Congrats to No Cave, The Deli KC’s May Artist of the Month! Having been a band for slightly over a year, No Cave has already made strides acrossLawrence with its groove-based psychedelic jazz rock sound. Just last month, the band beat out seven other semi-finalists in KJHK’s Farmer’s Ball competition. We talk with frontman and guitarist Ross Williams a bit more about the project.
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
Williams: Dark Bandicoot Jazz.
The Deli: Give me some background on No Cave. How did the band come to be?
Williams: No Cave started a little over a year ago at this house James (Thomblinson) and I used to live at about 15 minutes west of Lawrence. We had about 80 acres of land, a 5-bedroom house, and a converted wood shop we used as a rehearsal/recording space and as a DIY venue. James and I had been having weird krautrock jams regularly for about 6 months before I asked Nick (Frederickson) to come over and jam. We knew immediately we were a band. I recorded our first jam! It didn’t just feel good, it sounded good too. Just recently we have added a member (Joel Stratton) to play bass with us, while James is going to move to synth.
The Deli: What have been your biggest accomplishments as a band?
Williams: We won this battle of the bands sponsored by KU a few weeks ago called Farmer’s Ball. That was big for us because it exposed us to the students of KU and the crowd of people who won’t come out for a show that starts at 11 pm. We also won a big cash prize, which is great for us. And you know, we won this reader’s poll! We found about this right after we won Farmer’s Ball, so I would say we got some momentum in the month of April from multiple sources.
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting?
Williams: We do a lot of writing together, so the camaraderie of hanging out with your best friends trying to have fun but think critically together and create something greater than the sum of its parts. There is so much instability in the world,; ust having friends that are on the same wavelength as you can make a huge difference in how you perceive your place in it all.
The Deli: You recently released your first EP, Eyes Brighter Then the Sun, in early 2015. What can we expect?
Williams: It’s 4 songs and about 20 minutes. We recorded it live as a band, and I mixed it and added some overdubs afterwards. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we did it all ourselves and made a recording that is of respectable quality. Stylistically, it’s rock and roll with the aforementioned kraut thrown in for seasoning.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
Williams: Well, we are a local band, so it means supporting our friends and people who we like. But on a more philosophical note it means helping to grow something that is a product of its immediate environment. You’re empowering your community to be the best it can be, which benefits everyone. When you see someone you know doing something you like, you want to do it too! The more people pay attention and the more people do to support local culture the better it gets, and there’s a threshold where once a community gets enough continuous support it becomes a hotbed for talent. All it takes is the community getting together and actually interacting and helping each other for the sake of excellence.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local and non-local musicians right now?
The Deli: What goals does No Cave have for 2015, and beyond?
Williams: KANSAS CITY. That’s where we want to play. Hit us up! We will play our asses off, show up on time, and promote. Let’s book a big show with lots of people and make sure everyone leaves having had an awesome night! I think we’d like to press at least a 7” as well. We’ve got a band fund, we’ll see when we do that.
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Williams: It’s best if the high note is a leading tone, creating tension until the resolving chord is played in a lower octave.
No Cave is:
Ross Williams – vox, guitar
James Thomblison – synth, vox
Nick Frederickson – drums
Joel Stratton – bass
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.
This Emerging Artist is based in KC,
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for our KC Artist of the Month poll below!