Interview: CAVEMAN at Austin City Limits 2012
Many bands have immense pride for and almost take on a personal responsibility for representing and advocating for their hometown and home state, yet few can match that of Brooklyn’s native sons Caveman.
Though somewhat by chance, the quintet recently became the face of New York State tourism as the reinvigorated “I Love New York Campaign” used Caveman’s song “My Time” as the backing track for their new commercial series. The commercial aired extensively on TV within a five-hour radius of New York City, in cabs across the city, and Mets and Yankees games.
“We love New York, so it was exhilarating” says singer Matt Iwanusa. Iwanusa was in a security line for a taping of the David Letterman show when he first saw the commercial air. He was held up in the security line waiting to lend a friend a guitar for the show. “The commercial came on the broadcast, and we were like ‘that’s our commercial,’ and then they let us right in!” describes Iwanusa of the serendipitous moment.
The band’s family members also experienced immense pride. Drummer, Stefan Marolachakis recalls “I first heard of it when my dad called after [Johann] Santanna threw the no-hitter, and he was really excited that the first commercial they cut to was ours.” Marolachakis admits that it was one of the first times it truly legitimized the band to his parents.
Marolachakis continues in regards to pride for New York, “I think New York City is a land of a million opportunities and way more people wanting to partake, but that’s really exciting – that puts gas in the tank.” Matt adds, “Everyone helps each other, and once you get in the right places, everyone’s in it together.”
Iwanusa and Marolchakis, in collaborative spirit, have no trouble naming up-and-coming colleauges in the fertile musical grounds of Brooklyn. Tops of their list are psych-jazz rockers Sinkane, who also share studio space with Caveman, and indie-rock outfit White Rabbits, featuring Caveman’s “sixth man” Matt Clark.
Furthermore, almost predictably, Caveman plays guitars hand-made in New York. Caveman guitarist Jimmy “Cobra” Carbonetti’s runs a hand-made custom guitar company, Cobra Guitars, in his spare time, and each of the band’s guitarists own one and play them live.
Despite the band’s affinity for their native land, fortunately for the rest of us, the band has a history of extensive touring. Although no further 2012 dates are announced at present, after successful appearances at Austin City Limits and CMJ, one can assume that more are on the horizon next spring at the latest. And fortunately for Caveman, it appears the accolades and opportunities to showcase New York show no signs of slowing either. – Justin Wiseman