|Photo courtesy of the artist|
Cai.ro means to conquer. With their debut release this Toronto-based quintet strive to vanquish preconceived notions of popular music. However Cai.ro's choral crusade on the Young Love EP isn't heavy handed like the Ottoman Empire's invasion of Egypt. Instead Nate Daniels, Dante Berardi Jr., Matt Sullivan, Caitlin Grieve and Wooyoung Kim wage an audio assault with an arsenal of folk-pop and orchestral opulence. Frequently described as an orchestral folk ensemble, Cai.ro straddle enemy lines with diverse songs exploring themes of love, addiction and self-discovery.
All These Colours
All Ears recently spoke with lead singer and guitarist Daniels and guitarist Berardi Jr. to gain insight into Cai.ro's plan of attack.
Before joining Cai.ro's ranks Daniels and Berardri Jr. were each part of separate musical armies.
Daniels floated around several bands offering his vocal talents. The material created with one nameless Montreal band Daniels fronted found its way to Cai.ro's play list, however Daniels left that outfit opting instead to have more control over his musical output.
"I realized later that it's not about control but about sharing a common vision with people who support me and would extrapolate on that vision," Daniels said.
Across the trenches, Berardi Jr. comes from a prolific industry family. His father was a musical marvel, mastering many instruments. Berardi Sr. was the composer, arranger and band leader for Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee Godfather Bobby Curtola. In addition his maternal grandfather worked with acclaimed record producer Donald K. Donald.
"I think having a musical family helped push me in the direction of playing and more importantly loving music," Berardi Jr. explained. "I've definitely gone my own way and found my own sound and process along the way. Music is in my blood so I can't deny my family played a part. There's no way I could stop playing and writing. Even if it ends up not being my career down the road. I'm going to cop out and say it was nature and nurture and a little stubbornness as well."
That stubbornness landed Beradri Jr. with Sound23, a collaborative project, and then with the alternative-influenced group Goodbye Glory before being drafted into Cai.ro.
"[We] did some small scale touring and traveled to Europe and played in a festival. [It was a] great learning experience. It definitely laid the ground works for who I am and how I play now," Berardi Jr. said of his time with Goodbye Glory.
Now that the two are comrades with Cai.ro their mutual battle has just begun. The Young Love EP is sublimely stunning with moments of malleable melodies and instances of alt-rock awesomeness. Daniels describes their effort as "a penetrative scoring to any given circumstance in your life. Dramatic and sometimes anthemic." However even with the obvious talent this EP exudes, the Canadian music industry remains a minefield for any symphonic solider who to dares to tread on its grounds.
"The quest for notoriety in the music industry has always been a struggle for anyone who attempts it. Thankfully that is not the only reason we play music. In regards to our opinion of the Toronto and Canadian music industry; it has a lot of catching up to do." Daniels said.
"That's why we're here though. Trying to move forward with the momentum of great bands before us like Arcade Fire. They completely re-shaped the formula and format of what it means to be a Canadian artist; even if their roots were in Texas. A little American injection has done us good."
Cai.ro will appear in an episode of Canadian indie music chronicle From Far and Wide this May and took to the stage at this year's Canadian Music Week. In addition look for some DIY music videos to accompany songs off Young Love to be posted soon.
To help increase Cai.ro's rations visit wearecairo.com or check out the band's myspace.
Balcony TV shoot & interview
Balcony TV shoot & interview