Rock act Cake is in the midst of recording its untitled sixth album, tentatively due in Spring 2010, but fans won’t have to wait until then to get a taste of the new material. Fans signed up to Cake’s mailing list will be granted snippets of six different songs over the next several months that can be used as ringtones, with the featured portion described as “a hook that can stand on its own,” separate from the entire song.
“In light of recent changes in consumer expectations, I had been thinking about releasing an entire ringtone album instead of real albums,” vocalist John McCrea tells Billboard.com. “This just seemed like a good way forward to that eventual goal.”
While this method of generating some pre-release buzz is surely innovative, Cake has also taken steps to record this new album with 100% solar power and converted their Sacramento based studio to reflect this desire. Already named one of Billboard’s 10 “greenest” bands, the group’s new material — including writing, rehearsing and recording — is happening under these conditions. McCrea says the album is close to being finished and that they’ve added a handful of new acoustic instruments into the band’s sound that adds what he describes as a “warmth to the mix.”
Cake’s solar powered studio is also a revenue stream: the extra electricity that doesn’t end up being used by the band is actually purchased by the City of Sacramento’s public works, the group is now receiving small checks at the end of each month for the excess wattage. “As the value of recorded music descends into near nothing, we have the added security of knowing there will be a ten or twenty dollar check coming in each month.”
While Cake’s last album of new material was 2004’s “Pressure Chief,” the band hasn’t been entirely inactive. 2007 saw the release of “B-Sides and Rarities,” a compilation of selected outtakes, and its music has recently been featured as the theme song to the NBC show “Chuck” as well as in the films “I Love You, Man” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” This past June, the band reissued its debut album, 1994’s “Motorcade of Generosity,” as an enhanced CD and on 180 gram vinyl.
The band will take time away from recording to play a New Years Eve show at Seattle’s Moore Theater. Fans can sign up for the ringtone previews at Cakemusic.com.