Caro, to a point, still remain quite anonymous in the eyes of their audience. The reason behind this lack of familiarity may not be out of shyness for the spotlight but simply because the trio still are in all terms considered, a newly formed band. But that’s not to say that the Leeds trio haven’t caused a ruckus in the short time that they’ve been active. Oh no. In an industry that’s always looking out for the latest and brightest new talents, Caro certainly make for a pleasing find. Their playful energy delivers an easily accessible format for their distinctive art pop to shine, bringing to mind fellow Leeds alternative music makers Alt-J.
Caro are currently travelling around the UK playing shows with the brilliant Gengahr, but before they jetted off, we managed to grab a few moments with their leader Adam Pardey to quiz him about how the band started, the importance of a good lyric and Miss America (?).
Hi Caro, how are you? Where do we find you today?
Hi Charlotte, I’m very well thanks, currently sat in a café working on mixes for various things.
Did you all know each other before you formed Caro?
Bryn and I met and almost immediately started playing music together. We had a few months of playing acoustically before Bryn went on tour playing drums for another artist, and Andy was the guitarist on that tour, they got on well and I think Andy had said he wanted to be part of a band. So Bryn asked if he’d mind playing bass, he was keen and took to it quickly.
Why the name Caro? Is there any further meaning behind the word?
I remember when first meeting up with Bryn to talk about turning what we were doing into a band, we didn’t know each other that well at that point and I turned up to this pub with a list of over 100 completely ridiculous names. One of them was something like Shore Bound Dolphin Straddlers. We eventually settled on Caro, which comes from a town in France but also coincidentally means ‘flesh’ in Latin.
With only a few photo’s and live performances which reveal anything further about the band beyond the music, has there been a conscious effort to retain an essence of anonymity about the band?
Well initially we wanted to try and create a cohesive visual element to accompany and hopefully enhance the music without using our image. I really hate album covers that are just photos of the artist, they can be done well but it seems rare. It seems like such a missed opportunity for creativity and expanding upon what you’re doing musically. I think more than anything we’re just awkward in photo-shoots.
After experiencing the Caro live show myself, I must marvel at the strength of your songwriting. It’s not often I come across a young band with such lyrical smarts and a keen eye for detail. What is it that draws you in as a songwriter to focus deeper on a certain phrasing or thought path?
That’s very kind of you, thanks. It seems that I will only hold on to a song and make sure it reaches completion when there is lyrical content that I feel strongly about. I have to think a lot more about lyrics than music so when I find something that I feel says something of significance, in a way that hopefully hasn’t been expressed to death already, I hang on to that.
How does your songwriting process work – is it collaborative or solitary?
A bit of both really, I have to be alone to write melody and lyrics and I work on demos at home but the structure and arrangement is fleshed out as a band. I’ll work on a demo and get it in the direction I’d like the song to go, before deciding it’s worth showing to the band and then we’ll expand together, sometimes completely changing it again together.
Do you think it’s imperative to follow each creative spark until you’ve exhausted the possibilities that it might offer?
I think it’s important to give the song chance to develop into the best version of itself. One of our songs ‘Closet Lunatic’, I began writing 4 years ago and the only thing that has remained the same is the lyric and melody of the chorus. Literally everything else has changed countless times around it, to try and find the best way to serve that idea.
Caro is still a fairly new project, with only two releases out in the world that we can listen to and stream, so do you have a heap of new material just waiting to be released or is there some greater plan in place?
There’s a fair bit of music floating around in different stages of completion. It takes me a long time to accept something is finished, but yes there are a number of songs I’m nearly ready to let go of.
The big news is that you’re heading out on tour with the brilliant Gengahr, how did the pairing come about? Are you fans of the band?
We’re fortunate enough to be working with the same booking agent, he sent our music to them and luckily they liked it. When we were first thinking about touring ideas, Gengahr was one of the main names that stood out to us so we’re really looking forward to it.
What are the must haves in your travel bag for tour?
Bryn is not only our resident basher of things but has been our humble and gracious driver over the past year, and the radio in his car unfortunately does not work so I don’t think we would have made it this far without his portable speaker to provide the essential tunes on our journey’s. I also need to have my laptop, headphones and little recording interface with me for any on-the-go music-ing that may occur.
This is your first major support slot with a run of dates around the UK. How have you been preparing for this tour?
We’re spending this week rehearsing and trying to expand on what we can do sonically as just a trio, which has been really fun. We’ve also recorded a couple of live videos to try and entice people to come and check out the live show. Andy’s been working on his glutes.
Are there any places that you’re most looking forward to playing in, or even just travelling to and visiting as a tourist?
We’re looking forward to playing down in Brighton and Bristol. I’ve heard great things about the music scene in Bristol and just the town in general so looking forward to checking it out. Also looking forward to going up to Scotland, we haven’t played in Edinburgh before and last time we were in Glasgow, we had a great night out at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy’s dancing to Snoop Dogg so it’ll be cool to be playing there.
What’s the dream for Caro – the future hopes, the goals, the achievements?
Bryn would like to be Miss America, Andy wants to be the first person to feature in a FIFA game without actually being a football player (he would be a manger too, he’s not fussy) and I personally would like to design a line of multi-functional shoelaces, I’ve just got to decide what the other functions will be.
Caro are currently on tour with Gengahr, for the full list of dates, see below.
Gengahr + Caro Tour Dates:
23rd | The Louisiana, Bristol – http://bit.ly/2enHuQq
25th | Courtyard Theatre, London – http://bit.ly/2eUPtoW
26th | The Boileroom, Guildford – http://bit.ly/2ezVft8
30th | Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds – http://bit.ly/2fvqKcB
3rd | Jumpin’ Jacks, Newcastle – http://bit.ly/2fbavQN
5th | Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – http://bit.ly/2f15wz3
6th | Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow – http://bit.ly/2edKBr5
8th | The Deaf Institute, Manchester – http://bit.ly/2eUKDYP