Interview: A Conversation with Caro

“This band is one that wants to evolve” – Adam Pardey

“On tour we carry R. Kelly’s ‘Trapped In The Closet’ around with us!” singer/guitarist Adam Pardey tells me in Grand Daddy’s Diner on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Along with drummer Bryn Jenkins, Caro areminutes from finishing their Neighbourhood Festival slot – another one to tick off from the Leeds trio’s extensive list of tour dates throughout the coming weeks. “It’s in its packaging unopened, and we’ve never watched it, but become our mascot!”

The first thing that’s obvious is that Caro are a man down – a result of bassist Andrew Thompson’s recent skateboarding accident. “He’s bummed out about missing the show, but he’s alright!” Pardey laughs. “We were staying on a huge hill in Great Gaddesden, as ’cause we bring skateboards with us on tour, Andy was like ‘Hey – look at that hill, let’s do it!’. We start going down, I turn around at the bottom, and Andy’s flat out on the floor. He’d slammed his hand into the ground, and his shoulder had popped straight out. But he got some laughing gas, so he was happy! He sounded like Barry White on it. The whole thing was really funny, actually.”

With such an intense touring schedule that’s seen them hit RivFest and support Pixx this summer, is skateboarding their favourite way to unwind? “Yeah!” Pardey grins. “Me and Andy are always trying to find skateparks – much to Bryn’s dismay!”. Jenkins laughs: “I can’t skate, so I supervise these two. I’m the parent. It’s a full time job!”

Formed back in 2015, it’s been a whirlwind ride for a trio who’s received strong support from the likes of Huw Stephens and BBC Introducing. With four singles under their belt, did they ever imagine they’d get to this point? “The goal since the start’s always been to get the music out to people – but hearing our songs on the radio is a bit surreal” Pardey notes. “They’ve been playing [latest single] ‘Eyes On The Ground’, and then playing something by Katy Perry or Taylor Swift. It’s really weird! You never picture your music alongside those huge pop stars. It’s cool to be thrust into that world, even for just a moment.”

With still no news of any upcoming E.P’s in the works, it’s fair to say that people are pining for more. “We’re not really the biggest fans of E.P’s” explains Pardey. “A lot of the time it just feels like a teaser for the coming album. I’m much more interested in doing an L.P. It takes a lot longer, obviously – but hopefully we’ll be putting something out soon.”

Securing their Gengahr support slot earlier in the year was some people’s first taste of Caro – a perfect fit in terms of both music and personality. “They were the nicest guys ever” Pardey gushes. “At the end of the tour they gave us a little ‘thank you’ card, and they gave us each a Pokemon badge. Bryn was Bulbasaur, I got Squirtle and Andy got Charmander. They were the sweetest guys! We did a bit of drunken skateboarding with them, too, outside Deaf Institute! Felix is pretty nifty on a skateboard himself, so that was pretty fun. No accidents that time, though!.”

Aside from Genaghr, who else would they love to support? “Everything Everything and Grizzly Bear” nods Jenkins. “My dream would be St. Vincent” smiles Pardey, “I love her music.”

Leeds locals through and through, there’s no doubting that Caro are loyal to their local scene, even coining fellow newbies The Golden Age of TV close friends. “There’s always a good gig on in Leeds, every night” Pardey explains. “Team Picture are really cool – they’ve got a great stage set-up for their performances. There’s so many great bands and venues around Leeds at the moment. I think we’re really lucky to have formed there”.

If they had to pick one – recording or touring? “A lot of studio time is me shouting profanities at you” Jenkins laughs to Pardey. “But there’s downsides to both. You tour constantly and get tired, and you go crazy by yourself in the studio. I think it’s fun to record though, to track your songs and mess around with them all day.” Pardey agrees: “In the long run, I’d say recording. Being in the studio at the start of the day with nothing, then a few hours later having a piece of music, is one of the best feelings. I’d definitely lean more towards that, if I could only chose one.”

After the current tour, what’s on Caro’s agenda for the rest of 2017? “More gigs!” Pardey laughs. “We like to keep busy and not sit around, twiddling our thumbs too much. We’ve done some live videos that should be coming out sometime this year.”

And what about for the rest of the band’s career? Pardey pauses for a second to think. “We want to grow, develop and change. This band is one that wants to evolve. We want to look at what we’ve done and do something different to it, and create a catalogue that spans a lot of different ways. I think multiple albums and touring the world are our ultimate goals. Hopefully we’ll be able to travel around the world, and never have to stay in one place for too long.”

With an eventful year ahead- and lots on the agenda – what’s a final thought Caro want you to know about them? “We have a playlist full of old-school bangers for when we’re on the road!” explains Jenkins “Daniel Beddingfield, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson. Pardey laughs: “We were driving for three hours once and everyone was dead quiet until Nickleback came on. Everyone started yelling out of the windows, singing along!”