Last weekend Mic Drop Music was given the opportunity to attend Shaky Knees 2019 and we are extremely grateful. The festival was a dream filled with tons of greats bands, art installations, wonderful food, and an extremely friendly crowd to top it all off. While on site we sat down with an incredible band from Athens, Ohio who goes by the name of CAAMP. The three piece band was started by childhood friends Evan Westfall and Taylor Meier, with the late addition of their friend and bassist, Matt Vinson. The band has seen a fast yet well deserved rise to fame as they only released their first LP back in 2016, which they did so independently. The band now has over a million monthly Spotify listeners with over 25 million total on “Vagabond” alone.
Mic Drop: How did you handle going from being a local band to being as big as you’ve become?
Evan Westfall: We’re originally from Columbus, Ohio but Taylor and I got our start in Athens playing open-mic nights. We would hit one open-mic every Wednesday and that’s pretty much how we developed our stage craft. We would play three songs or so a night and we would try out songs for the album we were making and writing in Athens. We would try out the songs every week to try to develop our sound. We moved back to Columbus and at that point we hadn’t played any actual proper shows. So it took a couple of shows for us to build up a groove and playing in front of a crowd helped us feng shui.
Mic Drop: So, you just put out a new single, and you just announced a new album that comes out in July. How does it feel to finally release that information that you’ve sitting on to your fans?
Evan Westfall: Its incredible, you know we could be sitting on it and the songs for a year or two years and you immediately want your fans to hear them when they’re complete. Its the best feeling in the world kind of like getting your final exam grade back right after taking it and being able to leave for the summer. its a heavy weight off of your shoulders especially when you get the reaction from the fans about it.
Mic Drop: Your first record was pushed out independently, how does it feel to be working with a record label on your sophomore album?
Evan Westfall: It feels cool, so far so good, we’re trying it out and we’ve never done this before with a label and had that experience but everyone has been great and supportive of our music and our vision.
Mic Drop: Can you give us a little background information on the album? Is it filled with songs you’ve written recently or are you trying to tie in ideas from the past as well?
Evan Westfall: It is a little bit of both, there’s a couple songs that Tay and I had written about three years ago down in Athens, they originally were supposed to be put on our first album but they just didn’t fit. But we wanted to bring them back to stay true to our roots, I suppose. But there’s also songs that the three of us co-wrote this year or went back on old ideas that had been sitting around for a few years.
Mic Drop: Just kind of feeding off old ideas? That’s how it should be its organic.
Evan Westfall: Yeah, exactly.
Mic Drop: When you do decide to write an album or new material, are you constantly writing while on tour or do you set time apart in between tours to sit a few weeks to write?
Evan Westfall: No, I mean it just happens organically we normally write when we have time on tour we’ll just grab a guitar and banjo and just pull content together. We never really have like a set week or so to write we just kind of jam out and gather material along the way.
Mic Drop: As we approach the summer, what are some short term and long term goals for the band?
Evan Westfall: Honestly just staying healthy while on tour, maybe working out a little bit and balancing life on tour. We have a bunch of festivals this summer and shows so we’re very excited for that.
Mic Drop: Any festivals in particular your looking forward to this summer?
Evan Westfall : Honestly, we’re extremely excited for Shaky Knees and we’re about to head to Europe so we’re extremely excited for that. They’re all going to be good especially the new cities and countries we’ll be playing.
Mic Drop: As a band you’ve traveled quite a bit, has there been any specific festival or city you’ve played that you are set on going back to?
Evan Westfall: From day one Denver, Colorado has always been incredible, the crowd has always been super pumped about our music and they’re an extremely loud crowd. Minneapolis has always been great as well, and our homecoming shows are awesome. We really love playing the west coast all the way up and down, they’ve always been great to us.
Mic Drop: What was the recording process like for your upcoming album? Did you record a few songs at a time or did you have all of the material finished and just knocked them all out in a week long recording session?
Evan Westfall: Yeah pretty much, all during 2018 we were taking trips down to Fort Worth, Texas at a place called Niles City Sound in between runs of shows. We’d record a batch of songs within a few days and then go play a few shows and repeat. We did that about four times and recorded a few songs each time, it was extremely laid back we didn’t have a deadline or anything. The record label was understanding about us doing it this way and it worked out well.
It was wonderful speaking with Evan and our team at Mic Drop is stoked for the new album in July. Our readers will surely be seeing a piece from us when that album is near its release. Thank you again for Evan and CAAMP for speaking with our Mic Drop team at Shaky Knees.