Slow Caves is a relatively new band and one you need to know. Their EP, Desert Minded, made its way across my path and it has been on repeat ever since. Brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller created the band with longtime friends David Dugan and Jackson Lamperes. Dreamy vocals and infectious rhythms with just a dash of rock and roll attitude make up the vibe of their music. The Colorado band makes their triumphant return to St. Louis when they play The Sinkhole (7423 S Broadway) on October 2nd. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jakob about his band and the emerging music scene of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Jim Ryan: How did you come up with the name Slow Caves?
Jakob Mueller: We were brainstorming for band names that we thought we wanted to sound like. We had a type of music in mind and we were trying to think of a name that would represent that well. So we were just thinking of cool words basically and the word “slow”—there are so many good slow names. It’s actually kind of funny that I thought of the name Slowdive before I knew they were a band.
So we were messing around with the word “slow” and then someone said “caves” and we thought those two words together really represent our music—the way they sound, the way the way words fell together. We like to think of the word caves as a verb, like slowly caving in. That’s the full story behind it, but we added the meaning afterward.
What is that like being in a band with your brother?
It can be both very intense and completely wonderful all at the same time. My other band mates are like my brothers—I’ve known them for very many years. But I feel more open with my brother just because he’s my brother. So that’s why I said it can be kind of intense—I don’t hold back and maybe he doesn’t hold back. But the wonderful thing is that we’ve grown up together being super close. We’re not like your typical brothers who fight a lot. So we’re very close and our partnership in songwriting is really strong. We get along so well, writing music together just feels effortless.
What is the music scene in Fort Collins and Denver like?
Some people here say that we’re the next Austin, but I’m sure a lot of other places say that as well. It’s really great, there are tons of organizations that support the arts here in Colorado. So from a young age even, we were supported by people who have friends in higher places. There are a lot of good bands here. I think Colorado’s mostly known for its folk and bluegrass bands like the Lumineers, which is cool, but there are a lot more bands in other genres like punk rock and the psychedelic genre that are coming up right now. It’s a really cool scene because everyone’s friends with each other and people support each other. All the venues are very supportive of rising artists.
You’re coming to St. Louis where you are playing The Sinkhole. Have you played here before?
Yeah, we were there in June. We played The Heavy Anchor. It was really cool. Honestly, we were there probably for ten hours.
The life of being in a band.
Exactly, yeah. But everyone we encountered was very friendly. It is a very beautiful city. I’m personally interested in St. Louis because of the Wainwright Building. That’s was St. Louis’ very first skyscraper—I have a serious interest in architecture.
Who does the songwriting in your band?
It typically starts out with myself or my brother. We’ll come up with a pretty fully formed idea and then we’ll arrange it and come up with the other parts with the band. So as a whole, it’s very collaborative. We’re also all really into song structure, so we definitely worked really hard on [making the] arrangements.
Yes and no. That EP came out in like, March and since then we have written a lot of songs. But we’re definitely groovy and laidback, but I’d say we’ve gotten a little heavier now. Not heavy like you know, like Black Sabbath, but heavy like My Bloody Valentine. But I’d say we are groovy and laidback but heavy.
Who were some of your influences musically?
We’re actually rehearsing for a Halloween show where we’re playing a Nirvana set. We were really influenced by Nirvana, but also bands like Oasis and Slowdive—now that I know they are a band. It’s kind of ironic because it’s like grunge versus Britpop versus shoegaze. It’s influencing the new stuff already.
When are you planning on releasing a full-length album?
I don’t know exactly, but we are shooting for early next year. We are aiming to have about eleven tracks for the album. Right now I think we have eight or nine that are ready to go. Some of the songs we are playing live right now.
Is your band social media savvy? I mean, that’s part of the game today, right?
Yeah, definitely. I’d say that that’s one of our strong suits. I will say this summer I kind of had to distance myself on that because I feel like I got too involved. I think there’s a fine line between being good on social media and just being obsessive and letting that take over your life. This year, we have definitely grown our fan base. There are some people who came to all our shows in their town and we’ve gotten to know them really well. I think social media probably had a lot to do with that, you know being in touch. | Jim Ryan
Slow Caves plays The Sinkhole at 7423 S Broadway October 2nd. Cover charges run between $5-$7 with shows typically starting at 9 pm.
Follow me on Twitter at @TheJimRyan.