What better way to bring a fun filled week of Canadian Music to a halt, other than a roof top party on a sunny day! Thanks to AB Co., the end of Canadian Music Week (CMW) was celebrated on the rooftop of Bovine Sex Club in Toronto. A hot sunny day on the roof was enjoyed thanks to amazing musical performances from Ivory Hours, Midday Swim and Cairo. The roof top party was a big success, filled with cheerful people enjoying great live music, patio drinks and a variety of delicious food. All the bands that played this rooftop showcase were full of energy and very engaging with the crowd, making the last of CMW a one to remember. I would personally have to say that Cairo was my favourite performance of the day, as they bring such a unique rich sound to their music. It was my first time seeing Cairo perform live, and from this one hour set I could gather that the band’s chemistry was like watching new couples go through a honey moon stage. So much love and respect for one another, while genuinely having fun playing their instruments together to create a beautiful sound. Through their use of reverb and sound effects, Cairo is a band you really need to experience live and soak in all the musicality as it happens right before your eyes.
During our time at AB.Co’s roof top party, The Xtra Mile was able to sit and talk to Dante Berardi (guitar) and Caitlin Grieve (violinist), whom are two members of the band Cairo. Check out the interview below.
How have you guys been enjoying CMW this year?
Dante Berardi (DB): It’s been pretty fun, I feel like this year we’ve gotten to do some pretty unique shows and experiences, as opposed to the past year
Caitlin Greieve (CG): Yeah we did a few acoustic shows early on, and last night played Sneaky Dee’s which is one of our favourite venues. It was super sweaty and grimy, and now this rooftop [party] is really fun because not a lot of people know about the Tiki roof top and it’s really cool.
What does the title ‘A History of Reason’ mean to you?
DB: think we all have these things in our past that are baggage or are things that are always in the back of your mind…that are always perpetually defining who you are, the things you do and the things that come forward. A lot of stuff that Nate wrote on this record had to do with stuff from the past. Not just his personal life, but past life in general.
CG: Oh wow, I think it kind of means you are the sum of your experiences; whether they are positive or negative, they make you who you are and where you are.
Can you tell me the concept behind the music video for that song, A History of Reason?
DB: Oh God, It was crazy. Nate had this idea and we obviously had the music as a soundscape and we wanted to be very ethereal, and we didn’t want to be in the video. We wanted it to be more of a piece of art, and a lot of people told us we should be in the video, but we were like “no this is what we want to do with the song, it makes sense for us.” We talked to a bunch of different directors, and some didn’t work out because of timing, some because of ego, and then we talked to the gentlemen who directed it about six months ago and he wanted to be involved and at the time it didn’t work out, but we agreed we should go with him, because he had the best concept. And we are the most controlling and detailed oriented band, and he send us the video and we were like “yeah, we don’t want to change a thing about the video,” it was definitely a first for us, but we were completely blown away by it.
You guys have been together as a band; since roughly 2011…would you say the creative process has changed over the years, or how does it come together?
DB: Well we were all drawn in as players by Nate and his solo work, so over 2-3 year period, we were all drawn in by Craigslist ads, and as we started playing together and showing our personalities on our own instruments, it all became this hodge-podge of melding things together. We still don’t really have that pinned down yet, I don’t think we have a system. Where a lot of bands have like, “this is how we write [mentality], we wrote 17 songs in three days.” It takes us months and months to hash out like a small idea, like I said we are super controlling and crazy. So the process is still evolving which keeps it very exciting because whenever something new comes to the table, we never know where its gonna go or where it’s gonna take us.
For someone who has never heard of Cairo, how would you describe your sound to someone, and why should they check you out?
CG: I mean, the first word that always comes to mind is cinematic. We have songs that are super broken down, just vocals and acoustic guitars, to songs that almost sound like radio-head and huge walls of sound that will sort of just smack you in the face. We sometimes describe it sort of as an emotional roller coaster throughout the album, as opposed to checking out a band that all the songs kind of sound the same; we have something unique in all our songs that will always keep people on their toes.
From a band that formed through Craigslist, what are the musical inspirations behind Cairo’s sound?
CG: we literally all met on Craigslist and it’s because Nate mentioned certain musical influences, and for us Radio Head was huge influence that drew us all together, but now…
DB: we’re kind of all over the map it’s weird. We find these bands that we all kind of go towards, but then there’s other bands that we’re into and someone else will be like “no that’s not for me.”
CG: It’s funny because we never as a band really talk about who we share because we’re all so different. Like for me, I came from a classical background. I love indie but I also love house music.
DB: I’m super blues and folk, Nate has a very heavy pop influence, but he also likes his Sufjan Stevens, so that was one of the ties between him and I. It’s really all over the map. It’s a very collective mix of influences.
We are from The Xtra Mile, how would you say Cairo goes The Xtra Mile?
CG: With the reverb! Haha lots of reverb/effects
DB: I think we’re being blacklisted in Toronto, because we’re a sound guys nightmare. We all have vocal effects, [Caitlin] has effects on her violin, we have 2 big synthesizers, our drummer is very technical. It’s a lot of sound
CG: So we make the soundmen go The Xtra Mile
DB: Yes, definitely! But seriously, we all take our band very seriously; it’s not a hobby for us. Its our career and we’re very precious about it, like it’s our child. It needs to sound like this, and the visuals need to be exactly like this. We take it very seriously; we don’t take ourselves seriously, but definitely we take our music very seriously.
Check out Cairo’s video for “A History of Reasons” below!