Cane Hill are not afraid to go for the jugular.
The New Orleans bruisers take their name from a now-demolished asylum in Croydon and their debut EP gets straight to the heavy stuff: racism, misogyny, and how “lost and fucked” the human race is are just some of the themes explored on their self-titled release. The band – who are frontman Elijah Witt, guitarists Bemo and James Barnett, bassist Ryan Henriquez and drummer Devin Clark – are also set to explode after signing with Rise Records last year.
“Things are going really well,” says Elijah, and you can’t argue with him. Their EP features a guest spot from Issues’ keyboardist Tyler Acord on the track Time Bomb, a nu metal infused frenzy that mixes screeching metal riffs with electronic samples. They’ve also toured with The Plot In You and Hollywood Undead, and are currently out with Blessthefall. Their growing success isn’t something Elijah foresaw…
“There isn’t a rock venue in New Orleans,” he says. “Electronic music is taking over. The music scene there was surviving about 15 years ago, but Hurricane Katrina had a big impact on that.”
Their signing to Rise Records was also something Elijah didn’t expect. Guitarist Bemo sent their recorded tracks to Rise, who immediately expressed interest.
“I got a phone call while I was in class saying they wanted to pick us up,” says Elijah. “I dropped out of university immediately. I was like, ‘I don’t need this shit!’”
That sounds cocky, but Elijah is anything but. He’s a deep thinker, and the themes he explores lyrically on the EP often draw on societal issues. He’s particularly passionate about speaking against misogyny.
“All the insecurities put on women by this shitty patriarchal system make them feel like they have to meet the standard that men have created,” he says. “It’s ridiculous how much harder women have to work.”
Elijah hopes that, as more musicians speak against the less progressive aspects of rock culture, attempts at upholding the rock star persona will die out.
“I feel like we’ll go to a place where being socially adept and making a stand – offending the people who need to be offended – will be commonplace,” he says.
Elijah’s combination of honesty and passion make him a welcome addition to the rock scene. If you are wondering if he can back up his politics with decent music, the answer is a resounding, raw, abrasive ‘yes’. Cane Hill, welcome to the world of modern metal.
Cane Hill’s self-titled EP is out on October 23 via Rise