Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
Having finished a tour with Atreyu and The Devil You Know, things are only getting more wild for Cane Hill. When that tour came through Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola this past March, frontman Elijah Witt took time to sit and chat with me. Currently, the band is only days away from embarking on a tour package that many metal acts would kill to be on; supporting Bullet For My Valentine and Asking Alexandria. The first date of the tour (April 30) is in Jacksonville, Florida at the Welcome To Rockville fest; aka the largest rock and metal gathering in the state. On the day they play fest concert goers will also see the likes Bring Me The Horizon, Shinedown, Trivium, Disturbed, and Hell Yeah.
Not bad company for a band whose debut full length album hasn’t even been released. “It will be sick playing Rockville. We are beyond stoked to even be apart it; getting the opportunity to open for bands I’ve been listening to since I was just a kid. We can’t wait!” says Witt of the opportunity.
During their run with Atreyu they already received a ton of support and an increase in fans. “This market is a lot more fun to play because it’s to adults. They don’t care what you look like or what you wear. If you make good music they go crazy and buy your merch, which has been a new world for us,” Witt explains.
Being a band from New Orleans certainly comes with it’s stereotype. Bands like Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, and Acid Bath helped spawn the term “swamp metal” stand as some of the pioneer bands from the Crescent City, which Elijah acknowledges by stating that he would classify his own band as “heavy swamp metal” and that Cane Hill’s music came together very organically. “The fact that we grew-up listening to bands like Pantera, Korn, Slipknot, and fuckin’ Sevendust, basically 80-2000’s metal, all that shit. It was ingrained in James’ (Barnett, guitarist/primary song writer) head. He likes the groovy, eerie kinda metal and it just kinda came out the way it came out”.
Cane Hill’s recording started with a self titled EP that came out in 2014. Their first full length album entitled ‘Smile” comes out July 15th. “The thing with the EP – it was fun because it was a combination of nu-metalcoreish music that had heavier songs plus singing, but we had one song that was a production song which is so lame! With our new album we went in with the mind set that we wanted to have blues and reds. The colors that you feel basically; calm and aggressive. In the end we came out with so much more. Yellows and greens and purple. It’s heavy, but there’s so many twists to the album. You have to listen to it from front to back and you’ll hear so many many different things.”
Their new album “Smile” along with their 2014 EP are being released through the label Rise Records; a label the band has been affiliated with for over two years now. It is the same label bands such as The Devil Wears Prada and Of Mice & Men got their start. Even on the business side it truly appears that Cane Hill are in good company. “It’s been great so far being on Rise (Records). I don’t have a single complaint about them. They let us do whatever the fuck we want to do with almost no limitations. They are smart. They are good at what they do and incredibly helpful.”
A new album in July isn’t the only thing Cane Hill has on their plate – not by a long shot. “Fuckin’ stoked”, Elijah says with a laugh about the bands upcoming tour schedule. “Bullet For My Valentine are huge. Asking Alexandria are huge. We just want to bring the ugly heaviness to people.”
After the band finishes the tour with Bullet For My Valentine they will be heading to Europe for the first time, performing with the likes of Memphis May Fire and Miss May I, in addition to making appearances on major European festivals including Rock am Ring and Download Fest. They then return home to the U S of A to take part in the Vans Warped Tour, where the band will be playing the entire festival run.
So much like I said, this may very well be the most important of summer of the boys from the bayou’s career. Judging by vocalist’s Elijah Witt’s attitude and the bands aggressive and fresh approach to modern day metal, Cane Hill isn’t just ready for the challenge; they full on embrace it!