According to Cake frontman John McCrea, the alt-rock group spent the six years between 2004 effort "Pressure Chief" and forthcoming album "Showroom of Compassion" eliminating the middleman. Plenty of bands decide to self-produce their music and forgo the major-label route; far fewer acts go so far as to build their own solar-powered recording studio.
"Instead of going to a fancy recording studio and spending $300 an hour, we decided to get a house and some recording equipment," says McCrea, who spent nearly five years constructing the Sacramento, Calif., building with his bandmates. "It's something that we felt right about, and it really didn't cost that much. Thanks to the world recession that we're in, it really is a good time to go solar."
Cake has been resisting rock band clichés since forming in 1991, with a sound marked by unusual songwriting, patches of brass and McCrea's speak-sing vocal delivery. "Showroom," the group's sixth album that's due Jan. 11, 2011, is a predictably offbeat offering, but it also represents a new business endeavor for the band. The four-piece will release the set on its own imprint, Upbeat Records, and will take a DIY approach to showing people that the band is still relevant six years after its last release.