Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
Sep 12, 2012
04:00 AMBe There
Spree Music with E. Lovria: An Interview with California Wives.
On Tuesday September 18, The Ninth Ward at Babeville welcomes up-and-coming indie-rockers California Wives as they tour in support of their critically acclaimed debut release Art History. For those of you who missed the California Wives’ most recent stop in Buffalo, this show is a definite must-see.
Music isn’t easily defined and many critics have found it difficult to pin down California Wives’ musical style, a fact which does not bother the band, according to lead vocalist/guitarist Jayson Kramer who says, “It’s exciting we can’t be defined. We’re not necessarily following a formula, so that means we must be doing something right.” The band understood, considering their influences, they would be compared to the 80s and music’s New Wave moment; however, their influences extend beyond the genre.
Kramer states, “The band is very academic about music and we enjoy blending different genres. Say we’re listening to a Prince album and we hear a riff that’s good and we think let’s do something like that. Then, maybe another member may listen to Dinosaur Jr. or Pavement and likes something he hears and says, let’s take that aspect of it and blend it with the Prince riff we heard.” The band also incorporates electronica influences (Autechre, Aphex Twin, New Order) saying it “spurred them into realizing how they could use a computer” as an instrument to enhance the sound of their songs. With Art History, Kramer hopes fans form a personal connection with it, as he did with his favorite albums. “My favorite records may not be the best produced,” he claims, “but I connected with them on a personal level.”
Kramer also credits his medical school experience as a significant force in assisting him and his band mates as they began their music career. When asked about his change in professions, Kramer reflects: “The people closest to me thought I was a bit nuts but that’s when I knew I was doing something right.” For him, what he had learned in medical school easily translated into music. “The first thing you pick up (at med school), is attention to detail and the ability to be incredibly focused. The body is complex and it’s the same thing with a song.”
The California Wives themselves are excited to return to Buffalo. Kramer called Buffalo an “unexpected gem.” They found the downtown area clean and nice, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the people. “We loved the crowd last time we played (Ninth Ward),” exclaimed Kramer. “They were so enthusiastic even though they didn’t know any of the songs.”
Audiences can expect loud, raging guitars and, per Kramer, California Wives’ drummer Joe O’Connor is incredible to watch. “He’s extremely active and he has great hair,” he jokes. “He does AC/DC-like drums and who doesn’t like AC/DC drums?”
Opening for California Wives are Searching for Dinosaurs and Breckenwood. Tickets are currently on sale for $10 at tickets.com and the Babeville Box Office.
Elizabeth Lovria is a graduate of Lake Shore Central Schools and Syracuse University. She resides in Hamburg with her husband and their daughter.