"New sound - keep progressing!"
When we hear the name Cane Hill, the first thing that pops in our mind is loud, tough metal music. But for their upcoming EP „Kill The Sun“ the Louisiana based band experimented with new sounds and showed themselves from a much softer side. At the moment, they are touring through Europe with Bury Tomorrow, so we met singer Elijah Witt to talk about the new EP, the tour and the Kardashians.
How are you doing?
Elijah: I’m doing juuuust fine!
Is it your first time playing in Germany?
Elijah: No. We’ve been here so many times! We came earlier this year with Mothinless in White. And we also came in 2016 with Bullet for my Valentine. It was very nice!
Is the German audience any different from the American one?
Elijah: The thing about Germans is, they don’t have a very good sense of humor. Like, I make jokes - nobody laughs and everybody has a teribble time… My jokes are so good! I remember a band that was here once and one of them was wearing a shirt saying „If you’re not wasted, the day is….“ And the German fans just didn’t get it - If you’re not wasted, the day is wasted. Nobody got it, bad sense of humor!
Where have you been on this tour so far?
Elijah: We’ve been to Germany, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
What has been your favorite city?
Elijah: The Netherlands.. which I never expected. They really liked us and they knew all the lyrics. Actually, Poland was sick - by far smaller than the Germany shows but the crowd was wild. Like, I couldn’t believe I was Poland!
Do you think you have a bigger fanbase in the US than in Europe?
Elijah: I don’t think our fanbase in America is any bigger or smaller than over here. In the UK I’d say we have a better fanbase than anywhere else. I think they appreciate us.
Would you consider making political music?
Elijah: We actually have! We did a song called „Scumbag“ which is all about white pride in America and how it’s fucking bullshit - especially when Trump came to power. You see racism growing in America. It’s become socially acceptable to be a racist, people are no longer afraid to express their racial opinions. You have the cops who just murder black people without any precaution. It’s terrifying.
Tell me about your new EP. How was working on it?
It was a blast! Writing it was really a different experience for us. We never got to do softer stuff. But writing this softer stuff was a much better outlet for my incredible amount of sadness.
Why were you sad?
Lots of things. Past relationships, the way the world is going and constantly being high doesn’t really put you in a good mood either. I like to dwell in my sadness, that’s probably another thing like.. I purposely stay sad cause it helps me write music. I was able to put it into a softer side and experiment with the Alice-in-Chainsy stuff that we like. I didn’t want to write a soft song for a long time, but right know felt like a good time.
So it’s just the EP that’s calm?
Oh yeah. We’re not a fucking soft band! You put out one thing with 6 soft songs, people go „You’ve changed!“ and I just think „It’s just an EP, it’s supposed to be different. It’s a piece of art inside of our main works".
How did the fans take the first song of the EP?
Much better than we expected. We thought they’re gonna hate it because it’s so different. We had this song done for like 8 months before we put it out so it was 8 months of pure anxiety. I honestly think it’s done better than a lot of our heavy music.
Why did you pick „Kill the sun“ as your first song?
Because there are no real drums or a real bass - it was a lot of production so it’s like the farthest outside of what we usually do. We just wanted to throw out the weirdest one as far as the writing goes - it’s not the weirdest song on our record - but looking at the musicianship, it’s very different than our usual stuff. So we decided if we’re gonna confuse people we might as well confuse them a lot.
Is it similar to the rest of the EP?
I really don’t know! They all have a completely different vibe to them, but they’re all softer than our usual thing. The next song that we’re gonna release is much more druggy.. that goes more into the Alice in Chains direction. It’s like a blend of us and modern Hip-Hop or pop I guess. Then we have a song that’s way jazzier and bluesier.. we got a bunch of different stuff!
So the EP is kind for an experiment for you?
What’s your favorite song?
It’s either „Save me“ which is our first song ever with a piano in it, or „Acid rain“, which is the next one that comes out.
Do you have your next album planned already?
Elijah: Nah. We started writing some other stuff not too long ago but I don’t think it’s good enough.
Do you wanna go back to your old sound in the future?
Elijah: No. New sound - keep progressing. Not soft, but definitely not what we’ve done. Never ever wanna do what we’ve done before. That’s boring.
Do you not like your old music?
Elijah: I love our old music! But I don’t wanna do our old music again. I wanna keep putting out things that are different and new, progressing from where we were to where we are now. As we get older and as we keep making music, how we feel and who we are changes and how we make music changes too. No regrets.
How would you describe Cane Hill in 3 words?
Elijah: Big dick energy.
If you could travel back in time what would you tell your 10-year old self? Would you do anything different?
Elijah: I don’t think so.. I think I would leave him alone cause the thing is, I made so many bad decisions and I’ve done so many stupid things and went through a lot of bullshit to get here, but it made me who I am today and I don’t think I want to change who I am today. I’ve got a really good life right at this moment. I have a fiancé that I love, I’ve got dogs that I love, I’ve got a band that’s doing well enough to keep me happy. Maybe I’d tell him to invest in something that was not very big and then just exploded.
Like the Kylie Jenner Brand.
Elijah: Yes! Invest in the Kardashians. She’s younger than me and her brand just hit 1 billion Dollars of value… I’m poor. But when you have money, you can make money. If I had a dad who wanted to invest a million dollars into a brand I think I could make it pretty cool. But I don’t, so investors - hit me up! I’ve got ideas… but I’m not telling anyone until they give me money.
The year is almost over. What were your favorite/least favorite moments of the year 2018?
Elijah: Best moment was probably yesterday, I finally got to visit Auschwitz for the first time. I’ve been studying it since I was 10 years old, and I did not really understand it and could not grasp the physical size and magnitude of this place until yesterday. It just put it all into perspective for me, so I’d say maybe that was the worst and best moment.
The happiest moment was when I proposed to my girlfriend and made her my fiancé. That’s the peak of this year, I can’t beat that. I can’t really think of a sad moment. They’re there, there’s lots of them, I just don’t know what they are. I block them out of my mind until I get so high that my brain decides to talk about it to me. And then I start writing some things - That’s how music is done.
Do you have an ultimate dream gig?
Elijah: Metallica in the 90’s. (Anm. d. Redaktion: „Monsters of Rock“ Festival 1991) Which is impossible. They played in front of over a Million people. It was huge! The army was there as their security! That’s my dream gig.
How about Coachella?
Elijah: I don’t think they’d like us at Coachella.. We could just play our drug songs. Yes, let’s do Coachella Mainstage as Headliner with every drug song that we have.
I have one last task for you: We're collecting drawings from bands for our blog. So I'd like you to be creative and draw something.
(c) Dezember 2018, Hannah Zink