Caveboy is a three piece all female band out of Montreal. Michelle Bensimon (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synth), Isabelle Banos (Synth, Bass, Backing Vocals) and Lana Cooney (Drums, Backing Vocals) have just finished up a tour with Rah Rah and Dear Rouge. After blowing away our founder, Hendrik, in Kingston we knew we had to find out more about this band.
I sat down with them in Toronto at a cafe in the CBC Building, before their final show of the Black to Gold tour at The Mod Club. (Note – Dear Rouge continues to tour into December)
SC: So, what are you doing at the CBC Building?
CB: We were here recording some stuff on the R3. Tour life, interesting stories and some stuff that’s happened to us along the way and stuff about our songs and music.
SC: I’m here today because you blew my founder away in Kingston. Why? What did you do?
CB: We met him after the show and he was super sweet. We treat it like our time, as much as possible. Warming up the crowd for Rah Rah and Dear Rouge but also taking the time and doing our thing and making sure we’re giving it 110%. We give pieces of our souls when we go on stage and I’m guessing that’s what he saw and liked. The Kingston audience was pretty incredible so it was easy to feed off them. We were all in the moment together, it was pretty magical.
SC: Can you tell us about how you met?
CB: Michelle and I (Lana) grew up very close by. We played soccer together. Our families knew each other. Then Michelle went away to school here in Toronto. And then Isabelle and I met in CEGEP, which is college. We became friends and started playing music there. And then funnily enough, Michelle messaged me randomly on Facebook with a song she’d written. The first song she’d ever written and the first song that ever became something that we played altogether. She said “hey would you like to add some drums to this and see where it goes” and I responded to her saying “yeah sounds great but let me send it to my friend Isabelle because she can probably put some synths on it. And that’s pretty much how we got going.
One day we got together for a jam session when Michelle was in town from Toronto and she never went back. That song is “Home is Where” and it’s on the EP. First song we ever wrote. It made it through.
SC: Can you talk a bit about the difference between a hometown Montreal crowd and other dates?
CB: Montreal is an interesting city. Life starts a little bit later whereas Kingston, maybe because there are so many students. So as the first act up I think we had the Kingston vibe of people coming out early. We did have a really great show in Montreal as well. They were both really great shows. In Montreal we always get friends and family which is great so it’s nice to see familiar faces in the crowd. It’s also nice to not see familiar faces. Meeting new fans in news cities and to hear them say, we came to this show for you and they come to the merch table and buy our CD. It’s a great feeling.
SC: The EP came out October 9th, it seemed like it was a long time coming?
CB: A very long time. It started out as other things and then we decided to hone it into this EP. Choose what we thought were the best of the best. Putting our best foot forward and that’s what this EP is. It is a long time coming, with a name change and a lot of time. We lived together in a loft, the three of us while we were writing this and while we were recording. There’s a lot of heart and soul in that little six song thing.
SC: You went with Indiegogo for Funding?
CB: As Diamond Bones (note name change discussion below) originally, when it was going to be an album. We did, we used Indiegogo and got a lot of support from friends and family and fans which is really amazing and very appreciated. The biggest source of funding that we got was FACTOR and we can’t thank them enough.
SC: Grants was my next question and how well that system works for new Canadian musicians.
CB: It really does. You put in solid demos, put in a lot of work on your grant. Don’t take it lightly, give it your all because we have that at our disposal and if you try hard enough and put your best foot forward, you could be a recipient of something like that. It changed things for us. It made it possible for us to finish this piece of work. We really can’t thank them enough.
SC: Did you fill out your grant paperwork yourself?
CB: Yeah, we didn’t have a grant writer. We together at our communal kitchen table with bowls of popcorn and got it done. Apparently it’s rare for an unreleased, unsigned. without a grant writer filling out the forms, to get the grant.
SC: It seems like a lot of artists are going with singles and EPs, almost like a throwback to the old days which I think is kinda cool.
CB: You’re right. As our first release to put out a couple of singles, put out our EP. Give people a taste, this is who we are, this is our ID badge for now and we’ll see what the next step is.
SC: I read about your name change and it looks like everyone asks about it. What I didn’t see is why “Caveboy”?
CB: I think Caveboy itself represents a lot of things that connect the three of us together. We all have kinda similar upbringings and similar childhood identities. These kind of wild and barefoot, getting our hands dirty, tomboyish, feral, crazy kids. With a lot of emotion and sensitive but also really happy and passionate driven kids. We connect on that really strongly, the three of us, and the way that it transcends into our adult lives. I think that Caveboy itself is kind of the exact representation of all of those things and how we feel a lot of the time. Especially on stage when we’re bringing that out and we’re digging deep.
It was something that when we finally landed on it, it was a “that’s it”. It wasn’t easy. There was a lot of veto. We all had to feel 110%. There were a few we sat with for a while and came back to it but nah. Caveboy was something that was brought up early and then dismissed and then came back.
SC: How did the “original” fans respond to that? It seems like everyone was onboard.
CB: Yeah, people understand why we did it. Our approach to it was a fresh start. People were pretty receptive. How can I move forward in this direct way with blinders on, focused, zeroed in, this is what I want to do and that’s kinda what it was for us and I think people were able to relate to that.
SC: How did you end up touring with Dear Rouge?
CB: We share a booking agency, so it’s kinda in the family and we’re on a roster with so many great, talented artists who we match with. We’re also touring with Rah Rah and the three bands really compliment each other. It’s pretty awesome. Everyone is so nice! Everyone is kind and supportive and it makes such a huge difference. We love these two bands and we’re so grateful and so fortunate to be on the tour with them.
SC: Social media. Playing a huge role?
SC: Favourite platform, if you have one?
CB: Instagram. I love them photos! I love posting photos, I love showing people what’s going on. I love the responses that we get. I love being able to see pictures from festivals and all sorts of stuff. Big and small. Where we came from, where we wanna be. It’s all so visually there. Instagram is my favourite. Twitter’s fun too.
SC: My favourite thing about twitter, 30 second videos.
CB: Yeah, right!
SC: The Mod Club is the last show on your tour, what’s next?
CB: Hopefully more shows. November, December and definitely going to make a full length album and definitely going to be touring a whole bunch next year. We’ll be hitting the festival circuit and some big things. The sky’s the limit!
You can find Caveboy all over the internet.