Band dives into musical genres

By Joe Leary

The members of Lake Street Dive say it's hard to pin down exactly what genre of music should be associated with their music.
Jarrod McCabe

The members of Lake Street Dive say it's hard to pin down exactly what genre of music should be associated with their music. Jarrod McCabe

Jazz schooled but classically pop-obsessed, Lake Street Dive make the most of the genre’s musical virtues. Prior to performing July 31 at the Commodore, Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with vocalist Rachael Price.

24: ‘Indie pop’ is how the band is often described, but there seems to be a number of musical elements that are infused within. How do you describe yourselves and what would you say is the core sound?

RP: We struggle with finding a genre that fits perfectly, but we tend to say pop-soul, in the most general way, of course.

24: When a number of backgrounds are brought together in a project such as this, how is it decided on what the direction of the group will be?

RP: We kind of do it on a song-by-song basis. Everyone writes in the band and everyone's style is a little different. So, we just decide the direction based on what the song is asking for.

24: According to your bio, when you initially met in Boston you were formed as a country band. What transpired from there that got you to where you are today?

RP: Hah! The country thing never panned out whatsoever because none of us actually knew how to play country music. But, it piqued our interest and kept us together initially.

24: The instrumentation is somewhat different than the traditional, from the stand-up bass to the inclusion of trumpet. Was this a deliberate plan to veer away from the typical band formation and layout or did the music simply dictate that you weren’t following traditional guidelines?

RP: It wasn't a conscious decision to have a less common instrumentation. It was mostly just a product of us all being at jazz school together. Trumpet is McDuck's (Mike Olson) first instrument so originally we had no chordal instrument, which I think has always informed our sound even with the addition of guitar. We've always relied heavily on the bass to lay everything down which, in turn, makes us sound less usual.

24: I’ve talked to a number of groups that say one of the hardest things they encounter is trying to come up with a name. I know that Lake Street is an area that exists. What inspired you to name yourselves that?

RP: The original goal for this band was to be the type of loose and dirty band that played your local dive bar every week and Lake Street (in Minneapolis) used to be a street with some dives on it — hence the name.

24: How has the band been received on tour?

RP: We've been really fortunate to have an awesome crowd of all ages. I'm always really struck by the amount of families, full with the grandparents, parents, and children all coming to our shows together.

24: Do you have any past experiences or connection to Vancouver?

RP: We love Vancouver. It's definitely one of our favourite cities to tour to and live for this one doughnut shop, Cartems.

24: Tell us about Bad Self Portraits.

RP: It's an album of all original music that we wrote over the last few years. I think we see it as our most cohesive set of songs yet and our most adventurous album to date.


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