The Sacramento native plays the keyboard and trumpet and provides vocals for the band Cake, which performed New Year’s Eve at the Warfield. Since forming in 1993, the band has had eight hits in the top 31 of Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks, including “The Distance” and “Never There.” Before they became international stars, the band got its start by playing Bay Area venues, especially in the East Bay.
You guys play all over the world but you’re from this area — how sweet is it to come back and play a show in San Francisco? It makes you remember the beginning. There’s a certain identity you feel you may have with the audience; everyone’s coming from the same place. It’s a familiar feeling.
If you could cover one song from any band, what would it be? “Hey Bulldog” from The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” album. I think we could do it.
What’s the best part about spending a few days in San Francisco? Coming from Sacramento, we’re always in awe of the big city there. The whole area from Baker Beach through Crissy Field to the piers is really nice, and North Beach is great.
Do any of your songs have a special meaning to this area? A lot of the music comes from this dichotomy in Sacramento. It’s a political center with the capitol of the state and there’s a lot of real street-level homelessness and bohemian activity.
You guys started your own label — do you see more bands doing this? When you end up owning your own record, you don’t sell as many, but no one is selling as many these days. What you sell you might as well own outright. It makes you feel more in control of your own process.