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March 21, 1997 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 21, 1997 - 9

*Cake bakes up a storm

By Colin Bartos
Daily Arts Writer
A band with originality is rare today.
A. band with originality that makes a
name for itself is even more rare. In the
sea of crapulence
*hat is popular
music, one band PR
stands out for the
fat that they have
the integrity, ability
and talent to do Sa
theirown thing and C
succeed: Cake.
In case you haven't caught the scoop
on this quintet from Sacramento, it all
began about five years ago. Guitarist
3reg Brown, vocalist John McCrea and
trumpet player Vincent di Fiore got
together and formed what is now Cake,
along with bassist Victor Damiani and
drummer Todd Roper, who were added
a couple of years later.
Cake has a very distinctive sound,
-rnding classic rock, jazz, country, hip-
hop and everything else to create their
works. It all has to do with the band's
irftpences, as Roper explained in a phone
O9rttview with The Michigan Daily.
'ol' is really influenced by ranchero
thuic and old Latin swing bands as well
Ras.il country swing bands ... Greg lis-
tdhiLto a lot of rap ... and Victor and I, we
jist listen to everything, and it sorta
c&mes across in what we play."
-Te release of Cake's debut album in
1994 was on Capricorn Records, titled
"Motorcade of Generosity." The album
combined the Cake sound with a very
low-fi production, which made the
1wecord very "AM" sounding.
"Motorcade" met with much critical
acclaim, but it did not go over like the
band wanted it to. "Some radio stations
wouldn't play 'Motorcade' because of
the fidelity." Roper said.
"t think 'Motorcade' went as far as it
could go. It sold around 60,000 or 70,000
copies and we sold a copy to just about
every music critic and every college radio
i and I think that was it' Roper said. "It
d well. We got it out to the people we


needed to and a lot of people dug it. It set
us up perfectly for 'Fashion Nugget.'
'Fashion Nugget' is really our debut as
far as the country's concerned.'
"Fashion Nugget," Cake's sophomore
release, has a much
different feel than
EV I E W their debut,
Cake although the Cake
The Majestic style still shines
through. The
rday, 9 p.m., 18+ album contains
1 (810) 645-6666 several different
styles, like the
classic rock-influenced "Dana;' the
hip-hop flavored "The Distance" and
"Nugget;" and the originality of tracks
like "Frank Sinatra" and "Open Book.'
The album has given the band a break-
through in a big way, something Roper
said they've been waiting for. "People
are catching on to it now. For a while, it
was like we were the quietest little rock
'n' roll band around and it'd be like the
Bad News Bears .... We got a lot of shit
thrown at us and people really didn't get
it. But now they seem to be getting it."
The first single, "The Distance,"
went on to become a huge hit earlier this
year, but Roper says Cake isn't going to
be playing arenas any time soon. "In rel-
ative terms, we've really broken through
to a lot of people with 'The Distance;' it
got played everywhere," Roper said.
"But, it's not like ... the band politics are
the big story like No Doubt or the
Smashing Pumpkins .... It's small time.
We're playing nice rooms now and we're
movin' up, but we're by no means as big
as some of these monster bands going
'The Distance' is different than all
the other songs on the record. It's slick,
and it's got a groove and a heavy riff'
Roper said. "We did one take in the stu-
dio and that's the one that made it on the
record. (Greg) had it all in his head.
Every part. And it was easy."
The second single, a cover of Gloria
Gaynor's disco smash, "I Will Survive,"
is doing really well right now, despite
the fact that the song sounds nothing

like the original. "We really decon-
structed that song,' Roper said.
The rest of "Fashion Nugget" covers
all different corners, which Cake can do,
according to Roper, only because "we're
a great band. We're dead serious about it.
We're not trying to pull off any quirkiness
...to get a name for ourselves"
With a near platinum album and
name recognition, what could be next
for the little band that could? "I'm fine
if we break through and sell another
million records," said Roper. "It's gonna
go platinum and that's gonna open
doors for us ... I don't give a shit about
what certain people think" like the
early supporters in Sacramento who
feel Cake has sold out completely.
So it seems Cake has made it, even
though success in the music business
lately has been marked by blueprint
"bands" like Bush, No Doubt and
Green Day. The band doesn't think
they're quite there yet, but that "you'll
hear that Cake's made it when you hear

This is cake. Yummy, yummy, yummy. The band's sound offers an array of musical foods to delight your palate.

another band come on the radio with a
trumpet and a singer who doesn't sing,
and who has a lead guitar player who
won't play chords," Roper said. "Once
the new fall lineup on TV has some sort
of sound that sounds exactly like us ...
and then we'll know."


Peace Corps Representatives will be on campus
March 24-26
Information Tables
March 24
10:00 am - 3:00 pm, Michigan Union Lobby
March 25
10:00 am - 3:00 pm, School of Education
March 26
10:00 am - 3:00 pm, School of Natural
Film and Information Session
March 26
7:00 pm, International Center

f ..' N

Friday March 28 Blind Pig
Tickets at all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge at 810-645-666.
For info, dial 313-99-MUSIC or log on to www.99music.com


attention to the
- highlights of
your reports.
Amazing full -

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