Thursday, April 26, 2007

All Access Magazine - Interview with The Cauze

*** Note!

We will be shooting The Cauze, This coming Sat. Night at The Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, Ca. 04/28/07 - Click here to view our Shoot Schedule and get tickets for $15.00 bucks online only!

Applause for The Cauze
Local Rockers Aim for Best Effect!
By Rob Swick & Debra Stocker

The circle is now complete for LA-based rockers The Cauze, a hard commercial rock band with a melodic style. Finishing up a photo shoot, they had a few minutes to talk with All Access Magazine.

The band’s founder, Jeff Ellis, is also the lead vocalist and guitarist. Ellis is joined by Joel Ellis – rhythm guitarist and back-up vocals, Kevin Crider – bassist and back-up vocals, and newest member Bobby Richards, whose thunderous pounding on drums completes their current lineup. Wasting no time, The Cauze has been busy putting the final touches on their first self-titled CD, which is set for release this summer, 2007!

First, thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time, guys. Now let’s get down to it. How many tracks will there be on your new CD?

Jeff: We have 13 originals; we’ll probably put 8 to 10 on the CD that we feel good about.

What’s in the future for The Cauze, besides the obvious — hard work and dedication?

Jeff: The future: Lots of shows! How about Staples Center? And we’d also take the Gibson Amphitheater, too, any day!

On that note, what kind of dates are you guys playing right now?

Jeff: We shoot for Friday and Saturday nights usually. The Pitcher House in Hermosa Beach is a great place for us to do a warm-up show. We do kind of an original/cover night there, mixing in cover songs that we grew up with, such as Dokken, UFO and some Judas Priest with our originals. It’s fun!

That really relates to your promo CD release that features 3 tracks, on which we hear some “heritage” elements, maybe from the ‘80s hard-rock days. Has anybody ever referred to you as an ‘80s-type rock band?

Jeff: Yes, people have said we sound like we’re kind of along the lines of commercial rock, as opposed to Y&T, let’s say. Some people have said that my lead vocals have the tones of Paul Stanley of KISS.

Bobby: People also appreciate the band because of the vocal harmonies. Bands don’t harmonize anymore. It’s a good thing to be able to harmonize, and be able to pull it off live.

Do you also sing, Bobby?

Bobby: No, I just bang the beat, keeping it together in the background, and save my singing for the shower, where it belongs!

Jeff, you’ve said that your lead vocals and your ability to harmonize probably came naturally from your church days and your prior band experiences, so we’ll probably get a lot of that solid, soulful singing on the new release, right?

Jeff: Oh, yeah.

So who would you say are your biggest influences?

Jeff: My influences are bands like Journey, and guitarists like Neil Schon and Michael Schenker. I learned how to play and how to bend strings by listening to Michael Schenker’s vibrato, growing up. We’ve been told that our three-part harmonies, live, remind people of Stryper’s vocals.

How about Extreme?

Jeff: I’d say that Extreme is probably more on the progressive-funk side than us, while we’re more melodic and commercial. That’s the thing with this band: We can pull off a metal tune and a fast commercial hard-rock tune, and go straight to a ballad that people wouldn’t even suspect us of doing. Diversity – I think that’s what separates us, to be able to go from one extreme to another, and be more versatile than other bands that are going to do just straight metal songs or punk songs. We have a lot of dynamics.

Do you have a favorite club that’s been particularly good to you, or that you favor for the vibe?

Jeff: As I said, I look forward to playing the Pitcher House, because it’s more of a casual setting. It’s a local pub, about 200 capacity, but the atmosphere there is really cool and relaxed. It’s a great warm-up venue. But my favorite place to play would be the Galaxy in Santa Ana. The sound there is great, and it’s a nice venue holding 1100 or 1200 people, and the ambience about the place makes it great. When you get onto the Sunset Strip, The Whisky and the other clubs, it seems so rushed. You’re on and off stage, you’re pushing everything, you don’t have a lot of time to warm up, and the sound’s not always great. I’d say that the Galaxy Theater is one of my most favorite places to play.

Is the Galaxy where you’ve planned your CD release party?

Bobby: Not sure yet... maybe. Anything is possible... why not the Staples Center!

Kevin, what’s your take on today’s rock scene, compared to a few years ago?

Kevin: Here in L.A., with a lot of the bands that I go to see on the Strip, it’s very noisy, with a lot of growling vocals. And that’s what separates us: We’ve got a lot of melodic vocals, a lot of harmonies and dynamics, not what you really expect to hear on the Strip. What we’ve seen lately is a lot more noise, and a different quality of music. There’s not a lot of melodic music anymore.

So give it to us straight: Can we safely say that your CD won’t have a lot of growls or “screamo” singing?

Jeff: No, the screams will only be coming from the females in the front row at our shows!

Do you plan to follow up your CD release with a video? We’ve heard talk about a certain upcoming video production in the works...?

Jeff: It’s in the making too, and is basically going to be a DVD about how the band got started. How we brought the new members into the band, the places that we’ve performed, the people that we meet, and the stuff that we’re doing with All Access Magazine, all rolled up into a complete circle. Our fans will be able to shout out a few words about their feelings on The Cauze too!

Where and when will your CD be available?

Jeff: We are aiming for this summer and plan to have it available on our website at, CD Baby, NewArtistOnline and wherever we can. We have a 3-song demo now we are shopping around to get a distribution deal. We would like to distribute it overseas, and of course then get the band over there to tour!

When you say “overseas,” where specifically do you mean?

Jeff: We’re thinking Europe — the U.K., Germany, Sweden, and so forth, with all the big festivals they have over there.

What are The Cauze’s instruments of choice?

Jeff: My Fender Stratocaster. Joel: My Les Paul. Kevin: An Olympic bass. Bobby: I’m the guy in Venice with the boxes and the bucket, ha-ha! But other than that, I use DWs, Drum Workshop drums.

Any endorsements for the band?

Jeff: Right now, we’ve got a couple of online possibilities that we’ve been working on. Ernie Ball wants to do an endorsement deal, and so does B.C. Rich. Bobby has a drumstick endorsement with Silver Fox Percussion.

Ernie Ball would be an interesting option. They are tied into all kinds of events and tours, not to mention the obvious music stores. Doesn’t he do that Battle of the Bands? Would you guys be a part of that?

Jeff: Heck yeah. We’d jump into any Battle of the Bands! Bring it on! To get up onstage with any band, to show them, “This is what we’ve got,” to say to the people, “You be the judge” - go ahead, put us on stage!

Jeff, as a lead singer, are there any exercises or any particular care you take to maintain your voice?

Jeff: Yes, I use honey, hot tea, and drink a lot of water, combined with a lot of vocal warm-ups before we play.

So you don’t tear up the Sunset Strip the night before, pillage and smoke all kinds of cigarettes?

Joel: No. Once you become a rock star you can do that, and there’s the difference, because we’re still trying!

Kevin, refresh our memory please. Where did you hail from originally?

Kevin: I’m from the San Francisco Bay area, and I spent six years in the Seattle area, rockin’ up there, and this is important for me, as far as my movement goes. I played the most gigs up north, and saw the scene die up there as well. I wrote a book before I moved up there [Seattle], called “Where Have All the Rock Clubs Gone?” The scene was dying in the Bay Area, so I moved up to Seattle, but it was all changing to casinos. You had to have female singers, horn sections, and that was veering away from the rock scene, so I said, “That’s it, I’m on my way to L.A.!”

How long ago was that?

Kevin: Two years ago.

How did the book do?

Kevin: Good! Everybody liked it.

Bobby, it seems you said something about learning to play with Vinny Appice?

Bobby: Yes. I have been playing drums a long time, but after I was honored to meet him, I did recently take lessons with him for about eight months. Vinny gave me a few good tips and pointers, which have definitely helped a whole lot. I’m a Jersey boy born and raised, graduated high school with Bon Jovi and Skid Row. We were in junior high school battles of the bands, playing “Smoke on the Water” and “Stairway to Heaven,” and I had the honor of playing with all of them. Then I came out here and hooked up with Chris Holmes of WASP, which was a lot of fun.

Jeff, any big names that you’ve played with, any particularly cherished memories? And how did you learn to play guitar?

Jeff: Well, back in the day, in high school, when I first started playing, the other guitar player in my band was Rob Hotchkiss, founding member of Train. I played for many years with him in high school, and I also gave guitar lessons to the guy who played bass in Train. Those are fond memories, but actually the best memories I have are playing with The Cauze, and playing with the national acts we’ve worked with, like Y&T and Steve Pearcy. I was basically self-taught, learned to play by ear and never took a lesson in my life. I’ve been playing for 25 years.


Joel: I’ve been playing about 20 years, and I actually took lessons for quite a while from a couple of good L.A. guitar players.


Kevin: I’ve been performing for about 28 years, am self-taught, and can’t read a musical note.

Now, with regard to self-promotion, of course you have your own website,, MySpace, etc. What other marketing efforts are you currently involved with?

Jeff: All of those goodies, and t-shirts, and of course we’re always looking for Street Team help, so if any of you cute-looking girls out there have a couple of hours you wanna donate, log on to the website, and we’ll set you up with some stickers and some promo CDs, and you can hit the street, ladies!

Bobby: The band is willing to do interviews anytime. Internet, phone, radio, text message... just kidding! Seriously, we love it, love it all, so bring it on!

You have a big show coming up, right?

Jeff: Yes, we are the supporting act for Y&T, Sat. April 28th at the Galaxy Theater. And the week before, Saturday April 21, we perform at the 29 Palms Marines Base, supporting the US troops. Then we headline The Pitcher House in Hermosa Beach that very night. That’s going to be one crazy day of rock n’ roll!

But if any of our San Fernando Valley fans want to catch us, we’re also supporting a charity event for Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, Saturday April 7th at Harpers Bar & Grille. Again, we are the supporting act for headliners and members of HEAVEN and EARTH (Stuart Smith, Richie Onori and Keith St. John), THUNDHERSTRUCK (Dyna Shirasaki, Andrea Zermeno and Stephanie Leigh). This event, “The Bunny Hop,” starts at 7 PM, followed by an all-day Rock-N-Roll car show! The best deal is, it’s “all ages,” so hop on over to Harpers and hang out with us a bit. It’s for a great cause!

So the future looks pretty bright for The Cauze?

Bobby: Yes. Opening up for Nickelback or Bon Jovi would be nice too. We’re working on it.

Jeff: But first things first, like finding the right people for the band. Now we feel we’ve got the right folks with the right state of mind, with the right dedication, and “The Circle Is Complete.” We all enjoy playing the music we’re playing, and that’s what we’re in it for — we’re not here to sell out, and we can’t write anything that doesn’t come from our hearts!

Do you have any final shout-outs or words of advice for our local readers, music fans, or maybe the rocker kids in high school that are just now learning about what you do?

Bobby: As long as we’ve been doing this, the message has been, “Don’t give up. Keep going, if this is what you love and it’s in your heart.”

Jeff: On the same subject, keep writing, keep playing what you want to play. We have fans who are 40 and fans who are 14, and I think it’s all coming around again. As commercial as our music is, you can’t listen to it and say it’s bad. Anyway, stick to your guns and stay true to what you believe in.

Well, it’s been great talking with The Cauze, and we’re looking forward to a great show at the Galaxy on April 28th. You also take bookings through your website, right?

Jeff: You got it.

Again, congrats to The Cauze on your debut album release. It’s been a good talk with you all and thank you for your time, gentlemen. Keep up the good work, as AAM will be watching your progress! Right on and Rock on!
Manager: Concetta Ellis (626) 815-2808

Source: All Access Magazine Online

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