The Lost River Cavemen, the Bowling Green, Ky.-based Americana/Roots rockers, are preparing for a July tour. The band will make its way from its native Kentucky through Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Formed in 2005, The Lost River Cavemen consists of Michael McMillian (guitar/vocals), Geno Wilson (bass), Joshua Riddle (drums) and Steven Stewart (violin/fiddle). Since then, their energetic and charismatic live shows have earned them a devoted and growing fan-base, and their first two albums, Taste of Life (2008) and ...And the Circus Goes On (2011) received wide praise. The set list for July will include songs from their upcoming self-titled album, which will be released in late August.
They have shared festival billing with talent such as Cage the Elephant, Keller Williams, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Ronnie McDowell, and more, and have completed multiple national tours since 2008. We got to know the band prior to tSGHR show!
Who's your biggest musical influence?
My dad is probably my biggest musical influence. He's a talented songwriter himself and continues to play today. He played Nashville a lot back in the 80's and had a short stint on a small label. He gave me my first guitar when I was pretty young, which I tore the strings off and pretended it was a boat for my matchbox cars. I eventually restrung it and wore it out.
What were you writing about when you started? How has that evolved? What experiences did you draw from in the past? And now?
I wrote my first song as a teenager, it was about a lightning storm and it was terrible. I spent my 20's singing for metal bands and writing a lot about personal conflict. Our first Cavemen album was pretty dark and continued with the conflict theme. The second album was much lighter and consisted of a lot of songs about enjoying life...and girls, of course. Our new album (due out in late August), is a more well-rounded combination of dark and light, and continues with songs about personal growth, touring, spiders, and girls.
If you could work with any other artists, who would that be and why?
Currently my favorite successful singer/songwriters are Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield. I'm sure it would be awesome to work with either of them. However, here in Bowling Green, Ky., we feel we have one of the best music communities anywhere, and I'm fortunate to live among and work with many of my favorite musicians and songwriters.
What was the inspiration for your self-titled album (out in August)?
The new album is inspired by the continuation of life, everything in it, and whatever comes after it.
What's it like on the road? Paint a picture of a day in the life on the road…
Touring is quite difficult for a DIY band. A picture of a day on the road?
Wake up in the van, or hopefully on the couch of some hospitable person. Perhaps a shower, if not, then a rinse off in a rest area bathroom. 1-6 hours driving (taking turns behind the wheel in anticipation of one's turn stretching out in a back, bench seat). Hopefully the venue is open and we can load in. If not, then on to a local park or somewhere we can spend a few hours chilling. Load in, set up, sound check (we often serve as the roadies, crew, sound guy, merch guy, and occasionally door guy). More chilling/waiting. Then showtime and we muster the energy to put on a great show for 3-300 people (hopefully the latter). After the show, we catch our breath, socialize, sell merch, break down, and load up. Hopefully, by this time someone has offered us a comfortable place to sleep (we rarely afford rooms). If not, then we find a safe place to park and sleep. Press repeat.
What advice do you have for a new artist just starting out?
My advice for an artist starting out? Play music with people whose company you enjoy. Also, while it's very important to a have a well-organized, businesslike approach...don't forget to have fun!
The Lost River Cavemen
The Southgate House Revival
Saturday July 13th