There are some bands that have interesting names & there’s usually some long story or unique incident how it came to fruition.. but by far one of the best names for a band that I’ve come across is, June Cleaver & The Steak Knives.. for those of you who are too young to remember the TV show, Leave it To Beaver, trust me it’s clever. So here’s my interview…
Q: So the band consists of brothers Chris and Pat Bradley..and you literally play every single instrument, do all the arrangements, editing, mixing, engineering, album artwork & shoot your music videos. Is there anything you can’t do?
A: Plenty. Balancing a checkbook, marketing, self-promotion, taxes. We’ve always produced our own music, partly out of the love for the experimentation involved in multi-tracking and also of wanting to be involved in every step of the process, but probably mostly out of necessity. We’ve been recording ourselves since we got our hands on a 4 track tape machine back in 1996. We’ve never been a traditional band that would rehearse and then pay for studio time. Maybe we’re control freaks, but we’ve never wanted to hand over the production reigns to anyone else. We’ve tried it before, but could never really find anyone who could do it quite right. However, we usually do have a trusted party master our records for us.
Q: The style of music you create really cannot be put into one or two genres..it really has so many layers & facets to it… it’s like experimental indie punk dreamlike fusion…how would you best describe the sound you are creating?
A: Actually, your description sounds pretty accurate. We’ve always had a very difficult time trying to categorize our sound. We’ve tried a few different boxes on for size, including “demented pop”, “schizophrenic ambient” and “dystopian art rock” but nothing really seems to encapsulate our overall sound completely. A very astute group of progressive rock fans (from a forum called Prog Archives http://www.progarchives.com/ had a lengthy, theoretical discussion about is on the matter about a decade ago. They finally settled on “eclectic prog” and I think that suits us. Our early music was a lot more experimental, creating mostly instrumentals. It evolved into more traditional structures over the years while retaining the same overall flavor we’ve had since the beginning.
Q: Whose idea was it for the band name?
A: Chris came up with it in a moment of deep clarity and vision. He had suggested the name for one of his bands when he was living in Florida, but they rejected it. It is at least a memorable name, and it seems that people either love it or hate it. It has conceptually been a deep well of inspiration for our visual ideas and branding.
Q: Deep Cuts & True Confessions.. good idea or bad idea? Are you running out of stories?
A: Never! But we’re always running out of time. Our focus has been on our newest project that will be both a full length album that comes with a beautifully illustrated book that seems to harken back to a time when people actually listened to records while studying the album artwork. There will be a huge amount of stories and characters to sift through. The Deep Cuts videos are fun, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry (or knives or sharpen) right now.
Q: I hear so many band similarities in your sound.. The Modern Lovers, The B-52’s, The Dead Milkmen, Talking Heads, Blitzen Trapper, The Cure.. I really could on and on but if you had to choose a few bands that you emulate sound from, who would it be?
A: It depends on the day, really. But I guess if we were to name a couple of bands that were huge influencers on us, first and foremost, we would have to acknowledge The Beatles. When we were little kids, we even started a band called The Crickets (not knowing much about Buddy Holly), where we tried to play along to Beatles’ albums and put on a few concerts for family members. Their music has been imprinted onto our DNA for years. We were also heavily influenced by The Doors, Radiohead to a degree, Frank Zappa. And then I think the most important bands that made us want to what we do would be The Residents & They Might Be Giants. And as far as what we actually sound like when all is said and done, we have heard from several varying sources that liken us to Echo and The Bunnymen, Talking Heads and King Crimson and a surprisingly long list of others.
A: How long did it take you to complete your last album, A Place Where Nobody Goes, from start to finish including album cover?
Q: Some of the songs go as far back as 2011, so about 8 years! Raising kids really got in the way. Also, our mother became sick with cancer and died in the midst of working on it – the album is dedicated to her. Since releasing that album, we’ve had a much more steady stream of musical output.
Q: For both of you, name a concert, other than your own, that you are looking forward to seeing in a post-COVID world.
Chris: a toss up between Primus covering Rush’s Farewell to the Kings album and Mr Bungle.
Pat: Lennon/Claypool Delirium or March Forth Marching Band or D D Dumbo.
Q: Where can fans buy your merch & stream your music?
A: http://cleavermusic.com We love to send people free music. We have a newsletter that comes out once or twice a month, chock full of artwork and links to songs and videos.
Well, I’m definitely signing up for that newsletter!! Thanks again to Chris and Pat for speaking with me. Make sure to check out their IG at: juneccleaverandthesteakknives.
I have several interviews coming up including Maddie Olds, Carrigan Nelson, Lainey Dionne, The Break Plans and many more in the works..
If interested in an interview or have new music you’d like me to hear, send me a message on my IG music_stylist.
Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.