CAKE has been touring and recording for more than two decades now without ever really getting pinned down to one particular sound or genre along the way. Their most recent album,Showroom of Compassion, debuted at the top of the Billboard charts – a first for the band. They’re currently touring the west coast festival circuit this summer before taking the stage at Cincinnati’s Bunbury Music Festival on Saturday, July 13th. Vincent DiFiore – CAKE’s trumpeter, keyboardist, and auxiliary percussionist – recently took some time out to discuss the band’s label, cover songs and the undeniable allure of the Queen City with us.
CincyMusic.com: 2011’s Showroom of Compassion was your last full-length release. Do you see any studio time in your near future?
Vincent DiFiore: I sure hope so. It looks like it. I know we are songwriting and gathering momentum.
CM: Speaking of studio time, you released your most recent album via your own indie label - Upbeat Records - following in the footsteps of other great acts such as Wilco, RJD2 and Trail of Dead. Do you regret not going down this path earlier?
VD: Being a part of Capricorn Records and Columbia Records was a necessary education. We started doing things on our own at the right time for us.
CM: CAKE can be viewed as an eclectic taste (despite some hits along the way) due to your genre shifts from song to song. Do you think this has helped shape your fan base into what it is today? Do you think your fans have a slightly better ear than the average fan because of this?
VD: Maybe that's true. I really hadn't thought of it that way. I think you have made a very good point.
CM: John is really into tilling the soil, the band’s studio is solar powered, your last album was sold in a 100% recyclable paper holder … are you trying to set an example for fans and the public at large, or simply doing the right thing because its, well, the right thing?
VD: When we know the truth of our status as consumers and creators, and what those activities are doing to the cleanliness of our environment, it does force us to make specific choices.
CM: Your tracks have been featured on The Simpsons, included in some pretty memorable soundtracks (Orange County, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and even been nominated for a VMA. Which of these pop culture “seals of approval” carries the most weight in your opinion (if any)?
VD: Our song "Frank Sinatra" being used in a season finale of The Sopranos was very significant to us.
CM: You’ve been known to play a few covers here and there. Given your varying influences, is there a song you’d love to play at a live show that you just haven’t had the chance to?
VD: We've been working on some Led Zeppelin covers lately. Not sure where those will go… perhaps will be only for our own satisfaction at sound checks.
CM: You’ve played alongside Modest Mouse, Tegan and Sara and Built to Spill just to name a few. What are a few bands you would go out of your way to see play live?
VD: We all would love to see AC/DC again.
CM: What’s your favorite album thus far in 2013? What are a few releases you’re looking forward to for the second half of the year? We need your opinion here … we can’t think for ourselves.
VD: The new album from Temper Trap is pretty damn solid.
CM: You’re set to play Bunbury in July. In the past, you’ve played Cincinnati shows at venues like the Aronoff Center and Bogart’s. Is the Queen City a locale you’ll make an effort to hit at least once every tour?
VD: Oh, definitely. Cincinnati is a must stop for us.
CM: Is there anything you guys have to do when you visit Cincinnati? The answer can be non-chili based.
VD: Your classical statues and fountains are amazing. Last time we arrived in Cincinnati it was a travel day...no show that night. As the tour bus rolled in there were baseball fans walking toward the stadium. I jumped out of the bus and took in a very enjoyable afternoon game. The fancy riverboat erupted like a cannon after a home-run I believe.