Live in the Clubs: The Earaches are a family that plays together

Thursday, July 12, 2012
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The Earaches, a family band from Staten Island, will perform at Moon & River Cafe on Saturday.
The Earaches, a family band from Staten Island, will perform at Moon & River Cafe on Saturday.

Being bandmates and members of the same family — as all three members of Staten Island’s The Earaches are — has its advantages.

For one thing, it has helped the band stay together for five years now.

“We see each other all the time, so we’ll never be strangers,” drummer Adam Caddell said recently from his home, with guitarist, vocalist and twin brother Andrew Caddell. “It’s not like we’ll be friends, then there’s a ripple in the relationship and we don’t see each other ever again.”

The Caddell brothers, along with their younger cousin Douglas Konig on bass, are part of a close family. But this can have its downsides — such as when The Earaches become the topic of conversations at family dinners.

Dinner table talks

“We’ll be working on a song — a brand new song, only us will know about it — and for some strange reason our mothers and our fathers will find out and it becomes this big dinner conversation,” Adam said. “Everyone talks about the band. I don’t know, it’s kind of a strange thing, but it’s all in good fun. But that’s one of the disadvantages, hearing your 85-year-old grandmother talking about your songs and comparing them to Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ — ‘Why don’t you play like that?’ ”

The Earaches

with Shawn Marosek

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Moon & River Cafe, 115 S. Ferry St., Schenectady

How Much: Free

More Info: 382-1938, www.moonandrivercafe.com

Over the course of eight self-released studio and live albums, the trio has honed a mix of surf, atmospheric indie and classic rock, and has played venues throughout the Northeast from Cooperstown to Boston. The band will make its Capital Region debut Saturday night at the Moon & River Cafe, with local singer-songwriter Shawn Marosek opening.

The roots of The Earaches actually go back to 2001, when the Caddell brothers first began jamming together on covers of R.E.M. and U2 in their basement. Occasionally, their older brother — a doctor in Albany — would join in, but the two stuck mostly to covers and joke songs at first.

“[Konig] was the only reason why we started to become a band, doing our own songs,” Adam said. “If Douglas never came around, we’d still be playing in the basement. He was the green light to say, we can do this. Whenever me and Andrew do a song, he’ll be like, ‘That’s great, let’s do it.’ He has so much energy.”

Konig first jammed with the brothers in 2005, and although he had never played bass before, he learned quickly. The trio started out under the name Dark Light in a bid to fit in with Staten Island’s heavy metal-centric scene, but soon changed the name to suit their own sound.

“It was one of the things we wanted to do, that we were trying to do in college, start a band,” Adam said. “But coming from Staten Island, it’s very heavy on heavy metal in the scene here, and we don’t get into that.”

Instead, the trio began honing an atmospheric approach influenced by such groups and artists as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. The Caddell brothers are the primary songwriters in the group, although all three members contribute. The trio records songs as they write them, either on their own equipment or at Fenix Studios in Staten Island.

Humorous undertone

A lifetime in the New York City area contributed to both the music’s fast pace and the humorous undertones in songs such as “Love Like a Piece of Gum.”

“We go on a lot of vacations, my brother and I — we go to Ohio, Indiana, and everything is laid back,” Adam said. “If we came from Ohio or Indiana, we would probably not sound like it does over here. Our music has a certain joke quality to it, not to detract from the seriousness of the music. Staten Island has always been portrayed, like on the ‘Jersey Shore’ show, with a humorous element, and we embrace that in our music.”

 

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