Jeff Caudill is the former singer-songwriter for famous 90's emo/punk rock band, Gameface. Since the band's end in 2003, Jeff spent some time on his own before starting a series of other projects, mostly consisting of solo work. Ultimately, Caudill's final sound settled on an alt-country genre with emphatic elements of failed romance. His latest piece, 'Reset the Sun' is a compilation of six songs that is a narrative from an outside perspective - it's release is set for April 21st.
"Reset the Sun" is vastly different than your work in Gameface and you've clearly grown musically throughout the years, what sparked that first leap from your work with Gameface to "Here's What You Should Do"?
I'm always writing songs. It's kind of how I deal with everything. When Gameface ended in 2003, I saw the breakup as an opportunity to make a different kind of record. I didn't know exactly what it was going to sound like because I didn't have a band. I just had songs. I knew I didn't want to play pop punk for the rest of my life so I just did what felt natural at the time and it was good for me to stay busy. I've always been into jangly, folky, college rock as they used to call it. A friend of mine but me together with producer/rhythm Robbie Rist who totally comes from that world so it was a really good match.
Do you feel that creating music of varying genres allows you to express different thoughts and emotions?
I guess I've never been shy about my thoughts and emotions in my songs. I think the writing is the same for the most part but I feel like I can go to places that are a little more tender with just an acoustic guitar.
Are there other genres that you enjoy writing in? Have you noticed anything universal about writing for each style?
I think guitar based rock music is pretty much my wheelhouse. There's a lot room to move within that but it I don't see myself doing anything too far outside. I grew up listening to classic rock radio, singer/songwriters of the 70s, new wave and punk in the 80s (ok, maybe a little bit of metal too) etc... It's just the way I was programmed.
"Reset the Sun" is romantically melancholic, what inspired such strong emotions... How does "Reset the Sun" differ from anything you've written previously?
The idea came from a song I was asked to write for a movie many years ago. I'd grown used to only writing about my own life. So 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. 'Reset The Sun' is a concept album. It's a story about about struggling with forgiveness and starting over - and the idea that no matter how far away you go, you can always come back.
You have a massively dedicated fan base that's remained loyal to you as an artist and not just the works you do - what do you accredit their allegiance to?
Well I think that's generous to say. I think a have a very small, but dedicated group of fans around the world. I think a lot of this has to do with growing up in the post-punk-pop-emo-whatever scene of the early 90s. It was a magical time for music and the perfect time to be a young person finding your way in the world. Gameface connected with a lot of kids in that scene because we were honest and fun and relatable. I've always tried to put myself out there and be relatable as possible. That's the bonding thing about the music - it makes you feel like you're not the only one who feels the way you do. As I've grown up up, so have my songs and so has my audience. The audience is admittedly much smaller today than it was 20 years ago but that was never the goal.
As you gear up for the release of "Reset the Sun" on April 21st, what are you feelings? Are you getting ready for a new tour or a full-length album?
I am really happy that 'Reset The Sun' is an official Record Store Day release. I encourage everyone to go out and pick it up on vinyl. It's the way it was meant to be heard. Of course the record comes with a download code so you can take it anywhere. It's good driving music. Plan a road trip. I'm hoping to hit the road a bit this spring/summer too.