Cave of Swimmers
We interviewed Miami-based Samba metal good guys, Arturo & Guillermo. Check out highlights from their Summer West Coast tour.
Foul South: How long have you been together and how did you meet?
Guillermo Gonzalez: “We've been together for almost 4 years, and we met in the 4th grade. I don't remember how, I just remember we were very young and we liked doing silly things and laughing at silly stuff. That aspect certainly hasn't changed.”
Arturo Garcia: “We played our first show in January of 2012, so a little over 4 years ago. Guillermo and I met in Caracas, Venezuela in 1993, the first day of our fourth grade in elementary school. I remember very vividly that he sat next to me and started drawing band names on his desk. I immediately though he was the coolest kid I’d ever met. We both had a deep interest in music early on. He first brought his classical guitar to school in 6th grade and he could rip “La Bamba” and I think “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by GnR. I was always and air drummer, singing songs and obsessing over drums and music. We didn’t end up officially jamming until I got my first drum set when I was 14. As soon as I had the drums set up, I gave him a call and he came over. We jammed the whole day, playing songs we knew and having a realization that playing music together was the best thing ever.
We moved to the U.S in the mid 2000s and after gigging with different projects we decided to form the band.”
FS: I’d pay to see that tagged-up trapper keeper. Please list your discography including labels and year.
GG/AG: Cave of Swimmers (2013) Path Less Traveled Records
Reflection (2015) Self-released
FS: Your style is a subgenre all in its own-- how did you find your sound?
GG: “We just write the music that we want to listen to... and also what would ultimately feel the best to play. It doesn't really matter where the ideas might come from, if we dig it, we'll play it.”
AG: “Thanks. All the years of playing together somewhat ended up in what you hear in our albums nowadays. In high school we played covers almost exclusively. We were part also part of a salsa band in senior year in high school. After that we started exploring other styles; Guillermo with flamenco guitar, and I with jazz and classical percussion. We always intended to do music as a job so we had to adapt to play gigs and make money playing different types of music.”
FS: Getting paid to play music isn’t easy. How many tours have you done and where were they?
GG: “I lost count of how many, but mostly through the east coast, and last time around we headed west for the first time.”
AG: “We’ve been on a few tours already. First we started going around Florida, hitting up Orlando, Sarasota and St. Pete a lot. The we played up and down the east coast 3 times and went to Texas and New Orleans too, with a lot of Tennessee thrown in there. This past summer for the first time we got to go to the western part of the US— we hit Northern and Southern California, Las Vegas, Arizona and New Mexico.”
FS: Ah, the desert. Tell us about Psycho Las Vegas-- how were you received, what were your favorite sets?
GG: “It was great. The crowd was the loudest so far. They were just raging. The reception was amazing, for sure. One of my favorite sets was Baroness- those guys were tight.”
AG: “Playing Psycho was an electrifying experience. We just went out there and played our asses off. We had a lot of people come out to see us, our biggest audience yet. It was very fulfilling to see Miami friends and a lot of people whom we’ve met on tour among out in front row. The support was overwhelming. As far as stand-outs, I think the drummer of Blue Oyster Cult stole the whole festival.”
FS: I’m so envious you saw BOC. What were your favorite shows from your West Coast tour as a whole and why?
GG: “Psycho would be an obvious choice... San Diego was awesome, too. Just because of the vibes, you know? The crowds were really cool.”
AG: “Psycho Las Vegas for obvious reasons, and San Diego had a very special energy. We had some good friends come out to see us, it’s always a pleasure to play for friends.”
FS: Besides gear, what are your tour must-haves?
GG:“Water, clean underwear, and my neck pillow.”
AG: “Snacks and a lot of water in the car haha. Also can’t forget the GPS and a good book.”
FS: Neck pillows are underrated and crucial. What do you listen to in the van?
GG: “You mean the truck? Ha- Elvis, Iron Maiden, Clapton, George Benson, Michael Jackson...the radio...all sorts of stuff.”
AG: “Believe it or not we listen to a lot of radio in scan mode. Also we listen to absurd amounts of the album “Smokin’ At The Half Note” by the Wynton Kelly Trio feat. Wes Montgomery.”
FS: Bet that's fun until the Evangelical talk radio comes on. What’s the most bizarre comment/compliment you’ve received after a set?
GG: “Someone once gave me a rock that had a face painted on it, and the person told me to take care of it, because it talked a lot... and that it would keep me company.”
AG: “One dude came over to us after a set and said: Not metal, but still good.”
FS: WHAT ELSE IS THERE BESIDES METAL. No but really, what’s your drink of choice?
GG: “Any beer would do for me, I'm not really picky with beer... I love beer... did I say I liked beer? Beer.”
AG: “I like whisky.”
FS: What will be etched on your tombstone?
GG: “Much love, see you next time...or not.”
AG: “I’ll let my loved ones decide that one.”
FS: What’re your thoughts on the election?
GG: “I'll pass on that one. It's too divisive.”
AG: “No comment.”
FS: Probably wise. If you could say one thing for the whole world to hear, what would it be?
GG: “Life is pain. If we help each other carry our individual loads, we can all succeed. There's room for everyone.”
AG: “Peace and Love.”
FS: Jah bless. What’s your next move-- is there a new album or collaboration in the works?
GG: “We're writing new music, and we'll put it out hopefully either later this year, or early next year.”
AG: “Yes, there’s new music coming out early next year.”
FS: Well you surely don’t give anything away. Any final remarks?
GG: "Thanks so much for the questions, and stay tuned 'cuz we're coming out with new music soon!"
AG: "Thanks so much for having us, Mariel."
Listen to Cave of Swimmers here