In the course of having to trudge through personal turmoil, bad feelings, and habits that aren’t ideal, Sean Moriarty pieced together his troupe The Cabin Fever. Originating from Los Angeles, The Cabin Fever creates music to relieve fears, anxiety, and depression from those who are crippled by these forces. They understand that most feel like they are outsiders, yet they are not alone. Out today, Exercise The Demon is a slow-paced EP that is haunting throughout. Elements of shoegaze and indie rock surround the darkness of the tracks.
We caught up with Morriaty recently to learn more about The Cabin Fever’s origins, how they go about creating music, and more.
How did the lineup of the band come together back in 2016?
In 2016 the lineup came together fairly effortlessly even though for years it had completely alluded me. I had a “field of dreams” moment where I decided if you build it they will come. I built my dream studio inspired by the Sound Factory in LA, where I spent some fond and formative years. I decided I wouldn’t make music alone this time. But I didn’t know anyone at the moment that was serious about it. Somehow I manifested each band member in a short amount of time. I like to tell them they didn’t exist until I thought of them. They are in my matrix and I am grateful. While building what I call “fever dream studios” I met Joel and showed him some demos, which I think he liked. I don’t really know because Joel doesn’t talk much. In fact, when it was just the 2 of us my wife names the band “The mutes” when she stopped by one day. Then I met Tripp through his cousin Ash, who was helping build the studio. And then we met Jon through Tripp and I couldn’t be happier with the team I have.
Reading about the band, you hope to relieve some of the personal issues that consume you. Dealing with fear, anxiety, and depression, how would you say music has helped?
The “Fear, Anxiety and depression” thing is a nod to Todd Solondz first film. But yes, I think at certain times we are all afflicted with these feelings and my songs act as a way for me to shed them. It’s catharsis.
Do you foresee the band’s music helpful for those who have faced the same range of emotions that you all have?
From a young age, I found solace in making music and creating something tangible in a recording. By sharing with loved ones I felt intimacy. My hope is there might be someone else whose mood is comforted by listening. It’s my own strange way of trying to give back to the universe.
At times, the band will wear animal masks to conceal their faces. What is the reasoning behind this?
The masks are open to interpretation. But for me, it’s a way to feel a little privacy while sharing and being vulnerable. It started with the rabbit because if you are listening to the cabin fever then you are going down the rabbit hole with me.
With the masks, do you look towards the animal choice as a representation of something?
Recently it’s helped me deal with certain situations if I think of people as animals. And like animals, they all exhibit certain behaviors that are wonderful and others I just can’t stand. We all wear masks. Some of them we wear on purpose for a multitude of reasons. And some we are programmed to wear from birth without even realizing it. We all pay taxes and wear clothes.
How long did the EP take to write?
I had been nightly playing some song ideas alone in my basement, but it wasn’t until I came out of a really tough period and wrote: “Exercise the demon” that it all came together rather quickly.
What was the experience like working with Husky Hoskulds within his home studio?
I have been personal friends with Husky Hoskulds since meeting him at the sound factory. We’ve shared a mutual love of many things, most importantly our love of coffee which is elevated to obsession. Husky helped us by tracking us live and helping work out the kinks in the new studio, which there are always. For most musicians tracking live is no big deal, but for me, it was monumental. I wasn’t doing it alone. We tracked the EP in a day and did all the overdubs ourselves. When we were done I brought it back and mixed it with Husky at his studio in DTLA. I’m very happy with the results and it very much captures the mood and feelings I was having.
After the first EP Enjoy Yourself, what was the primary focus you wanted to bring to Exercise The Demon?
The first EP, Enjoy Yourself, were basically my demos where I played everything. I wanted the Exercise the demon EP to be more about a group of people creating something together. We have since taken this idea a step further and self-produced and mixed the already completed follow-up EP to exercise. We plan to put out more music this year and I think it shows a great evolution of our sound. This was our garage-rock minimalist EP and we’ve since grown as people and as a band. Stay tuned…
When should we expect an LP?
I prefer the EP format for now because it allows me to always be working on and releasing new music. If I waited to release an LP these days, I worry I could get tunnel vision and you would never hear from me again!
What are the plans for upcoming shows? Any touring?
We’ve played a couple shows recently but we have no plans for touring as of now. But we’re always interested in shows so hit us up, please!
The Cabin Fever’s Exercise The Demo EP is out now.
For more on the band: