Since breaking out on the scene with their debut tour supporting The Acacia Strain and their relentless single “Sunday School,” Cane Hill have been raising questions in the heavy music community–the most prevalent being WHEN will we see new material? Well, in the light of their second single and the announcement of their self-titled EP, we were able to ask Elijah Witt a couple questions about the band’s past, present and future!
Connor Welsh (New Transcendence): First off, as a fan for the past year–give or take–I’m curious, what significance does the name Cane Hill hold?
Elijah Witt (Cane Hill): Our music has a lot of overtones of feelings of lost and disparity. Cane Hill really resignated with us in the sense that to be a patient you’re trapped in a place without much of a day in whether or not you can leave. You’re kind of pinned as something unacceptable to the classical definition of the societal norm. I think it was just kind of a perfect fit for our music.
CW: Since busting on to the scene with your tour supporting The Acacia Strain, it seems like the sky has been the limit. What has the last year been like?
EW: Honestly this last year has been a fucking tornado of ups and downs. There was this long period of limbo for us as a band after the The Acacia Strain tour where we weren’t doing much. We had our record completely finished and ready to go but we weren’t ready to release it for a lot of different reasons. But through it all it’s been amazing, and our patience has absolutely paid off because now we have a release date on an amazing tour supporting Blessthefall and Stick To Your Guns and we’ve been able to build a little hype around some “mysterious cloak” that’s been set around us because of how quiet we’ve been with everything.
“Sunday School” has been floating around the Internet for a while–and has gotten you guys marked attention–what inspired the lyrical themes behind it?
Sunday School when we were writing it was a really personal song. It’s one of the few introspective songs we have actually. And the blunt truth is I think religion has poisoned society as a whole. It’s the basis of a patriarchal world that endoctrinates children into a mindset that’s so narrow. It feeds the ideas of homophobia, and misogyny, and racism.
I mean I went to a school where I was taught at the age of 11 that the earth was 6000 years old and being gay was caused by demons inside of them for Christs sake (excuse the irony there).
The funny thing is that I’ve gotten a lot of slack about being so absolutely against the religious at shows, and that I’m trying to force my beliefs on people, but I’m really just trying to make more people aware of why the world is so completely and utterly in shambles and that you can trace it back to the very beginnings of religion.
What Do you find yourself/yourselves drawing from to write your songs? How does this manifest itself in your upcoming EP?
One thing we’re determined to do when we write is not put out garbage just for the sake of it. The underground scene is in this amazing transitional phase where it’s harder and harder to gain any recognition, and the reason I think that’s amazing is because what DOES end up getting attention only does so because it deserves to. Because it’s quality music instead of the same regurgitated formula that everyone has heard over and over again.
As for how that’s manifested itself into the ep, it’s made it honest. Our ep is a no-bullshit view of human nature through our eyes.
After the release of the Cane Hill EP, what’s planned for the rest of 2015 and 2016?
The rest of 2015 we have a few tours, one with Blessthefall and one that’s yet to be announced. And then in 2016 we have some cool things in the works that we think everyone will be pretty excited about
How about a couple fun questions? If you guys could collaborate on a split release with any two artists (broken up/defunct or still playing), who would they be and why?
So easy: pantera and slipknot. Do I even need to explain why?
Which artists would you say influence you the most?
Our influences are the gods of heavy from when we were growing up in the late 80’s through the 2000’s. Bands like Pantera, Slipknot, Korn, Static-X, Powerman 500, etc. We’ve been listening to a lot of Megadeath and Slayer recently too.
If you could play one sold-out, ape-shit show to one audience in one venue anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I don’t think I can limit that to just one haha. It ranges from like Red Rock Ampitheatre to the O2 Arena to our hometown House of Blues in New Orleans. As long as were playing to people who enjoy the music though I don’t honestly think it matters.