[INTERVIEW] CALIGULA’S HORSE

Brisbane-based progressive heavy rock maestros, Caligula’s Horse, have worked their arses off for the last five years, releasing three exceptional albums and touring tirelessly across Australia and internationally. And the rewards are starting to come. Early next year, the “jewel in the touring crown” of their career so far is happening. They have been given one of the most prestigious supports possible in heavy music, supporting Sweden’s Opeth on a full tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Frontman Jim Grey is stoked with the news, reflecting that not only are Opeth one of the biggest and most important bands in modern heavy music history, they are also a massive influence on his band’s output.

“It’s something special for us,” he begins, “not just to be able to share the stage with a band like Opeth who’ve made such a huge impact musically, but to jump on the road with them around our home country is an amazing opportunity. This’ll be our first time playing New Zealand as well, so none of us can wait for February!”

Even before that happens, however, the band have an epic headlining tour of their own to do throughout November and into early December, and Grey is just as excited about that prospect. It will be their final tour of the year; they have some new material to road test, plus a brand new member to unleash.

“Oh dude, we just want to get out there and play the damn shows!” He states, “we’re bringing some new songs, and we’re bringing our new drummer Josh Griffin along as well, so it’s going to be a whole new experience for us.

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Without giving too much away, Grey is happy to give us a little insight into what punters can expect from the new songs they will be bringing on the road with them, and from the new material overall.

“We’ve got something pretty big, we’re excited about it,” he enthuses, “I can’t really say too much, because we want it to be a nice surprise for everybody. But at the moment we’re working on a bit of conceptual stuff for a new album, and this is one of the first things that have come to fruition out of it. So we’re really looking forward to seeing how people respond to it.

“There’s some stuff in there that’s a little bit challenging, a little bit different from us. The story, the concept of it is a little bit personal than before as well. It’s going to be immense; that’s the word for it. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that we can pull it all off!” He laughs.

And the band’s new drummer has slotted in seamlessly to the band’s sound and vibe. “He’s a consummate nerd, like the rest of us!” Grey laughs again, “so that’s going well. But at the same time he’s really, in terms of musicianship he’s really a kindred spirit.”

“He’s a big fan of old-school prog like (lead guitarist) Sam, but he’s big on the new stuff too. He’s got a really nice singing voice too, which is great, he’s just the real deal. It’s been humbling and exciting working with him.”

The tour culminates in a return show at the recently revived ‘Progfest’ mini-festival in Melbourne, which returns in 2016 after a year off, and Grey is not only excited to be playing at the return show, but also that it’s back in such a big way.

“The most exciting thing is Progfest in Melbourne as well,” he says, “so glad to see that back, and supporting Australian weird music.”

The band are deep into writing and demoing mode for the follow-up to last year’s superb Bloom album, although Grey stops short of actually setting a release date for their fourth record just yet, or indeed even a date for them to go in and start recording in anger.

“Sam and I like to demo as we go, so we’re still in that mode,” he reveals, “once we have a full album’s worth of demos, we can book studio time. Of course, there are tracks and tunes that are completely finished because of course, we’re bringing some on tour, but we’re not at a stage yet where we can start setting a date for a release. But it is going really well.”

They are heading off to Europe mid next year for a tour and a bunch of European festivals, so all things being well we should see a release by then. In the meantime, you can catch the band on their headlining tour in November and then with Opeth in February next year.

 

Caligula’s Horse ‘Hands Shape Stone’ Tour

GET TICKETS HERE: www.wildthingpresents.oztix.com.au

FRI NOV 4
The Triffid, Brisbane
FRI NOV 11
Amplifier, Perth
SAT NOV 12
Fowler’s Live, Adelaide
FRI NOV 18
The Basement, Canberra
SAT NOV 19
The Small Ballroom, Newcastle
SUN NOV 20
Newtown Social Club, Sydney

Progfest 2016

SAT 3 DEC
Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Written by Rod Whitfield

Rod Whitfield is a veteran in music writing, having started way back in 1995 for Forte magazine in Geelong. He has since been chief rock and metal writer for Buzz Magazine and written for Beat Magazine, The Metal Forge, Mixdown, Reverb Magazine and many others, and he brings a wealth of music knowledge and experience to the pages of Heavy Mag. A former musician himself, he wrote his memoirs on his life and times in Rock n’ Roll, and currently has a number of other writing projects on the go, including his first two novels.

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