Caleb Shomo first turned the pain of his struggle with mental health and self-image into music in 2013. Beartooth began as a living document, a diary, a journal of repressed rage and depression. Alone in his basement studio, screaming and singing, playing all the instruments, and self-producing a batch of furious but melodic songs filled with reflection and confession, the Ohio native stared into the abyss, initially with no intention of returning to the heavy music world that burned him as a teen.
A decade later, the different pieces of his body of work connect in title, sound, and spirit. As the frontman hits 30, Beartooth’s fifth album, The Surface, completes this era in 2023. Even more importantly, it kicks off a new chapter filled with surprising optimism and just as honest. Depression is a sick, disgusting, aggressive disease below the surface. Caleb stands ready to bask in the light.
Like Nine Inch Nails, Beartooth remains a one-person band in the studio. On the heels of the introductory Sick EP (2013), Disgusting (2014) produced BEARTOOTH’s first Gold single, “In Between.” Aggressive (2016) and Disease (2018) expanded on the desperation and pain, each a step closer to a balance between the blood and tears of classic recordings and the shimmer of modernity.
Rolling Stone heralded Beartooth as one of 10 Artists You Need to Know. The rabid response to Caleb’s music demonstrated how many people related to his struggle for self-acceptance. Below (2021) topped the Rock and Alternative charts and several Best Rock/Metal Albums of the Year lists. As of 2023, the Beartooth catalog boasts more than 1 billion streams across all platforms.
Beartooth began as both bomb and balm, an outright refusal to suffer in silence, weaponizing radio- ready bombast, delivering raw emotion mixed with noise-rock chaos. Other bands play the “devastating riffs and catchy hooks” game, but this music is the difference between life and death, and now, a sort of life after death while still here. The band Forbes sees “inching towards a tipping point of becoming the latest arena headliner” is now one step closer.