An Interview with Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave


Wesley Eisold is a legend in the hardcore scene, having been a part of definitive hardcore and noise bands such as American Nightmare/Give Up The Ghost, Some Girls, XO Skeletons, Ye Olde Maids. I first encountered his work after a friend showed me Wesley’s band American Nightmare/Give Up The Ghost, and I was instantly hooked. The music is effectively angry, fast, and noisy, while the lyrics are honest, poetic, and intelligently written. Eisold also runs Heartworm Press, an independent publishing company, and has published his own book, Deathbeds, a collection of both his released and unreleased written work from 1999 to 2007. He is currently involved with his most recent electronic project, Cold Cave. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ask him about his music, experience in Boston, and future plans.

How did you first get into hardcore music?

I loved bands like the Cure and the Smiths when I was young, in the late 80’s. Those bands led me to more underground bands that I started seeing, and from there I got more into punk and hardcore. Hardcore fit how I felt. I skated then too, so it all came together.

What does Boston/Massachusetts mean to you?

I love Boston. I’m still in love with the city I lived in when I lived there. The people, the bands, the shows. My era of Boston was 97-2003. By 2002, I was touring and then just gone, but before that, everyone there knew it was the best place to be at that time.

What are your fondest memories of the city?

Just being young and having no cares at all. The shows were everything. Music and Boston were all I cared about. The shows in amazing alternative venues, churches, halls, etc. I felt at home somewhere. These ideas are rampant with youth and pureness and I’ll never feel that way again, and that’s okay.

What was your experience with zines like?

I loved zines. i bought zines. I sold zines. Collected them, made them, traded them.

Do you have any advice for zinesters?

Go make one, it’s easy. I just started printing things I liked out, cut them up, pasted them to paper, photocopied that, and then I had my first zine.

Do you have any plans to reprint Deathbeds?

Yes, a hardcover edition this year.

How and why did you form Cold Cave?

I wanted to make music by myself and I can’t play guitars/basses/drums because of my hand. So I started making electronic music to fulfill my needs of writing and creating.

Why the new sound and the distance from hardcore?

I never just loved hardcore music. In the first AN ads, I’m wearing a Sisters t-shirt. Here we are years later…

What do you see as the main difference between your past music and your current music?

I channel anger differently. I find more similarities in the bands than differences. It’s still thematically the same, in a different format. I think when Cold Cave started, a lot of people from hardcore were skeptical or thought it was too much of a departure. Doesn’t seem like that’s the case any more. I’ve noticed more people from hardcore coming to the shows, because there is the same sentiment in the music if you liked AN. It’s all cool either way. I’m just happy to be doing this still.

What are your future plans with Cold Cave?

I’m on tour with Nine Inch Nails now in Europe for another month. After this I’ll make an album. I’m on my own schedule, doing this on my own terms. It’ll stay that way.

Watch the music video for Love Comes Close, by Cold Cave