Reinvigorated by the arrival of Josh Griffin behind the tubs, the band finds themselves at an exciting juncture in their career. Lead singer and founding member Jim Grey has found himself falling in love with older songs again, and with a new energy surrounding the group, he’s looking forward to heading out on tour in November.
“It’s going to be a good time, we’re definitely bringing some new material with us and playing some stuff we’ve been working on, just to throw it out there and see how people like it,” he says. “It’s going to be good times.”
After an amicable split with former drummer Geoff Irish, the band had to find themselves someone new to drive the band, and Griffin was the perfect fit. “Josh has been our friend for a little while, but he was also a fan of the band, so he’s getting these great moments coming into Caligula’s Horse with where we are now. All of a sudden we’re going to be touring with Opeth next year, we’re going to be heading to Europe next year, we’ve got a headline tour coming up. It’s going to be a big change for him.
“Josh is bringing his flavour to the older material, but also to the new material that we’ve been writing, it’s a very exciting sound. I think people are going to have a good time [at shows on this tour] for sure because I’ve been reinvigorated in terms of my love for those old songs.”
Since forming in 2011, the band has taken on a heavy touring workload, which has seen them play around Australia and all over Europe, but for Grey, there’s something special about a hometown show. “I’ve got a real soft spot for playing in Brisbane just because it feels like home,” he says. “We’ve had bigger shows in other cities, but at the same time there’s just something about it. There’s nothing like getting up on stages at the venues that you’ve wanted to play since you were 12.”
Although there’s no place like home, playing shows in Europe was a completely different proposition for Grey and the band, with big cultural differences between cities meaning that the live show had to be adapted for each audience.
“I’ve found on the whole that at the shows that we’ve played in Scandinavia people are quite pensive in their responses physically. Here in Australia, everyone goes hard. It’s beers and moshing and celebrations and good times, and then in Scandinavia it was a little more reserved in their response. But then if you head to Hungary and play Budapest everyone’s going crazy, in the Netherlands we had a really great physical response and in Paris of course, everyone was moshing and crowd surfing the entire show.
“It certainly informs how you’re going to approach the show. If I’ve got a crowd of people that are cheering their guts out, having a great time at the end of songs [but] while the songs are on they’re really concentrating on what we’re doing, we’re going to give them a far more physically reserved performance. If they’re going nuts and having beers and stuff then I’m going to get amongst it.”
Grey was tight lipped when asked about the next album, but did give some positive signs that it can’t be too far off. “I’m not ready to drop an album release date yet, but I will say that we’ve got a few songs under our belt that we’re very, very happy with. We have a lot of ideas that are happening, a lot of concepts that are in more of an embryonic stage, that are just starting out and being fleshed out, but we are progressing quite quickly.”
For Grey, there is a new excitement and a renewed vigour going into their current shows. “All of a sudden, songs that we’ve played literally hundreds of times on tour are fresh again, it’s like hearing them for the first time.”
By Elijah Hawkins