Evan Featherstone (vocals and guitar) and Katie Thomas (Bass) are a couple of passionate and experienced musicians whose marital status was revealed when this examiner asked Featherstone how they decided to join efforts to create their own band. Thomas interjected with the comment, " Evan, perhaps we should mention that we are married." Indeed love struck their guitar and heart chords simultaneously. In fact, Thomas described that she had once met Featherstone years before, but the next time they met, she was not wearing her contact lenses, and did not recognize him. Jokes aside, the married musicians share Baltimore with their Boston Terrier, Addy. According to Featherstone, it is common for artists to leave Washington DC these days, and move to Baltimore or Brooklyn (NYC). Fortunately, the couple found a home in Baltimore for their new band The Cedar Fires. An Indie Pop music duo who turned their experiences in Washington DC as music members of the Washington DC Social Club and the Five Fours, into a fruitful union where their musical sounds are both melodic and deep. This band will play this Sunday at the Golden West Cafe in Hampden, as part of a series of concerts leading up to the release of their acoustic (Cathedral) and electric EPs in mid November and January respectively. Their EP The Rocket and The Fire was recorded in a studio outside of Washington DC, but they plan to record in Baltimore. This examiner had the chance to learn first hand from the band members and ask them about their experiences.
Why did you call yourselves the Cedar Fires?
EF- Good question, with a not so easy answer. The Cedar Fire was the name given to the largest wildfire in California history, that started in Fall 2003. Supposedly the fire was started by a lost hunter who thought it would help his chances of being found. The fire ended up covering something like 270,000 acres. I remember reading about this around the time the band was forming, and I thought it was a super compelling story. Add in a crazy dream or two, and the story ended up influencing the name of our first EP, as well as some of the lyrics on the record. Then it became the band name, but in the plural version. So that's the short explanation.
The Cedar Fires met at the Black Cat in Washington DC when Katie Thomas was part of the Five Fours. The all female band dissolved about the same time that Evan's band the Social Club also disbanded. These two chord struck lovers started rehearsing in garages, and in 2011 The Cedar Fires was born.
What influenced you to play in a band and when did you know you wanted to play in one?
KT- I wanted to play in a band since high school. I wanted to play an instrument that would be unusual for a girl to play. The bass was an instrument that not many girls played. I had played the piano, composed music and I was also a Tori Amos fan. However it was difficult to tour with a piano and playing the bass makes it easier to move on stage.
EF- I knew I wanted to play in a band when I was 10. I was playing with my brother (Jared Featherstone), who plays the piano, and who has been playing the keys in our band. I am influenced by Pulp, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Iron Maden, Sprinkler, and Guided by Voices.
This independent band has a unique softness, gentleness, and uplifting presence. The DC expats, as they like to address themselves, managed to find Baltimore as a place where there is a thriving community of artists that can live at affordable prices. They added that there are many venues such as the Wind-Up Space or spring festivals in Baltimore, that they find themselves drawn to play. For now, they have a tour planned to start in January, where they will play in Philadelphia, New York, among other cities. Their EP will be available in Itunes, and Amazon later on this month.