Compass & Cavern is a three-piece alternative rock band from Denver, CO.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Chris Fruci - vocals, keyboards, ukulele, and shaker
Will Timbers - vocals and guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Compass & Cavern? How long has the band been around?
Chris and Will were in a progressive rock band called Archive Nights (formed in Nashville, moved to Denver) from 2009-2014. At the beginning of 2015, they formed Compass & Cavern and quickly jumped into creating a new sound built on alt rock and hip-hop influences. Within a year, C&C released a seven-song EP and then followed that up with a full-length album in 2017. This summer, the band is releasing several singles and touring throughout the Midwest and West.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name is derived from two concepts that inspired Chris and Will during the band’s formation. “Compass” comes from “don’t confuse the map with the territory,” and “Cavern” comes from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Both deal with the idea of reality and the role our individual perspective plays in recognizing / constructing the world around us. The ampersand was inspired by general rules of grammar and a need to give people something slightly less philosophical to hold onto. The name has been the same since the start because changing all social media handles is a hassle! And the band still likes the name.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
There is a lot of collaboration, but Will is the main songwriter. Will typically has a philosophical bent to his songwriting, which should come as no surprise if you read the description of the band name. The lyrical themes range from love and relationships to humanity-ending dangers like climate change and artificial intelligence to broad spiritual musings. There will certainly be new song topics over time, but the band will likely keep coming back to their favorites.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Right now, C&C is pretty into Crash Kings, The Dear Hunter, Panic! At The Disco, Sara Bareilles, The Wrecks, Creature Canopy, Young the Giant, and Weezer. It’s not always clear how those musical tastes affect the songwriting, but some influence is obvious.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
The formation of Compass & Cavern was inspired musically by twenty one pilots and B.o.B more than anything else. For live shows, they were inspired by high-energy performers like twenty one pilots, New Politics, and Mutemath.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
To prepare for a show, the band always goes through a vocal warmup which typically happens in the touring vehicle outside of the venue. The warmup concludes with a sing-through of Weezer’s epic song, “Perfect Situation,” which sits right in the sweet spot of Chris and Will’s vocal ranges. Plus, it gets them amped up.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
The biggest highlight of the band’s career so far was in 2017 when they got 3rd place in 93.3 KTCL’s Big Gig competition. Fan voting for their song, “Good Enough,” earned them a set on the outdoor locals stage at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Of bands on the road today, Foo Fighters, twenty one pilots, and The Wrecks would be dream-come-true touring partners. All three bands put on incredible live shows and create unforgettable experiences for their fans. Fun story: Will met the band members of The Wrecks after one of their shows in Denver and they all thought he looked like Green Bay Packers legend, Aaron Rodgers. They lost their minds.
Looking to the past, touring with The Beatles would have been crazy for obvious reasons. Hanging with John, Paul, George, and Ringo backstage…woah.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Outside of playing live shows and writing new material, the band loves filming music videos. Recently, C&C released a music video for their song, “Before It Begins,” that is absolutely mind-boggling to watch and leaves viewers asking one question…“How?” Go watch it.