The vocalist for the NOLA nu-metal unit shares how the band is working smarter and hitting their creative stride as a thriving independent unit.
Among the most articulate, entertaining frontmen of nu-metal’s modern era, Elijah Witt of Cane Hill consistently offers some of the best interviews among his peers in the genre. Witty, insightful and especially candid, the vocalist pulls no punches when it comes to speaking honestly about his craft and his community.
Getting up to speed on everything happening within the world of Cane Hill, Witt guested on the most recent episode of the Talk Toomey Podcast to reveal how the Krewe De La Mort-iteration of Cane Hill is the most complete version of the band thus far.
Attributing the strides the band has made, despite the global halt of live music, to the clarity that comes with leaving their previous record label Witt confided that everyone involved seems to have found a new lease on the project now that the business end is shored up. Devising a better strategy this time around, Witt detailed how he intends to opt for more ownership of his music, even if it means taking less money up front.
There was also some discussion about the ever-evolving landscape of the business of music and how the audience’s attention span plays into that. Witt discussed that while he personally is more a full album kind of person, he is well aware that the immediacy of a succession of singles is much more conducive to how pople consume music in the modern era. He continues that it is something he is regularly at odds with, sometimes nearly coming to blows with his guitarist to write longer intros, even though he knows the currently value of brevity.
Witt spoke about the sound and the signature of the band – specifically when asked about adding a second guitar, Witt spoke highly about the bass and how the right tone means never having to add a second guitarist. That is dynamic of Cane Hill currently. He also explained how his preference is singing over screaming, so long as the sound resonates as 90s-esque.
Witt went back even further and shared that his brother was the person responsible for introducing him to the nu-metal direction that would ultimately influence his own creative development. Witt explains that he always uses his brother as a first point of reference when writing a new song – a unique personal metric to know whether something is up to snuff or not worth the effort.
An especially interesting portion of the exchange dove deep into the unique era of modern touring in a post-covid world. Witt recalled how the band’s last show prior to lockdown was the Shiprocked destination cruise – an excursion that the frontman says everyone came back from sick. As for the subsequent stretch of time that forced bands to stay home – Witt explains that for Cane Hill, not being on tour was actually more financially sensible. Already leery of the idea of gigging in the midst of a pandemic, Witt spoke honestly in confiding how the finances of being a working class, emerging band on the road some times means the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
However, as the world continues to open and touring becomes a reality again, Witt is mentally prepping to get back into the touring cycle. Among the most difficult realities for the frontman is confronting the likelihood that he will get Covid as a result of being on the road. It’s a tough but more than likely scenario and one that takes some courage to confront. As for the alternatives, livestreaming shows might be the new norm, but they don’t cut it for Cane Hill. Waitt explained that connecting with an audience and meeting fans at the shows is such a vital part of the experience that the streaming thing just won’t do.
Lastly, Witt spoke a bit about the band’s NOLA roots and how the lockdown really required people to be more cognizant of their community. He shared that for Cane Hill, the metal community of New Orleans is very important – so much in fact that they make it a point to use local crews to film and edit their videos made during the lockdown to ensure people had work if there was work to give.
Stream the latest episode of the Talk Toomey Podcast with special guest, Elijah Witt of Cane Hill below.