Hey look, it’s Cadien Lake James!

Hey all you iamdooms readers. I decided to ask Cadien from Chicago band Twin Peaks some questions, ya dig? I’ve known Cadien now for the last few years and he is seriously one of the most nicest, positive, and talented guys around. I’d like to thank Cadien for taking the time out to do this as he is usually touring. Speaking of which, Twin Peaks is playing Madison, Wednesday, February 24th at the Frequency. Go. And thanks for reading. 

Cadien Lake James Photo: Daniel Topete
Cadien Lake James
Photo: Daniel Topete

1. What is your name?

Cadien Lake James

2. Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Rogers Park, Chicago, USA, and I currently live in Rogers Park USA.

3. What bands have you been in, and who are you playing with currently?

In sixth or seventh grade me and Jack had a band called Arshfik, we played some “hardcore punk” songs about Nazi’s stealing our food…. I then played in a band called Teenage Dream with my brother Hal for a while, we played a couple gigs and got on Victim of Times Top of the Slop, that was around 8th grade/Freshman year… then Hal left to tour with Smith Westerns so I started Friend with Connor, Jack, and our buddy Lucas, which evolved into Twin Peaks, and Clay joined, and here we are. I played guitar for Strange Faces last year and I’m playing bass with them for the next month.

4. Anyone who knows you, knows you are a huge lover of music. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?? Why?

Influences are always such a hard question! But I’ve always been mainly drawn to production and that atmosphere it makes, I’m a big fan of The Beach Boys, especially Wild Honey and Smiley Smile in the last few years because of how intimate and stripped down they feel, and for the same reasons love albums like The White Album or The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. I’ve always loved glam stuff, I’m a big Marc Bolan and Bowie fan. It’s tough because I listen to all sorts of stuff and what I’m soaking up the most shifts so often! I like power pop stuff like Clovis Roblaine, and in the past year have gotten into country vibes and am a huge fan of Townes Van Zandt’s self titled record.

5. Soon you’ll be releasing Twin Peaks’ newest full length, Down In Heaven. Tell me about the recording of it! I heard you guys recorded this in a big ol’ house and used some reel to reel gear too?? That’s awesome! New single is sick as well. Really awesome.

Well thanks so much for the kind words! We recorded the record at our good friend Ben Kramer’s house in Massachusetts, he’s always been really gracious to us and has come across very kind and wise to me. So it was really cozy and laid back to be staying at this big house on a lake in the summertime between touring, cooking dinners together and all. The recording process was about taking back ownership of the art, if that makes sense. After doing our first record on our own in my basement and then going on to do Wild Onion in a local studio, we wanted to have our own gear to do it on and get our hands dirty with so it would feel like it was all ours. It was a very laid back approach and we all had more room to flex our individual musicianship. We didn’t have all the songs as mapped out going into this one as we had in the past, so instead of making small changes to someone’s pre-written part for a song, there was a lot more listening to a bare bones demo and everyone building their parts from the ground up. It was all super refreshing.

6. I’m wondering what keeps you so grounded? You are one of the most sincere, nicest people around, as are your band mates. You really don’t seem to let success get to your head and that is really admirable.

Once again, thank you so much! It means a lot coming from you, I’ve always felt similarly about you and Bobby, like other friends in “the scene” so to speak, like Alex White, who have always been extremely gracious and open with people, assuming the best. I think it’s just seeing a lot of people who struggle with being kind or who want to prove something with their attitude, bands who want to come across as too cool in interviews and seem like they’re not all to psyched about what they’re getting to do… it always felt fake to try and act that way personally, I was raised in a really open house hold, the youngest of 7 children (from a few marriages), so I had a lot of older influences and my mom really killed it with raising her children to be emotionally competent and aware. I just feel like I feel happier when I’m kind to other people and that’s such a satisfying feeling, it brings other people and yourself up together.

7. What are your favorite song(s) on the new record?

My favorite songs so far are Getting Better, a tune of Jack’s, and Stain. I think they both have really great and open lyrics, and both are positive in their resolve, and I really just love the instrumentation and melody on Getting Better. It’s fun, as you know, playing in bands where multiple people write and sing because I get to be super fan of my own band, loving my band mates songs. They’re allowed to mean the world to me without looking pretentious hehehe.

8. Twin Peaks have pretty much toured relentlessly over the last few years. Is there anywhere you guys haven’t been to that you would love to play?

Many places! I’d like to continue to discover cool small towns, and while we don’t do this yet, in the future I want to play small bars in small towns where no one will know us. It seems exciting. I’d like to play Rosas Cantina, a bar just outside of El Paso that Marty Robbins mentions in his tune “El Paso”. I’d also just love to travel the world more, I’d like to play in South America more, it’s central America I know but I’ve loved playing in Mexico and would continue to head further south. I’d also like to go to Asia and India, Australia, Russia. We just love to play and travel, so almost anywhere! I wanna play in Antartica! Alaska! Hawaii!

9. Out of all the songs in the world by any artist, what are a few songs you wish you would have written?

I wish I wrote “Fallin Rain” by Link Wray, that one demolishes me. I also would’ve loved to have written “Magnet” by NRBQ, it’s such a tight concise pop track. I could go on, but I’ll just give ya one more… I wish I could’ve written “For the Sake of the Song” by Townes Van Zandt. The lyrics in that tune have always reminded me of myself and others, and it’s such an eloquent metaphor. I’ve never considered myself too great of a poet/lyricist and that song is really inspiring.

10. I know I’ve talked to you before about writer’s block. It’s the worst. What do you do to combat that and not get frustrated?

Recently I’ve been making an effort to collaborate with other people, play a lick on a friends song or just bounce around ideas for their tunes and mine, because it turns me on to new ideas of how to approach a song I’ve hit a road block with or just inspires me to start fresh. But that’s an issue I’m sure I’ll continue to try and find remedies to throughout my life because sometimes there’s no escaping it. Pretending I’m someone else can help me come up with things, but then I often don’t take what I wrote seriously.

11. What bands are you currently digging on?

Well I’ve been super into Link Wray’s self titled record lately, I’m a big fan of Fat White Family, a band from the UK who are doing really cool and eerie stuff, and I’ve been digging into Slim Harpo, pulled out one of his records from dad’s collection without realizing The Rolling Stones had covered Shake Your Hips, but anyways he’s real great old blues stuff with a pretty unique production.

12. I ask everyone this question. It’s late. You’re hungry. If you could get any kind of pizza, what would it be??!?!?

Spinach pepperoni jalepeño, all day any day all the time.

Thanks again Cadien, for taking the time out of your schedule to do this interview. It means alot. If you are in Madison, I advise you to check out Twin Peaks next Wednesday, February 24 at the Frequency. Do it!! Now here are some links to check out!

Twin Peaks – Walk To The One You Love

Twin Peaks on Facebook:


Twin Peaks – Stand in the Sand:

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