Beartooth's Caleb Shomo prioritizes his art and finds clarity in sobriety - Knotfest
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Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo prioritizes his art and finds clarity in sobriety

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on May 4, 2022

The veteran songwriter and band architect explains his personal commitment to his craft and reveals how cutting out booze has only served to benefit what matters most to him.

For the second segment of the in-depth interview with Beartooth frontman Caleb Shomo with journalist Ryan J. Downey, the pair take an especially deep dive into the most personal decision of the musician to get sober.

Now months into his lifestyle change to quit alcohol all together, Shomo went into detail about how the decision was about pursuing a better sense of clarity and ultimately came down to a very simple conclusion – was boozing adding or subtracting to his overall quality of life?

The decision seemed to serve as a means of closure for Shomo for the earlier portion of his life that was documented in the Beartooth catalog thus far. While the frontman is always reluctant to get into the meaning of his music with too much detail, he explained how the discography of the band thus far has functioned as a means of therapy in working through the angst, uncertainty and instability of his twenties.

While Shomo confided that the decision wasn’t prompted by rock bottom moment, he explained that he came to the conclusion after a casual night of at dinner cocktails. Waking up in the middle of the night and staring in the mirror, he found himself at a crossroads he didn’t anticipate coming to. And given his commitment to his craft and all that goes along with it, the decision to cut out anything that doesn’t nurture that seemed the best means to be as effective as a creative as possible.

Without any real plan or any grasp as to how long or how definitive this decision would be, Shomo didn’t make the decision drastic. He simply said goodbye to a part of his life that he seemingly grew out of. As for the results, he shared that the kind of physical and mental benefits he has since reaped have been immense. Shomo also explained that he understands now why people trumpet this kind of decision and while he does not want to come across as preaching, the upside of his lifestyle change has been so profound that it is hard to not be enthusiastic about it.

Among the biggest takeaways from the conversation seemed to be the sort of epiphany that finally pushed Shomo to flip the switch. He confided that he always justified his drinking by ensuring that it never got in the way of his art. However, those pre-show toast and post-show cheers begin to add up after years on the road and for someone that wants to always be at his peak – things just didn’t make sense anymore.

Shomo said that post-pandemic he took inventory of what mattered most and for him, it’s always been writing and performing music. If anything is going to impede that, even slightly, it doesn’t align with Shomo’s well-documented, disciplined approach, thus making the decision a simple one to make. He references the journey depicted in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and how that pursuit of sobriety ultimately led to some of the band’s best work in albums like Hardwired… to Self-Destruct – even if it meant going through some of their toughest stretches personally.

The conversation is poignant, personal and an especially important glimpse into the kind of commitment invested into Beartooth. Shomo speaks with the same kind of honesty and sincerity that has been long been an anchor of his writing style and a big reason the band remains on the ascent almost a decade in.

Catch Beartooth live as the band embarks on the EU/UK leg of The Below Tour with Motionless In White and Stray From the Path. The band will also make highly-anticipated appearances at major festivals including Slam Dunk, Full Force and domestically at Aftershock in October. A complete list of the band’s dates can be found – HERE

Beartooth will also headline The 2022 Heavy Music Awards. The ceremony will take place June 5th and will be hosted by Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker. The band is twice nominated for both ‘Album of The Year’ and ‘Best International Artist’. Get complete details here – HeavyMusicAwards.com


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