Beartooth: At home with Caleb
We head to Ohio with the enigmatic frontman
"Nobody cares about the fact I’m in a band,” says Caleb Shomo from his house, which is located in a cul-de-sac in a typically American suburb of Columbus, Ohio. It’s a world away from the 23-year-old’s other life as the brainchild behind – and frontman of – Beartooth. Because here, where he lives with his wife and dog, things are pretty much exactly as they always were.
“It’s a 15-minute drive to my parents’ house where I grew up,” Caleb explains. “I have the same friends I’ve always had, and the thing that’s nice is it’s like nothing’s changed at all. We all just hang out. It’s always been the same for the last however long we’ve known each other. It’s great to have a home and a place where none of that really matters.”
Of course, as much as Caleb is comfortable with the idea of suburban anonymity – he’s been in this house for about a year and a half – it’s impossible to ignore what’s happening to Beartooth at the moment. Formed while still in Attack Attack!, the project became Caleb’s main preoccupation after he left that band because of his struggles with depression. It was that which inspired the majority of Beartooth’s 2014 debut album, Disgusting. Recorded in the basement of his previous house and written and played entirely by Caleb himself, its combination of visceral aggression, self-loathing and brutal honesty soon found Beartooth a loyal fanbase, one that helped that record hit Number 48 on America’s Billboard 200 chart. As the album, and two years of touring it, increased their name recognition, big opportunities began to present themselves, and last October, the band – currently completed by lead guitarist Taylor Lumley, rhythm guitarist Kamron Bradbury, bassist Oshie Bichar and touring drummer Connor Denis – supported Slipknot on a string of US arena dates.
“That was extremely surreal,” remembers Caleb. “We’re playing giant arenas every day and there’s all these green rooms and we’re in a bus, so to come back home here and sit down on the couch and just watch TV, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, did that really just happen?’ It’s pretty nuts.”