By Joshua Sheppard
Over the course of this decade, Wes Eisold has reached a sonic culmination from his bedroom producer experimentations under the moniker of Ye Olde Maides to the fully-fledged post-punk, darkwave, ‘80s inspired sounds of Cold Cave. Throughout Cold Cave’s decade-long existence, Eisold still feels most comfortable creating music that is intrinsically personal, influenced by his internal self rather than outside perspectives.
“My experience with these bedroom projects was simple instrumentation, starting with Ye Olde Maides, which was an anonymous indie-pop project with a fictitious duo as its narrative,” says Eisold. “Over the years I’ve been able to retain my own ideas – my inspiration comes to me when I’m at my most independent. If I’m able to stay true to what I think without taking into account any externalities, it’s where I’m most comfortable.”
As the son of a Navy officer, his beginnings as an army brat in the ‘80s created a sense of fluidity when it came to travelling, never truly being situated in one specific place. This peripatetic lifestyle has never truly left him as he continues to tour and travel to new locations with his music.
“[Growing up] I didn’t have solid roots in any one place and always felt like I was at the mercy of the sea, hence my sea sick tattoo,” he says. “This lifestyle definitely became habitual, traditional. The whole process of travelling is engrained in me because growing up as a military brat took me to all parts of the world. I find more comfort in motion and moving rather than feeling comfortable at home.”
Being part of this travelling lineage of musical acts, Eisold has found himself in both the most beautiful and the worst music clubs, but is always able to appreciate the history that certain venues hold.
“I still romanticize about the history of the people that have played the venues I’ve toured in; it’s still very much inspiring to me. From going as a no-name punk band to playing venues of artists I’ve always loved, my appreciation just keeps growing. ‘’
The poet Ira Cohen once said “Epiphany is momentary sanity,” and this sentiment relates to the creative process Cold Cave employs. The “first record curse” is a trapping many artists fall prey to, which was something Eisold was conscious of when he started his hardcore band American Nightmare in the late ‘90s.
‘’I find sanctuary and happiness in the creative process – besides that, it’s all about making sure things don’t fall into shambles,” he says. “My approach has changed over time. But I found ways to ensure I didn’t lose out on finding my voice by searching deeper into myself for inspiration. I’ve been able to remain me throughout my whole life, for better or for worse. A lot of my inspiration is from how I was born and that world outlook is still cemented into who I am; I can’t change it. I still am trying to continuously search for what I’m trying to say.”
On Cold Cave’s new EP, You & Me & Infinity, Eisold explores the sentiments of finally finding the love he has been searching for his whole life.
“[It’s about] attaining this ideal of love that I thought I needed, that I thought I could never have – actually finding that love in my life,” he says. “It’s a reconciliation of that search, the hunt and the finding of it. I’m here now and this is what it’s like, and it’s beautiful and amazing. I was finding it and now I’m living it, but is it gonna be okay? Am I gonna be okay with it? Am I gonna blow it? Am I gonna break it? Let’s do this.”
Cold Cave plays the Imperial on February 20.