It’s not every day you hear of a prominent artist still relevant to their fans after a sustained period of time. Jeff Caudill, however, is one such rarity. Even after complete departure from his rise to fame with pop-punk band Gameface, the California singer-songwriter is back–acoustic guitar in hand–with a fresh new vision for his music.
Today, Jeff Caudill announces his latest project, ‘Reset The Sun,’ an Americana 6-song concept EP best described as “an alt-country road record with peaks and valleys and everything in between.”
We recently got the chance to chat with Jeff about ‘Reset the Sun.’ Here’s what he had to say.
I think it’s safe to say everyone knows you best for your time with Gameface and Your Favorite Trainwreck. You’ve since traded that high energy, rough around the edges vibe and pursue something a little more refined and mellow sounding for your solo projects. Was it a natural transition for you to go from one genre to the next?
Jeff Caudill: Yeah I feel like it’s all been pretty fluid. I’ve been doing the solo thing between band projects for a while now. I write songs all the time so it makes sense to have multiple outlets. I know the solo stuff is more laid back and utilizes different instruments occasionally but I kind of see all of it fitting together.
Would you say the departure from your previous projects came with the inevitable “time to grow up” realization?
JC: That’s fair to say. It wasn’t a conscious decision really. I guess this is what happens as you grow up and get responsible. I don’t have as much free time as I used to for hanging out and making music with my friends. It’s easier to just pick up an acoustic guitar than it is to get three other forty-somethings together. Scheduling rehearsals is a challenge these days. Most of my creativity comes late at night when the house is quiet or while driving to and from work. So I just make it happen when it happens.
Tell us about this new project you’ve been working on. Considering this one is your first non-autobiographical concept EP, what inspired you to create ‘Reset The Sun’?
JC: I’ve always meant to break away from writing about my life. I feel like every Gameface record is a yearbook. I’m really proud and happy I have those years documented like that but I felt like it would be a new challenge for me to write a story about someone else. The idea came from a song I was asked to write for a movie many years ago. It was kind of liberating to be able to write a song as an observer and only knowing a short synopsis of the movie. The song came together quickly and I felt like it was one of the better songs I had written. It was called ‘I Wouldn’t Wait’. I made a cheap demo and gave it to the movie exec and of course, I never heard from him again. So years later I revisited that song and started to form my own movie around it.
Listening to ‘Reset The Sun’ reminded me a little bit of Aaron Gillespie’s latest release ‘Out of the Badlands’ simply because of the raw and vulnerable quality of the projects.
Does the overall theme stem from any personal experiences?
JC: Yeah, it definitely comes with a point of view. I can’t take myself completely out of the songs. The story is about a guy who neglects his relationships to the point where his girlfriend kicks his ass – and that still doesn’t set him straight. After getting away from his hometown for a while he slowly and reluctantly accepts the blame for the mess he’s made and wonders if he can ever come home and make things right. I see myself in a lot of this but my wife never punched me 😉
Something that hasn’t changed is your knack for memorable hooks and catchy melodies. While the instrumentals are a complete departure from your previous bands, this is still very rooted in some remarkable lyrics.
What are some of your favorite lines from the EP and why?
JC: Aw thanks so much. That is a very nice compliment. I love music so much and listen to a lot of incredible songwriters. It’s hard to feel like you’re coming up with something new, or at least saying something in a unique way. One of my favorite titles, ‘Tears in my Ears’ is something my wife said while describing crying while laying in bed. Your tears roll from your eyes down the side of your face into your ears. It’s so descriptive and pathetic it just had to be a song. I really like the visual quality of this line from that song.
“Let the late, late nights and the dawn’s early light mark my existence,
Leave the bottles and cans, and the passenger vans back in the distance”
Another one of my favorite lines is from the song ‘Around We Go’. It’s a point of self realization.
“Now my busted rear view mirror is useless,
Try to justify the reasons I do this –
Living on nostalgia for what might have been”
What part of the process of creating ‘Reset The Sun’ was the most memorable for you?
JC: The writing process is always the best part. I wrote a lot of these songs while I was traveling. Some as long ago as 2011 while I was on a “part solo tour, part family vacation” in England. It made sense to write a road record thousands of miles away from home. It’s always more exciting that way.
Is there anything specific you hoped to accomplish with this EP?
JC: I’m just happy it’s finally coming out and I hope that people give it a chance. I didn’t get into this to peruse a career or get famous. It’s always been about making music and sharing it with people to make a connection. I hope I gain a few new ears who enjoy what I do.
What can fans expect from you in the, hopefully near, future?
JC: I’m always busy with various projects. I’m hoping I can release some more music this year and find the time to get out play a little bit.
Thanks for taking the time out to answer a few questions for us at Acentric Magazine! We’re very excited about your new EP and can’t wait for the rest of the world to hear it.
JC: Thanks so much. Continue rocking.