Up and coming American band Cane Hill have good reason to celebrate having just signed to Rise Records to release their new album Smile. The band have been nominated for several awards including “Best New Band” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards and “Best International Newcomer” at the KERRANG! Awards.
Ahead of their debut Australian tour with Bullet for My Valentine and Atreyu, vocalist Elijah Witt took some time to chat to briefly chat with us at Wall of Sound. To describe all of the band’s goals immediately coming into fruition, Witt says “it’s exhausting but it’s awesome, everything’s kind of falling into place.”
They always say ‘when it rains, it pours’ and so it has been for the New Orleans outfit. “This year got really stacked out of nowhere, we got all the emails in the same period of a month or so, [ranging from] from like nothing on at all to no time off whatsoever.”
So it’s all happening for the metalcore band, but you might be asking yourself ‘who are Cane Hill’ and ‘what do they even sound like?’ To answer your first question, the front man describes the band’s sound quite concisely – “dirty heavy metal.”
Fair call, mate. Who are the band’s influences? Witt confidently states “the usual” – inclusive of “Pantera, Alice in Chains and Metallica”; quite fitting for an opening band at a Bullet for my Valentine gig, right?
It’s obviously a lot of fun to play pub gigs with a few mates, but once you get signed, it’s safe to say that sh*t just got real, and the expectations are significant. “It’s true, there is way more pressure with getting a label behind you because if you flop then all that money is wasted” the vocalist states honestly. “The stress of getting out of your hometown is actually pretty intense.”
Of course, Cane Hill are sharing a roster with some reputable artists in the alternative sphere and Witt is understandably stoked to be doing so. “We have good friends in a bunch of the bands on Rise so we’re excited to be on the label; Five Finger Death Punch are pretty tight, Of Mice & Men and heaps of others.”
In reference to all these newcomer awards the band have been recognised for recently, the singer was quite shocked, obviously in a positive way. “It’s weird, it literally all came out of nowhere, just didn’t expect any of this to happen.
“We’re just weird kids from New Orleans, getting wicked press all around the world, it’s pretty tight.”
Before emerging into the scene, Witt was actually on track to completing a PhD but all this excitement and curveball success have anchored that corner of his life a notch. “Not even close to finishing it man, maybe in a decade.” His academic successes is certainly an accolade worth holding in the back-pocket when the haters tell us how ignorant metal-heads are!
The front man is stoked to be heading down under for the first time in a few months and here’s why: “Spending winter in the summer, being exposed to bugs that can kill you is, (and of course) the beaches look really nice.”
Well, besides hanging out at Bondi and Cottesloe beaches, I suppose this is what we can expect from Cane Hill during Bullet for My Valentine’s Aussie leg – “probably a whole lot more songs from the new album than currently in our setlist, and I guess we’re just gonna try bring our authentic southern American style down to Australia.”
Ricky Aarons (rickysaul90)