Beartooth’s Caleb Shom*o: The 10 songs that changed my life (2024)

Photo:
Andy Ford

Beartooth frontman Caleb Shom*o relives his journey in music so far, charting his growth from emo upstart to heart-on-sleeve rock hero…

The first song that I remember hearing...

TotoAfrica (1982)

“It couldn’t really be anything other than this, given how often my mom used to play Toto when I was a little kid. She was a huge fan of theirs. It didn’t matter if we were driving in the car or just hanging in the house, she’d always be playing their music. Africa always reminds me of being that little kid, hanging out with my mom, which is a really nice memory.”

The song that reminds me of being a teenager...

UnderøathA Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White (2004)

“A Boy Brushed Red… was an undeniably huge track for me when I was a teenager. Underøath were the first real band I’d heard who screamed in their music, so that was my introduction to screamo, as it was known back then. I was so confused when I listened to it for the first time. I had no idea what the hell was going on, but I absolutely loved it! I was playing that album [They’re Only Chasing Safety] constantly when I was growing up.”

Avenged SevenfoldBeast And The Harlot (2005)

“When I was starting to play music with other people for the first time, my friends were all super into Avenged Sevenfold, and I remember how their album City Of Evil blew up off the back of the song Bat Country. We would jam that record when we got together, and then we’d try to play the songs in my friend’s basem*nt. My journey in music all started from those days jamming with them really, and Beast And The Harlot is my favourite track off that album.”

The song that reminds me of my first gig...

System Of A DownChop Suey! (2001)

“Ozzfest was the first show I went to, although I can’t remember what year it was. System Of A Down were headlining, and that was my introduction to metal in a live setting. Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed were also on the bill, but my main memory is of seeing Chop Suey! live, and it being one of the loudest crowd participation occurrences I’d ever heard. That sh*t was super-inspiring to me.”

The first song of mine that I heard on the radio...

Attack Attack!Stick Stickly (2008)

“In terms of hearing something I’ve been involved in being played on a major radio station, it would be In Between by Beartooth. But way back in 2008, Attack Attack! had a demo of Stick Stickly played on a local radio station. It was 10 at night, and I turned on the radio in my room to listen in for it. At the time, it was the most mind-blowing thing that had ever happened to me.”

The song that reminds me of young love...

The Temper TrapSweet Disposition (2008)

“This song was on the soundtrack of the movie 500 Days Of Summer [2009], and I remember how at the point I first saw that film I’d been dating my now-wife for about a year or so. I ended up watching the movie after I’d been out drinking, so I was starting to feel really emotional, and I was like, ‘Holy sh*t – I love this person so much!’ Those feelings hit me hard when I was watching that movie, man.”

The song that I have regrets about...

BeartoothFind A Way (2016)

“A lot of songs on our second album, Aggressive, fall under this category. It’s not that I hate the songs, I just feel like it has a few filler tracks on it. The singles from that album were really important to me and remain songs that I cherish, but the process of making the record happened really fast, so we consequently ended up with tracks like Find A Way. I think it’s got a great riff and energy, but when I heard the final version I felt like something was missing. I’m still not quite sure what that missing thing is, though.”

The song that was that hardest to write...

BeartoothDisease (2018)

“The initial idea of the track was done within a couple of days, but the difference between the first conception and the one that ended up on the album is huge. The structure changed massively, we added and then got rid of loads of different parts, and in the end we probably spent at least a year tinkering. But I’m insanely proud of Disease. It means a lot to me.”

My favourite song to play live...

BeartoothBad Listener (2018)

“This song always goes off live. But on top of that, it’s one where I don’t have to sing too much, so it gives me a very welcome breather!”

The song that I'd like played at my funeral...

AC/DCLet There Be Rock (1977)

“It’s a hell of a thing to think about, and not something I’ve ever contemplated. But it has to be something by AC/DC, because they’re my favourite band of all time. The most important thing in this life is to go out f*cking rocking!”

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Beartooth’s Caleb Shom*o: The 10 songs that changed my life (2024)
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