So … what about the day after Valentine’s Day? You know what we mean, right? You spend all that time being so romantic, making plans, paying for expensive dinners, eating candy, smelling roses, but then you get to the day after and then what? Well, this year, the day after Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and to beat the post-holiday hangover, here is what you do: You go see a pretty great band at Cafe Nola.
Portland’s Quiet Life is coming to Cafe Nola on Sunday and you should care. Why? Because they’ve worked with Dr. Dog and Jim James. That’s why. Oh, well, that and the fact that they are pretty radical (as evidenced from the video above). We recently caught up with the band via email to talk about what it was like to work with those heavy-hittin’ names, which Portland artists we should know about, and what we can expect from their show at Cafe Nola. Enjoy!
How and when did you guys form? Did you have any specific goals when you first got together and if so, what were they?
We’ve been a band for about 9 and 3/10 years. When we first got together, our main goal was making sure our drummer Ryan could sneak into the gigs, because he was 18 years old and we were mainly playing bars.
Have you been to Frederick before? If so, what do you think of the town? If not, what do you think of the D.C./Baltimore area?
We love Frederick. Only been once but the folks at Cafe Nola are really sweet and the food there is top-notch. I personally really like the colonial vibe of the town.
You come from Portland, which is one of the great American cities for music. What is the music scene like there? Any good bands we should know about, who we might not already know about?
You should check out Barna Howard. He’s great. There’s also Lost Cities, Jeffery Martin, PWRHAUS … so much great music. Portland is a great place to be a musician because it’s affordable. I’d live in NYC but for what I’d pay in New York for a one-bedroom, I could get a house with a hot tub, a hammock, and a golden retriever in Portland.
I see you worked with Jim James and Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog – those are two very impressive names. How did those collaborations come about and can you tell us what it was like to work with those guys?
Scott produced our upcoming new record at Dr Dog’s studio in Philly. That was one of the most enjoyable musical experiences of my life. He is a major inspiration and influence on all of us not only as musicians but as human beings in general. Jim is equally as cool and surprised us one day in the studio in Portland. Having him on our cover of that Townes tune was an honor.
The track “Housebroken Man” has around 720,000 spins on Spotify. Spotify has been in the news a lot in the past year or so because of the way they compensate artists. What’s your take on that? 720,000 is a lot of plays, and some would argue you that you aren’t getting nearly what you deserve in return.
No complaints. We will each be able to buy at least a few tacos in L.A. when that Spotify check comes in. Not sure if we’ll be able to add guacamole, though. For real though, the exposure that Spotify has given us is well worth any amount of carne asada, and we thank them for that.
What are some of your favorite cities/venues to play and why?
The Orange Peel in Asheville is always a blast. What a great town. First Avenue in Minneapolis will always be a real pleasure to play. One of our favorite small venues in the country is a place called The Press Room in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Feels like a European pub – gets real rowdy. We usually end up hanging out until 4 or 5 a.m. when we play there.
Who are some of your major influences and why?
Neil Young for his passion for cars.
Django and Jerry for their missing fingers.
What is your biggest career highlight to date and why?
Probably either touring in Alaska or playing Terminal 5 in NYC.
And finally, what can we expect from your show at Cafe Nola?
You ever seen people dance on tables before?