November 15, 2001

Interview With Cake

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On Saturday, November 10, a large crowd at Cornell’s Barton Hall came face to face with one of the most unusual bills to hit the campus in quite a while. From the grungy pop of Spoon, through the bizarrely fun hip-hop stage show of Rahzel, and culminating in the grand climax of Cake’s quirky alt-rock jams, there was something for everyone.

Cake, the evening’s biggest draw, first hit the bigtime with a song from their second album, Fashion Nugget. The now-ubiquitous “The Distance,” a unique alt-rock anthem that stood out from the rest of the pack on alternative rock radio circa 1996, was the first track to catapult the band above the radar. They followed that success in 1998 with “Never There,” a similarly quirky and fun track from Prolonging the Magic, and they are currently barraging MTV and rock radio with the single “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” from their latest offering, Comfort Eagle.

Before the show on Saturday, daze had the opportunity to sit down and chat with two members of Cake: new drummer Pete McNeal and guitarist Xan McCurdy. We talked about the perks of touring, the beauty of Ithaca, and preparing meals for the Frugal Gourmet.

Daze: So how has the tour been so far?

Pete McNeal: The tour’s been surprisingly good. I was expecting an impact on attendance because of, uh … the events in the world, but we’ve had a really great showing, enthusiastic audiences and filled houses, and it’s been really exciting. It’s been a good turnout of people.

D: Have you been touring with both Spoon and Rahzel the whole time?

PM: Not Rahzel, Rahzel is like