I first met Caveboy during CMW 2015 and I have to say I immediately took to them. They’re warm and genuine, open and funny. Fast forward to Saturday’s NXNE Port Lands in 2017 and Caveboy is up on the Canal Stage winning over new fans with their music and their energy.
Caveboy is Michelle Bensimon (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synth), Isabelle Banos (Synth, Bass, Backing Vocals) and Lana Cooney (Drums, Backing Vocals). The three-piece out of Montreal have been playing music together for some time and started with the name Diamond Bones. After feeling like the name didn’t best represent them, they made the change to Caveboy. The new name represents their wild, barefoot, tomboyish, feral, getting their hands dirty childhood and how they use that to come together on stage.
They’ve been slugging away, playing shows including CMW, NXNE, SXSW, POP Montreal, Osheaga, Hillside, Pride, JunoFest, working on music and perfecting their stage show. By the way, they charmed the pants off the crowd at NXNE. If you haven’t seen them live, put them on your must see list.
So, with thanks to Caveboy for taking the time to chat with us, here’s a Q&A we put together.
Q. Let’s talk about the new music. You’re playing it, when is it coming?
A. Well, we just recorded it, maybe like a month ago. We were very, very, very fortunate and we won a contest called recording festival. Which is where they take bands to Ireland for two weeks to record for free at this incredible, incredible festival. It’s a magical experience. It couldn’t have been more perfect timing. It was our first time in Ireland and it was so beautiful.
There was really great equipment and animals all over the place, there were two other bands with us. It was amazing. Usually, when you’re recording in the studio you have certain restraints or constraints like time and money and you’re thinking about how you can make this happen in this much time but there. We had total freedom to be completely creative from morning to night. Unbelievable.
So we just recorded those songs in May. Right now we’re in the process of getting everything mixed and tying everything together and making sure that everything is really ready to go. We want to do something that we’re really proud of and take the time that it takes. Hopefully coming soon. We’re really excited for people to hear it.
No set release date but the fall.
Q. You played the Silver Dollar Room during CMW and now it’s closed. Are music venues closing in Montreal?
A. No. There’s actually been a couple that have opened which is great. There are definitely more and more bands playing in Montreal. It’s nice to see that venues are still getting by. There’s a lot going on in the DIY front in Montreal so maybe Toronto’s trying to catch up. Montreal is smaller but I think people go out to shows in Montreal and the venues are staying alive and rent is so cheap. It makes it possible for us to have spaces where we can have bands play.
Q. Do you have a band best friend?
A. You know what, this might sound really weird but there’s not a lot of people out there that we don’t get along with so we’re so lucky that we’ve had the chance to play with bands where we just mesh with. Like Dear Rouge, REPARTEE, Rah Rah, the bands we’ve got to tour with and play with, there’s been such camaraderie.
Q. Who are you listening to?
A. Isabelle – Well we discovered that we’re [gestures to Michelle] listening to the same things right now. We’ve kinda got these three albums on repeat – LP, the new Lorde album and Bleachers who are playing today.
A. Lana – I’m listening to some Grizzly Bear, the album’s not out yet but there are a couple of tracks.
A. Isabelle – I’m also obsessed with Portugal the Man. I’m so excited for new things that are coming out. The first single is out and we want more.
Q. Could you tell us something that we couldn’t find out with a Google search.
A. Isabelle – Ours dads are the same. Okay [laughs] we don’t have the same dad. All our dads are very similar, they’re all the same cartoon character.
Michelle – I’ll be quite honest with you. I’m going to speak candidly right now. My absolute favourite show is Survivor. I’m a huge Survivor fan. It is so good. I’m quite the addict. Huge fan.
Lana – I just got married. Like a week ago.
Trish – Wow, congrats!
Q. What were your first tattoos?
Isabelle – Oh… this one here, the giant peacock feather with some music notes. I think I was 22 when I got it.
Michelle – I was 16 and I went to a tattoo convention and I got a treble clef in a place that I can’t show you and it’s charming some might say.
Lana – Mine is this weird triangular shape which is one-third of our logo.
Michelle – I have this one [shows tattoo]
Isabelle – I have this one [shows tattoo]
Lana – So this is my one and only tattoo.
A. We can’t actually form it but we’ve tried. We’ve tried.
Q. What do you do for fun, when you’re not working.
A. We work a lot but…
Isabelle – I’m a total geek. I’m about board games nights and escape rooms
Trish – Favourite board game?
Isabelle – One Night World is classic. Apparently, I’m a really good liar.
Lana – She’s a trickster. What do I like to do for fun… damn? I like taking pictures. I like to shoot anything, like nature, some portraits, whatever.
Michelle – I’m kind of into astrology. I just love discovering how that all works and how that kinda of plays into relationships and stuff. I love tarot cards and all of that.
Q. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A. We huddle and we joke and we make each other laugh. We tell each other we love each other and she always ask us, what’s your favourite show. And so we always have to say, “it’s this one that we’re about the play”. We get pumped up and it’s really about that we have to connect with each other before no matter what, even if we’re rushing we’ll take the time to go into a huddle and feel the love with each other because, in the end, it doesn’t matter what happens we have each other.
Trish – There was a handshake thing that happened up there?
A. [laughs] I don’t know what that was. It was random. We were like, let’s improvise a handshake. [laughs] I don’t know what was. It was problematic but hopefully, it made people laugh.
Trish – It was awesome.
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