Photo Bex Wade
The elephant in the room: frontman Jonathan Byerley’s wise-beyond-his-years vocal husk. It’s only slightly more welcoming than Tom Waits’, just a hair more demanding than Nick Cave’s. Against the backdrop of blustery, country-tinged rock that crosses The National with Silver Jews, it’s going to stand out, but in the context of 2012 Brooklyn, everything about Plates of Cake stands out. Their songs are punch-drunk and lovelorn, with that voice making everything sound so thick and rich. Music that sticks to your guts. Byerley and band are currently in the studio recording the follow-up to their 2010 self-titled debut. Keep an eye out, Dessner bros.
Favorite NYC venue?
We’ve had a lot of fun at Union Pool. And we really miss Bruar Falls. The sound wasn’t great and there was a midnight curfew for bands, but somehow all the shows we did there were a blast.
What New York band from the past has had the biggest influence on your sound?
In trying to answer this, I realized that every band we usually compare our sound to is from California or England.
Favorite song about NYC?
“Slum Goddess” by the Fugs.
On tour for a month, what album would get the most play in the van?
If Jonathan were driving, it’d be This Is My Country by The Impressions. If Josh or Ian were driving, it would be Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Hands down. And Michel is a podcast kind of guy.
Ideal four-band bill
The Walkmen, Dan Melchior and Das Menace, Crystal Stilts, Plates of Cake.
Ideal four-band bill (dream):
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Soft Boys, Plates of Cake.
If you had to relocate to another city, where would you go?
Pittsburgh. It’s cheap and there’s great beer, great BBQ, good museums and the most amazing record store, called Jerry’s.
Plates of Cake