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"I write songs about witches and magic and talking cats" -Tadoma's Caleb Frey

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

by Scott Roos

photos by Scott Roos

Born and raised in Anaheim, Saskatchewan, a small community in close proximity to Humboldt, Tadoma frontman Caleb Frey credits punk rock with giving him a sense of community and belonging. Humboldt’s punk scene, when Frey was a youngster, was indeed the stuff of legend. The town was caught up in a sort of bizarre microcosm where at any given time there was a laundry list of local bands you could depend on to put up a raging, proper, punk rock show. It got to a point where many quality touring acts were putting the community on their bucket lists. Groups like DOA, The Dayglo Abortions, SNFU and many more, all performed in Humboldt at one time or another.

"At the time, a big part of it was the community,” reminisces Frey of the storied Humboldt scene of the 90’s and early 2000’s, “Seeing other people that are interested in the same things I was. Not feeling so alienated. Just realizing that these sounds are being made right next to me. I didn't have to be compliant with the things everyone is showing me. I can go out and be my own person and like my own things and these people like it too and that's a very positive feeling."

Frey is now a welder by profession but the influence of his early punk rock upbringing still runs deep. Tadoma, a horror-punk outfit that he fronts and plays guitar in, allows him to tap into those roots that run all the way back to those carefree days in Humboldt. Sonically, with the help of Corri Barnes (drums), Jason McCord (guitar/vocals), and Jeff McCord (bass), the group presents as hardcore punk, with a twist of NOFX or Bad Religion riffage, and a Hetfield-esque snarl in the vocals. Thematically, Tadoma presents as horror-punk in the same vein as the Misfits.

“My songs are just kind of like spooky stories…. I write songs about witches and magic and talking cats. It's different things but I try to take that apple and dip it in some sort of other candy so it's digestible as rock n roll….,” Frey tells NSMZ, "I'm a horror guy. I'm a big horror fan - a horrorhead. So most of the stuff I write is kind of on the spooky side. My goal as a songwriter is to take philosophy and horror and sexuality and inuendo and roll them into this rock n roll package."

Tadoma is getting set to return to Prince Albert to play a show at the Spice Trail. They were last in the city playing as support for dad-punk act Driveway Legends. This time they will be supporting 66aces, who also have dipped their toes in the turgid waters of the Humboldt punk scene in the past (in fact they were major players in that scene). Frey is looking forward to coming back to P.A. to perform. They went over well last time, playing a sold out show. Hopefully this time around will be more of the same.

"I thought (last time in P.A.) was great. Everybody was so nice. We were playing songs to people who hadn't heard them. Showing somebody something that they like is always a good feeling. The fact that it could be something I created - it feels good. It feels great," Frey says.

The show with 66aces is set for Saturday, July 29th. Advance tickets can be purchased at Inspired Vapor, Moth Vintage and The Spice Trail. Cost is $15. Tickets will also be available at the door.

301 views2 comments


Let’s not forget Humboldt‘s very first punk/hardcore bands Sic Sic Sic……. Mistreated Youth…… NHR Nasty Humboldt Rumour 2 of which I was frontman for!!! Long Live Hardcore

Ron Johansen
Ron Johansen
Jul 24, 2023
Replying to

100% man. Sounds like it was a great scene.

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