Meet the Maggots: Cauldron tap into the heavy humanity of hardcore - Knotfest
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Meet the Maggots: Cauldron tap into the heavy humanity of hardcore

Posted by Corinne Westbrook in Culture on July 26, 2022

Ahead of their hometown performance at Pulse fo the Maggots Festival In Birmingham, the band

UK hardcore outfit Cauldron is bringing back the chaotic and passionate hardcore of the late 90s and early 2000s. Together, vocalist Frazer Cassling, guitarists Dec Breckon and Jon Dyke, bassist Perry Wattis and drummer Zak Jenkins, caught the attention of the world with their ferocious approach to the genre.

Each Cauldron track runs on pure adrenaline and rage, something very needed in this day and age. We were able to catch up with them leading up to their performance at the first Pulse of the Maggots festival in Birmingham, UK on August 10th to discuss the hardcore resurgence, new music, how they unwind, the importance of hometown advantage and the thrill of the live set.

I feel like, in this day and age, hardcore is seeing a Renaissance of sorts. How does it feel being part of that Renaissance. Do you feel that hardcore is more necessary than ever, just given how angry society has become?

Cassling – I believe it is difficult for me to see a renaissance happening within the genre, because hardcore is all I’ve cared about since I first discovered it. It’s never ebb’d or flowed for me personally. Its necessity is another thing for me that I feel has remained constant since its inception. Hardcore has always been an outlet for real people who feel disassociated with wider society, to vent about whatever they need to vent about. I think that is why a lot of hardcore albums become instant classics – they’re human, their relevance transcends time and geography. A lot of hardcore records are still just as relevant today as they were upon their release. Earth Crisis – ‘Destroy the Machines’ for instance, those lyrics could have been written yesterday and it came out almost 30 years ago. And this is something that hasn’t changed and won’t change about hardcore. Newer bands like Zulu, Show Me The Body, Mannequin Pussy, they’re all bringing lyrics to the genre that will likely never age and their relevance will still hold weight years from now. 

What is on the horizon for you guys? Can you give us any hints toward a new album?

Cassling – New music is definitely coming, we go into the studio in the Winter to start recording what will be our largest project so far. Between now and then, it’s just gonna be a lot of prep work on my part. The new record ties in with a concept that I’ve been writing for well over a year now, which takes place in a city on the other side of the world, that I’ve never even been to before. Usually prepping for recording for us just means playing the songs again and again until they’re perfected. This time around, I’ve had to research weather patterns, tax rates, rough salaries, migration patterns of certain birds, tonnes of weird misc stuff that you’d probably not expect to matter in the creative process of writing and recording a new record. I’ve spent entire uni lectures just walking around “the city” on Google Street View, just so I can pick out points of interest and shit like that that. I’ve even written shorter stories, so that the larger story is layered with stories within it, I’m not sure if that makes sense. It’s wild but it’ll be worth it when this thing comes out. We’re bringing mosh parts with character arcs, be ready.

You guys have a lot of ferocity in your music, but after unleashing all of that, how do you unwind?

Cassling – My cool answer is that unleashing the ferocity is how we unwind, man. My honest answer is that we’re all freaks and geeks who unwind in very boring ways. One time I got home from work at my old job, and spent the entire night just listening to Coheed songs, whilst cross-referencing each song with a podcast purely dedicated to the band. I’d listen to a song, then I’d listen to the podcast episode about that song, then I’d move on to the next one. I just did that all night until I went to sleep. I want to note too that I actively didn’t enjoy the podcast and massively disagreed with the majority of the host’s points. Our guitarist Dec, for a large period of time was number one on the worldwide leaderboard of a One Punch Man mobile Gacha game. All of our interests are very nerdy and lame, which probably doesn’t translate into the songs very obviously. 

Pulse of the Maggots is a festival about diversity and discovery. What kind of value do you put on being included on this showcase? 

Cassling – The value of feeling recognised by the metal scene, to me, is immeasurable. Whilst we define ourselves as a hardcore band, Cauldron is more sonically metalcore. We started in the hardcore scene and have pretty much only ever played hardcore shows. It took sometime for us to win over that crowd, but I feel like we’ve succeeded in that and now it’s time to branch out. This showcase will feel a bit unfamiliar to us, a bit strange, a bit uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it all the more exciting. Plus the opportunity to play alongside bands that I’ve wanted to see live for years, in a venue I’ve aspired to play for years, is something that I’m very excited about. 

For fans just discovering your band – what can they expect from your live show come August 10th?

Cassling – Cauldron songs are written to be performed live above anything else. It’s always “how are they going to react when this section hits?”. So when you go to a Cauldron show, you are hearing the songs as they are intended to be heard, which is what I believe makes our live show so great. We also all love playing live, it’s not a chore for us, we count down the days til’ the next show when we are not performing. You can see that when we’re on stage, and I think the audience feeds off that as well.


Cauldron takes the stage at Pulse of the Maggots Birmingham on August 10th.


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