Five-piece indie rock outfit Deep Dark Cave may be a fresh name in Winnipeg’s music scene, but its members are far from inexperienced.
Singer Jeremy Koz and guitarist Mark Jaworski, the band’s main songwriters, have been performing together in renowned alt-rock group Floor Thirteen since 2004. While on a break after a bout of significant achievements, including overseas shows and their music popping up on The Strombo Show, the pair decided to pursue a more meaningful project – and thus Deep Dark Cave was born.
“(Floor Thirteen) was very high-energy, in-your-face rock,” Koz says. “That was so fun, but with this one we’re trying to get something that speaks to the heart a little more. This band is… talking about things that are actually relevant in people’s lives, serious subjects that people do relate to.”
For example, the band’s lead single ‘Higher’ is “about the idea that we all have a chance to turn things around - to make changes before we leave this world,” Koz says.
The band is rounded out by Darren Dujlovic on bass, Chris Sitarz on drums and Joey Moore on keys. All three are veterans of Winnipeg’s underground music scene, having performed with a number of metal, rock and hip-hop outfits.These musicians’ talents also extend beyond performance - Deep Dark Cave’s demo was recorded at Sitarz’ home studio and mixed by Moore’s company Haddonfield Productions (under which he also produces scores for TV and film).
Koz expresses appreciation for each musician’s dedication and work ethic, noting that it allows for a high level of professionalism throughout the rehearsal and recording process.
“The guys like the pace that we work at… it’s quick and efficient,” he says.
“This was the band we were looking for, we just didn’t know that we’d get exactly what we wanted and far exceed that.”
The band hasn’t played many gigs in its first year, but Koz clarifies that it was a conscious decision.
“(2015) was a lot of writing,” he says. “We didn’t want to rush it… we played small gigs when it was necessary to see how these songs sound live, how they feel live, to figure out what kind of tweaks needed to happen.”
With that process well underway, Koz is confident about showcasing the band’s music at the Uniter Fiver. He is especially delighted that the show is at The Good Will, noting that the venue is large enough to host the band’s visual accompaniment, which consists of clips from old movies curated for each song.
Moreover, he sees the showcase as an opportunity to build a steady fan base ahead of the band’s EP release (scheduled for April) and applications for summer festivals such as Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast. Deep Dark Cave’s single “Higher” is currently Manitoba Music’s Song of the Week.
While their name may invoke a sort of melancholy, Koz connects it to his and Jaworski’s vision for the group, which is anything but dour.
“We’re going to talk about subjects that matter, but we’re not trying to depress anybody,” he explains. “We try to bring a certain positivity to it… we always want to bring a light to the deep dark cave, you know?”
Hear more from Deep Dark Cave at soundcloud.com/deep-dark-cave.
Published in Volume 70, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 14, 2016)