The “Doubt Me” video captures Beartooth in their most natural state — performing live and unleashed on their instruments with ferocious abandon.
“We all have our own struggles that we deal with quietly,” says Shomo. “Sometimes, it can be hard to explain to the people around you what you’re dealing with. What may be perceived by others as weakness is actually a battle with yourself that you know will be conquered. Being in the thick of serious change is never easy, and being brought down by those who don’t understand can add to the weight. Know that when you’re in those moments, sometimes you need to just put your head down and fight with all you have, regardless of whatever people say you’re capable of at the moment.”
Like its predecessors, “The Surface” is an intensely personal and powerful journey for singer Caleb Shomo, who has never shied away from sharing his demons in his music and with his fans. However, the front-man has turned a corner with a more optimistic outlook and demonstrates exceptional growth as both an artist and a human being through the songs that comprise the album.
“Beartooth‘s entire discography has been snapshots of my inner monologue and emotional state over the years with a recurring theme: depression and self-loathing,” says Shomo. “It’s been tough to understand why I’ve felt the way I do for so long. During the pandemic, I was faced with two distinct paths in life. One — I continue doing nothing to manage the realities of my mental health and continue down a path of self-destruction, ultimately ending in my demise. Two — choose to do the work needed to maintain a healthier relationship with myself, no matter how difficult or painful.”
He continues: “This album is the story of my beginnings in the new world I’ve created for myself. One focused on health, self-love, positivity, understanding, hard work, and most of all second chances. At the end of the day, life is short for all of us. We can’t escape the end, so why not make friends with it and live in a world focused on living a personally fulfilling life.”
“I truly believe mental health starts with a healthy relationship with one’s self,” Shomo further explains. “Self-love was something I never believed would be a part of my life. I would focus on my depression and my sadness, believing those part of me were always the most prominent in my mind. But through hard work comes results. Self-love had to be a choice; it can’t be an emotion. Emotions are fleeting and can change with a sunset or a single word. Choosing to put your own health (mentally and physically) as the highest priority in your life has been the only path I’ve found to self-love. It helped me realize what I’m capable of, how strong I am, and that progress is more important than any immediate fix to my emotions. This song is about the first moment I realized something was significantly shifting in my life.”
“The Surface” track listing:
1. The Surface
3. Doubt Me
4. The Better Me (feat. Hardy)
5. Might Love Myself
7. What’s Killing You
8. Look The Other Way
9. What Are You Waiting For
10. My New Reality
11. I Was Alive
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 front-man 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. Shomo 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 the band’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 Shomo‘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 one 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.