This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.
Considering they have been all but extinct for the last five years, Capdown are a band full of ambition. Shrugging off the ska/punk genre with which they have been labelled in the past, the band return in 2007 with a new album, new tour and new attitude to go with it. We speak to lead singer Jake Sims-Fielding about the band’s upcoming release.
After seeing the Radio 1 Lock-Up tent rammed to capacity at last year’s Reading Festival it is not hard to see why Capdown are coming back with a bang.
They are a band with a huge underground following, even if they haven’t released a studio album for six years. Their comeback record, ‘Wind Up Toys ’, is a much sleeker, better produce affair than their previous efforts, and launches a new era for the band.
For most fans the prospect of new material would be a great thing, but opinions are divided over the changes ahead. “The thing is you can’t please ever yone,” says Jake. “But we believe this album is substantially better, both played and written, than the last two.”
He isn’t wrong either. ‘Wind Up Toys’ is a massive leap forward for Capdown. It glances through many different genres and produces some real gems. The first full single to be lifted from the album is set to be ‘Surviving The Death Of A Genre’ which encapsulates the feeling within the band at the moment.
“While we have been away there have been many passing fashions in the press, but we have mostly just been listening to good music” elaborated Jake. “A lot of our peers from five years ago have disappeared and that ska/punk genre isn’t something we want to be a part of.”
The B-Side to the single, a cover of Kelis’ ‘Trick Me’, has generated great interest among fans too. “It was just something that came out of playing Radio 1’s Lock-Up. We did it live and it just sounded good. It’s a song I really like,” Jake explained.
Of course playing live is where Capdown really come into their own. They are a band who at their peak performed 250 gigs in a year, although they would say their best is yet to come.
“We love playing live. We like to think we have work really hard on this tour, it is set to be the best yet” claimed Jake. “Playing venues like Bristol Academy is great, but we have even bigger ambitions than that. We are writing, recording and releasing very quickly, hoping to move onto bigger things.”
A move to indie label Fierce Panda has also helped Capdown, who say they have found a natural home there. “To be honest they gave the best feeling out of anyone. It’s mutually beneficial really, they are doing a lot for us and hopefully we can do something for them in return. The album is out next week so we will see then how it is received.”
The record itself is refreshingly different from the Capdown of old. The band haven’t gone too far from their ska roots, but have strayed enough to give an album that is much more varied and elaborate than before. This is epitomised in ‘Community Service’ in which they compare their hard graft to the fickle nature of other bands. “All you seem to put out / Is a badly played version of Blink and No Doubt” sings Jake, mocking the efforts of some of their peers.
Capdown are a band trying to go places, quick. Just one listen to the epic, dub-esque ‘No Matter What’ or the raucous ‘Blood, Sweat and Fears’ will show you that. And although some would say they are in too much of a hurry it would still be advisable to jump on board while you can. You never know, it might be the ride of your life.
Capdown head out on a UK tour starting on Friday 2 February at Bristol Academy. They also visit Bournemouth Elements on Monday 5 February and Bridgwater Palace on 8 February. The album, Wind Up Toys, is available to buy from Monday 5 February.