‘I grew up in the wasteland of the American 80s,’ explains Cold Cave’s founder Wesley Eisold. ‘(Its) sound has been with me as long as I’ve been here. Otherwise, what influences me varies a lot. Music and film and books like everyone else, but more so the confusion and thoughts that only exist in your head that seek a way out. For me, I love how an album sounds when the sleeve suits the music.’
He’s writing this down via email from his home in Brooklyn, but from just the above statement you should already have a picture of a band in tune with the existential electronica of the UK during Thatcher’s decade. There are hints of early Human League in their sound, and even of Throbbing Gristle if you listen hard enough, but it’s New Order whom Cold Cave resemble most on their debut album Love Comes Close – particularly their very early period, when the urban gloom of Joy Division was being transferred to an electronic setting.
Eisold has a similarly complicated musical past, having fronted numerous hardcore punk bands, including Boston’s Give Up the Ghost. ‘It’s just the music that I wanted to make at the time,’ he says. ‘I needed to lash out at 18 to a world I felt was attacking me. I said my piece and moved on. Now I’m 31 and a much more refined gentleman.’ So refined, in fact, that he even runs his own publishing imprint with author Max G Morton, Heartworm Press, although Eisold’s literary ambitions are currently channelled towards writing lyrics for Cold Cave.
‘All summer I’m writing and recording our next LP,’ he says. ‘It’s too early to talk about it just yet. We’ve been touring so much and I can’t wait to have some writing time.’ Not only touring, but also bedding in a new member: Jennifer Clavin of the now-defunct Mika Miko has recently replaced Caralee McElroy alongside Dominick Fernow in the band’s touring incarnation. ‘Cold Cave has always just been me playing alone or with different friends anyway,’ says Eisold, ‘but I’m excited to play with Jennifer as she has made our miserable band so much more enjoyable already.’
Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sun 9 May