The band CAKE will perform with Calexico at 7 p.m. Friday, June 10 at Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St. Tickets are $32 in advance and $37 the day of the show. Photo courtesy of Robert McKnight

The band CAKE is no stranger to the music scene: Its members have been recording albums for almost 20 years.

Their critically acclaimed sixth CD "Showroom of Compassion," released in January of this year, reached No. 1 on the Billboard music charts, the first album of the band's to do so.

In support of its newly released album, CAKE is coming to the Valley on Friday, June 10 at Mesa Amphitheatre, along with Calexico.

Vince DiFiore, who plays the trumpet, keyboard and associated percussion instruments in CAKE, discussed the longevity of the band as well as the present successes of the group.

Q: You've been playing music for almost 20 years. What keeps you motivated and interested?

A: The same reason we did it in the first place! I never took it for granted and I always felt very lucky to be in a band, period, and to be in it full-time, touring across the country, is amazing. I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing this and that's the motivation to me.

When I look at life if I wasn't in a band, it's not as good. This is what I like doing. We're with a group of like-minded people who get along on both a friendly and musical basis. That's why we've managed to continue.

Q: "Showroom of Compassion" was your first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Why do you think this is?

A: I think a lot of it was luck. The week it came out, Ashley Tisdale didn't have an album coming out or anything. It was the lowest No. 1 on record, which kept our bad news bears status.

Honestly, it was a matter of cylinders grinding at the same time but our manager deserves a lot of credit for it, since he picked a time to release it and let everyone know who wanted to buy an album that it was coming out.

We celebrated it; we weren't cynical about it and we felt we worked hard for it and felt some joy [when it happened].

Q: What has been your favorite part about touring thus far?

A: The best part is seeing all these people at the show who want to see a CAKE concert.That's the best thing: Getting up in front of everyone and making the effort to make a really great show.

I've started to make a video road journal describing certain aspects of cities that we are in (mostly the history of places that we're at or something significant that has happened there). I shoot anything during the day that's of interest, edit it all together, add special effects and then post it on YouTube and Facebook. It's added a whole new dimension to touring for me.

Q: Do you have any plans for future albums?

A: It would seem weird if we didn't make another album since our time together would seem truncated.

The plan now is to make another album but nothing on the calendar yet for this year other than touring. The plan is to play new material and songs from other albums and get back in the studio.

We're thinking about the different ways we're going to do it, in a different place or a different way of coming up with arrangements. We're looking ahead without putting the cart before the horse.

Q: Considering that you have various booths at your upcoming concert encouraging voting and human rights, what was your reason to get involved?

A: We didn't want to boycott Arizona because people are people and CAKE listeners are CAKE listeners. We watched the news and heard about controversial lawmaking, some of which seems like it goes against human rights.

Without knowing everything about all the issues, we decided that activism was a good way about doing a show there. We thought it was a good idea to have people from Arizona have a chance to have their say.

• Anna Gunderson is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.