The Sea and Cake Return to LA

Posted by Billy Gil, December 6, 2011 05:37pm | Post a Comment
The Sea and CakeChicago's The Sea and Cake are one of those bands who embody indie rock to me, as college rock staples and diehards who've been around since the '90s, take breaks when they need to and come back without the fuss of a "reunion," so to speak. Instead, they keep turning out solid-to-great records, like this year's The Moonlight Butterfly, which updates their fluid jazzy post-rock with electronic touches inspired by frontman Sam Prekop's electronic solo work. I sat down with Prekop before their show at The Troubador Dec. 6. (And if you missed it, Amoeba gave away tickets to the show - follow the Twitter for more giveaways.)

PST: After the band's hiatus in the mid-2000s, there seems to have been a renewed sense of urgency and energy and productivity to the band. Can you tell me about that, why that break may have been necessary and how the band has regrouped and proceeded?

Prekop: I did a solo record in that time, and those usually take more time than I expect. John McEntire did Tortoise stuff during that time. Archer [Prewitt] played on my solo record. But as time is escaping and by the time you get back to it it's like, oh no. ... I remember the first week or so being really difficult, but we fell pretty quickly into it after that. ... If I ever take a break where I don't make music, I don't know what that'd be like.

PST: Can you talk about the recording of The Moonlight Butterfly? What did you guys do differently on this record?

Prekop: I think we went into not feeling like we had to make a full-length record, which in our mind is 10 songs (Note: For the record, The Moonlight Butterfly stretches past half an hour in length). For whatever reason, I wanted to get it out by a certain time. We were pleased with the results and didn't leave anything off. ... It's liberating to do different kinds of stuff. Yo'ure off the hook to do whatever you want [on an EP].

PST: Is there already new material ready for another record? What can you tell me about the new material so far?

Prekop: It's not quite in the works. I'm just now starting to write stuff. ... I do have a lot of work to do. The qualities and ideas of The Moonlight Butterfly will probably rub off, particularly with "Inn Keeping." ... The ideas from the modular synth record I made (Old Punch Card) were on The Moonlight Butterfly. As a result of that, I feel like "Inn Keeping" is the sort of "new."

What has it been like to perform with bands like Broken Social Scene, who in particular have been influenced by you?

Prekop: It's interesting. Kevin [Drew] especially is a huge Sea and Cake fan and is not quiet about it. So it was quite pleasant and quite taxing after a while because it's like hanging out with a superfan 24/7. It's interesting to see them take it to an arena level. It's nice to see.