With five albums under The Cave Singer’s belt — including their latest, “Banshee,” which they self-released in early 2016 — the Seattle-based three-piece is making its way back to Café Eleven tomorrow night.
Formed in 2007, The Cave Singers fuse melodic harmonies with approachable dance tunes for a unique blend of indie, folk and rock.
The band is comprised of lead vocalist Pete Quirk, Derek Fudesco (guitar, bass pedals) and Marty Lund (drums, guitar). Compass caught up with Fudesco to chat about life on the road, self-releasing their latest album and what advice he offers younger bands. Here’s part of that conversation.
Compass: Are you on a break from the current tour or has it not started yet?
Derek Fudesco: This is the last leg of the tour on our record that came out last year. We kind of broke up the entire United States into sections, and the Southeast is the last part that we haven’t done.
Compass: What’s life like on the road?
D.F.: It’s good. Sometimes it’s really good and sometimes it’s bleh. The long drives are terrible. But it’s nice when we get to St. Augustine. When we play there we actually stay on the beach. That’s when it’s awesome because we get to go swimming. We try and find stuff to do — like we just did some festivals in California and we were able to find a couple of different places to check out. Marty and I were in Arizona and we were able to [hike] Antelope Canyon. We try and just do more touristy things rather than just drive, get to the venue and check into the hotel.
Compass: You self-released “Banshee.” Was that a creative decision, business decision or combination of the two?
D.F.: I think it was a little bit of both. We had two different records come out on two different labels and when we were writing and talking about [the new album] our contract was up and we wanted to try something different. The label we were on previously had treated us so well and they wanted us to send them demos of the new stuff. As we were talking about it, we were like, “Well, we could record some demos, or we could see what it’s like to just do this ourselves.” The way the music industry works now, it definitely lends itself to being able to get your stuff out there without the help of anybody else. It used to be really hard with distribution and whatnot, but that’s just not the case anymore.
Compass: Did you have industry friends or mentors who helped you through the process?
D.F.: We’ve really been doing it [recording and playing music] for so long that we kind of knew what to do. We hired a radio publicist for the whole campaign of the record. We hired a publicist for three months of the campaign of the record and then Jagjaguwar [their previous label] was super awesome about doing actual distribution of the record, so we got lucky there.
Compass: Would you do it that way again?
D.F.: I think so. My only real complaint about it was that the record got delayed and the release went into when we were touring. So we had all of these physical orders that we had to mail out, but we were on tour. So the stress of knowing what it’s like to wait for something that you bought online … that got annoying.
Compass: The album was recorded live. How do you capture the energy of a live performance minus the audience?
D.F.: We’ve always recorded live, but we’ve never recorded vocals live. We usually record the music and then Pete goes into a booth by himself — not playing guitar — and does the vocals over and over. So what we tried to do with this record was have him in the room with us, but he was in a booth, and we were just playing the songs the way we would at practice or the way we wrote them. If he messed up the vocals, we just stopped the song and then we would start the song over. We were trying to get one whole take rather than punching in things later.
Compass: Do you get a lot of younger musicians coming up to you asking for advice? If so, what do you tell them?
D.F.: That’s happened a handful of times and, as cliché as an answer it is, just make music that you like and play shows if you want to play shows. Anything else (business side) is either going to happen or it’s not and it doesn’t matter.
The Cave Singers will perform with The Best of Synthia at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Original Café Eleven, 501 A1A Beach Blvd. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.