“STL helps push us to be the best Cavo that we can be”
The CAVO in STL Story:
Cavo started around 2000. We really just wanted to start a band without any pre-conceived ideas. We were all from STL and just wanted somewhere that the four of us could just write music that we could be proud of. It seems like, in our other bands, that we were chasing something. Finally, after writing songs like “Champagne” and “Let t Go”, we felt that we were on to something. Our manager Joe agreed, and we started to shop our music to major labels. We landed a record deal w/ Warner Bros Reprise and made our first major label album called Bright Nights Dark Days and ended up touring off that record for years.
After a full regime change at WBR, we decide to leave the label and found a new home at 11/7 Records. We never really felt at home there. We made Thick As Thieves and hit the road again. But our drummer decided to pursue other passions in his life, so Andy Herrin stepped up and filled in on drums for the TAT touring. After this go round, we were left kind of defeated and unsure of where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do w/ the band. We decide to just write and see if there was anything left. Andy really put a new charge in the process, it started to feel like the beginning when it was all about the music. We wrote Bridges all by ourselves and picked a producer (Matt Novesky) and recorded what we think is our best album to date.
My First Musical Influences:
My earliest introduction to music was my mom. She used to sing old country songs in the car and I started picking up on them. I really fell in love with the simplicity, just a few chords, a great melody, and powerful words. I really think that is what shaped my idea of writing songs.
I sang in choir in school, but really my mom singing songs to me made me want to be a singer. One year for Christmas I asked for a stereo, and my parents bought me a guitar. I was honestly thrown back and a little disappointed, but they couldn’t have been more spot on. I started playing and everything just started falling into place. They must have seen something in me that I didn’t know was there yet.
After I learned to play guitar, I started to write and perform. I really wanted a way to get songs out of my head. I’ve always had melodies running around my head, and after I could strum a few chords, I finally started seeing the connection between the two.
I grew up on classic country for a while, but when I heard Pearl Jam for the first time, everything became clear. I wanted to write music that was as important to other people as Pearl Jam was to me. Eddie Vedder’s passion and power really sculpted my view on being a musician.
The STL Creative Difference:
Being from the Midwest, there wasn’t much ground breaking art, or anything jaw dropping. I think that made the bands that I grew up loving from STL special. They had to be better in some ways than bands from places where music was expected to come from.
In Cavo, we knew that we had to write songs that would get the attention of the major labels that were in LA and New York, which was no easy task. We really wore it as a badge of honor. We pushed ourselves to write songs that people everywhere could identify with. We were extremely proud when we got signed and really hoped that it would shed some light on the STL scene. There are really great bands that have been plugging away here for a long time that deserved a chance as well.
STL is really a sports town, so winning their respect was really important to us. We feel like it’s something that we continually have to work for and always will. It really makes the fans from STL very special to us.
A special club for me was a club down in the city called Kennedy’s. Kennedy’s always had amazing bands from the area playing, and it was kind of a big deal to get to play there. Unfortunately, it was shut down. Then the Pageant took over. They always embraced STL bands and had the biggest touring bands as well. The Pageant made every band, big or small, feel important and treated them w/ respect. Still do! As far as radio, 105.7 The Point was a major reason we got signed. They always played our music and was the first to play “Champagne”. They really instrument in getting the attention of the major labels. We probably wouldn’t be this far w/out The Point.
The Influence of Mesh STL:
Absolutely!! Scott Gertken from Mesh STL and Modern Day Zero really took me under his wing and developed me into the musician I am today. I can honestly say, if not for him, I don’t think I would be a singer, let alone in a signed band and getting a chance to have my music heard by so many people. He was the first one to push me to sing in front of people and write my own songs. He helped our band in WAY too many ways to mention in this answer. I have always looked up to him and he took it upon himself to lift me and my band up.
I think you can say that Bridges is definitely a bit different from our other albums, but there’s still that element that’s Cavo. That familiar element that will never be lost. THAT is the STL influence in us, the Midwest influence. It’s something that we can’t and would never want to change. It’s what makes us who we are. We wrote the whole record in STL, just the four of us in a room. When it came time to record, we wanted to be pushed outside the box. We’ve recorded a lot of music here, and didn’t want to feel safe or familiar. We actually recorded in Austin TX at Orb Studios w/ Matt Novesky. We really felt that he understood where we were. He’s a musician as well, and in my absolute favorite band Blue October. We have done a lot of shows w/ them so there was a bit of comfortableness, but also that need to impress on my end. I loved his band so much, that I wanted him to love our record and respect what we were doing. Matt actually became like part of the band. I really think recording this w/ Matt was the best decision we could’ve made. He was able to push the songs to a place that I don’t think anyone else could have.
My Favorite Thing About STL:
It’s just knowing that STL is home. No matter where we would tour, every time we’d be on our way home and see the Arch, we would know that we were home. We also feel like STL helps push us to be the best Cavo that we can be. As a whole, the city would see through our bullshit and call us on it. It’s kind of scary and nice to know you have that kind of driving force and support.
~ Casey Walker
Cavo’s Bridges is available everywhere this Friday 2/23 (includes a new version of the band’s biggest hit, “Champagne”.
For more information including a special pre-order click here
If you enjoyed, please recommend below and sign up for our newsletter
In collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra