Cave In
Cave In
Label: Hydra Head Records
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


Cave In began as a remedy for boring suburban hell in the early springtime of 1995. Jay Frechette (our first vocalist and band co-founder) and I grew up a couple blocks from each other in the not-so-nice part of Methuen, MA. It was in his parents' basement where we first began to write songs as Cave In. This is also the same place where one of Jay's little cousins would drink bleach and sit inside J.R.'s bass drum during practice. There were plenty of attempts at doing bands prior to Cave In, with names like Quinine and System3 (our repertoire included the occasional Snapcase or Threadbare cover song), and it was all in good fun. With myself, Jay, Justin Matthes on bass, Adam McGrath on guitar, and John-Robert Conners on the skins, we put our tiny brains together and tried to sound heavy and also combine everything else we liked about music: bands like Threadbare, Cable, Unwound, Sunny Day Real Estate, Snapcase, Failure, Giants Chair, Groundwork, Chokehold, Garden Variety, etc., etc., and local monsters Converge and Piebald.

The band name itself comes from the title of a Codeine song on the "Frigid Stars" LP. Despite our naivety and high school confusion, we got serious and recorded our first real "demo" that summer on my little cassette 4-track machine. We played almost every show we were offered. Taking 3 car pools full of dilapidated gear and people to Orange, CT and back for one show, opening for a Deadguy no-show at the Living Room in Providence and playing in front of virtually no one except the folks who'd driven us to the show: this was "paying your dues", as they say. So it was a nice break to befriend local bands like Piebald, Converge, Gambit, Splintered, 357 Noise and countless others who would help us along the way. Some of these bands already had amassed a strong following, and we benefited greatly by sharing live bills with them.

Sometime in the autumn of 1995, Jay Randall (who was then fronting the local band Gambit) offered to self-release a Cave In/Gambit split 7" and we were delighted. Brian McTernan was operating his Salad Days recording studio in Brighton, MA at the time - located just outside of Boston. So we bummed rides from everyone we could to do the sessions because none of us had our driver's licenses yet. This was the first time any of us had ever stepped into a 'real' recording studio. Nervous as hell, we somehow managed to squeeze out 4 songs in December of that year, and the release of the Cave In/Gambit split record followed shortly after. We recorded more songs with Brian in April of 1996 for two releases: a Cave In/Early Grace split 7" on the Tampa-based Independence Day label and a Cave In/Piebald split 7" on Moo Cow Records. Splitting headaches, to be honest... we were dying for our very own release to happen! Justin played on these songs with a fresh cast on his left hand from a mishap that took place outside in a nearby park while we killed time waiting to record. The shit just hits the fan exactly when you don't need it. Both of those records were released in the autumn of 1996, and we trudged on, somewhat disgruntled that no one had yet to offer us our own Cave In release and NOT another split record. That is, until Aaron Turner of Hydra Head caught a Cave In show sometime in the early winter of 1996 and expressed interest in the band. Piebald & Converge, both new to the Hydra Head family at the time, were filled with nothing but good things to say. Aaron offered us our own 7" on Hydra Head and we kissed his feet all over.