The road proves to be a classroom for rockers Cavo
Rockers Cavo have had the opportunity to tour with some popular peers, including Daughtry, Lifehouse, Rev Theory, Sick Puppies and Shinedown. For their forthcoming album, "Thick as Thieves," band members took some of the lessons they learned from their tourmates and melded them into a gem of an album.
Known for the hits "Let It Go" and "Champagne," St. Louis-based Cavo also penned songs with Jason Wade of Lifehouse while on tour and later teamed up with Jaren Johnston of American Bang, among others.
"We're just really trying to learn as much as we can," bassist Brian Smith told SoundSpike. "We didn't write with Chris Daughtry but we were around when he jammed. You take things that you see and how that they do things and think, 'OK, that's kind of cool.' You take ideas from everyone and kind of make them your own way of writing.
"Chris would sit in the back of a bus and write all day. So we had a couple times where we would sit in the back of the bus and write. You write with someone like Jaren from American Bang and he's like, 'Hey, come over to the house, we'll hang out and see what comes up.' Sometimes something comes up. We wrote with James Michael from Sixx: A.M. We went down to his place and he said, 'Let's just hang out, get to know each other and see what happens.' There's different ways of writing. Everyone does something different. You take the best of everyone."
Things weren't always so easy. Formed in 2002, Cavo -- which also includes guitarist Chris Hobbs, drummer Chad LaRoy and singer Casey Walker -- released their major-label debut, "Bright Nights Dark Days," on Reprise Records in 2009. It sold more than 120,000 albums and more than 450,000 singles, according to a press release. Although a successful time for Cavo, the band admittedly had some "bumps and bruises" in the last couple years, having split from Reprise.
But those days are a bit brighter now as the band anticipates the spring release of "Thick as Thieves" on its new home of Eleven Seven Music.
"This record is a little more -- how would you say? -- us," Smith said. "It's a little more honest. We had a little more freedom with this one. Now that we're on Eleven Seven, it's really a liberating record for us, I think."
The title track, which doubles as the first single, is about Cavo taking a stand and "stepping forward and rising up from the ashes of walking away from Warner Bros. and starting over again." (Warner Bros. is the home of Reprise.) Smith said the experience reminded him and his bandmates remembered why they wanted to do make music.
"No one can take that away," Smith explained. "Whether we had a deal at that point or not, we could write music and have fun doing what it is we wanted to do, just the four of us, and nobody can take it away."
Cavo is co-headlining a tour with Black Stone Cherry that starts tonight (2/1) in Illinois, Smith said the band has been extremely lucky with touring partners.
"We've been around some of the best guys -- people -- in music," Smith said. "No one's had attitudes. Everyone's given us a hand. Helped us out. Given us pointers of the road. Bands like Rev Theory -- one of the first bands who took us out -- are extremely nice, great guys. Being on tour with all the bands we've been on tour with has been amazing."
1 - Libertyville, IL - Austin's Fuel Room (with Black Stone Cherry)
2 - Fort Wayne, IN - Piere's Entertainment Center (with Black Stone Cherry)
3 - Dayton, OH - McGuffy's (with Black Stone Cherry)
4 - Marshalltown, IA - Impala Ballroom (with Black Stone Cherry)
6 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE (with Black Stone Cherry)
7 - Allentown, PA - Crocodile Rock Café (with Black Stone Cherry)
9 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live! (with Black Stone Cherry)
10 - Jacksonville, NC - Hooligans Music Hall (with Black Stone Cherry)
11 - Vienna, WV - Yellowbeards Tavern (with Black Stone Cherry)
13 - Winston-Salem, NC - Ziggy's (with Black Stone Cherry)
14 - Johnson City, TN - Capone's (with Black Stone Cherry)
16 - Birmingham, AL - Zydeco (with Black Stone Cherry)
17 - Broussard, LA - The Station Bar (with Black Stone Cherry)
18 - Shreveport, LA - The Warehouse (with Black Stone Cherry)
6 - Sault Sainte Marie, MI - Kewadin Casino