close and Cherish The Light Years.
Cold Cave is the pseudonym of LA and NYC based musician Wesley Eisold. The project, in existence since 2007, has 2 full albums under its belt – Love Comes Close and Cherish The Light Years. The sound bounces between heavy-new wave synth and low-bit dance beats. With many 80’s influences in the project, it’s hard to nail down any one band that Cold Cave hopes to emulate which inevitably helps set the band apart.
Counter to the album’s often mellow or low key sounds, Eisold’s live performance is both high energy and intense – the frail, but powerful vocals emanating through the sound system caused more than one set of feet to start to bounce at Cold Cave’s recent Fall Line Fest performance. It was then, behind the historic Hippodrome theater, when Eisold took time to speak with RVAMag’s Brad Kutner about the music he creates, his former and prolific hardcore days with Give Up the Ghost/American Nightmare, and his own past experiences with RVA.
You’ve spent some time in Richmond?
I’m a Navy Brat so I’ve lived all over Navy sort of bases. I was here in Richmond for like I don’t know 5 months maybe. I had a lot of friends here over the years from like music and a friend offered me a cheap room, I think it was like 300 bucks. I saw someone get carjacked behind my apartment one day, beautiful town.
So you used to be in a hardcore band, now you do a different type of music. How did that transition transpire?
Well I like more than one kind of music. (laughs) Well I played in a few different bands and I decided I wanted to make music on my own. I never made music before cause I was always like the singer in bands singing on songs other people had written and I just decided to try and make my own music. So I had like pedals and like cheap synths.
Actually my first synth was a Casio SK-1 that I bought at a thrift store in Richmond for like 5 bucks and that was used on like the first Cold Cave records. Actually I played it tonight, I didn’t realize that till now but yeah. I was really into noise at the time so I was doing that sort of thing and then I kind of stumbled onto songs so I was like OK I want to do this.
When writing songs, do you start lyrically or do you start musically?
I start musically and then I let the feeling of the song kind of dictate the words.
Your tone, the low bit sound, has a very distinct sound…
Unless I record at home, yeah. Especially in the beginning, I never intended to be in a band to play live, it was just supposed to be a project.
And how has the transfer to a touring live band treated you?
Great, I mean it’s constantly trial and error and evolving and I think we figured it out finally the way we like to do it.
What’s your ideal audience, like what do you love to play for?
I don’t really care too much about venues or crowd size, I like to play to people who want to see Cold Cave. That’s what’s important to me.
As you tour do you feel like different towns treat you differently or do you feel pretty consistent?
No, different towns are different like Los Angeles and Paris are exceptionally warm. DC’s great, Chicago…
You’re based in LA..?
Based in LA. New York is always great. Like we’ve toured a lot but in a way we haven’t because like I’ve been doing Cold Cave for 5 years now but tonight’s the first time I’ve played in Richmond. So like I have toured but I haven’t done a lot of full tours.
Being a Navy Brad, you must have spent a lot of time moving early on, and now you are on this crazy tour. Do the two sort of relate?
Sure. Well that’s like one of the appeals of touring I think. Good transition.
So obviously you’re not a homebody, you prefer to be out there on the road?
I don’t know what I consider cause, like, we want to be home so bad in a way. We love touring but also we miss the allure of what involves a house or home or apartment or whatever.
Also I can’t think of a better life than getting to tour and play music with someone I like a lot. What’s better than that? So when the opportunity arises we feel the need to, the whole carpe diem thing.
You’ve got a lot of tattoos, any tattoos from Richmond?
Yeah, I remember like when I started getting tattooed it was in DC and at the time, that was like late 90’s, the only places that had respectable tattooists were DC, Richmond and San Francisco. And they were kind of the first to do like, to rekindle like traditional tattoos. There are so many great people in Richmond.
And I remember all my friends from Richmond like were about 18 and had like full back pieces and stomachs already and I was like “What? How is that even possible?” That was like 95, that wasn’t common then; people didn’t have neck tattoos or hand tattoos then, people in Richmond did.
Do you have a favorite tattoo?
I like my recent tattoo a lot. I’ll show you.
(Shows tattoo on arm that says “Paris 2013”)
So Paris was good?
Well it was good but I got it before I knew it was going to be good. But it was a play on John Cale and then we found this tattoo parlor and was like can you do this verse tattoo on me right now in my handwriting? And we didn’t know it at that time but it was run by the Paris Hells Angels and they gave it to us as a gift. And they went like this- “next time you’re in Paris and if you have any trouble with like the police or anybody in the street, show them this.” So I carry it in my pocket cause you never know when you’ll land in Paris.
Anything to say for the Richmond audience?
I have a really soft spot for Richmond. I love it; I have close friends her, I lived here. I always thought there was great vegan food here before there was in other cities. It was always my favorite place to play with American Nightmare and I don’t know, I feel like a kinship with it in a way.