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Cake (stylized CAKE) is an American alternative rock band from Sacramento, California, consisting of singer John McCrea, trumpeter Vince DiFiore, guitarist Xan McCurdy, bassist Daniel McCallum and drummer Todd Roper. The band has been noted for McCrea's sarcastic lyrics and monotone vocals, and their wide-ranging musical influences, including country music, Mariachi, rock, funk, Iranian folk music and hip hop.
Cake was formed in 1991 by McCrea, DiFiore, Greg Brown (guitar), Frank French (drums) and Shon Meckfessel (bass), who soon left and was replaced by Gabe Nelson. Following the self-release of its debut album, Motorcade of Generosity, the band was signed to Capricorn Records in 1995 and released its first single, "Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle", which hit number 35 on the Modern Rock Tracks music chart and was featured on MTV's 120 Minutes; French and Nelson then left the band, and were replaced by Todd Roper and Victor Damiani. Cake's second album, 1996's Fashion Nugget, went platinum on the strength of its lead single, "The Distance". Following a tour of Europe and the United States, both Brown and Damiani announced they were leaving Cake, which led to speculation about the band's future; McCrea eventually recruited Xan McCurdy to take over on guitar, and persuaded Nelson to return.
Prolonging the Magic, the band's third album, was released in 1998 and went platinum, having shipped over one million units; this was followed three years later by Comfort Eagle, the band's first album on Columbia Records, featuring the single "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" which hit number 7 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Following a series of tours, including several versions of the Unlimited Sunshine Tour, the band released Pressure Chief in 2004, its second and last album on Columbia. After creating its own label, Upbeat Records, the band released Showroom of Compassion in 2011, which became its first album to debut at the top of the Billboard charts, selling 44,000 copies in the first week after release.
After six years without a new studio album, Cake recorded Showroom of Compassion in 2010 and released it on January 11, 2011. Rather than having it professionally recorded, the band built their own solar-powered studio in Sacramento over five years and chose to produce the album themselves there. The album was preceded by its first single, "Sick of You", which was released in September 2010, hitting number 4 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, selling 44,000 copies in its first week of release. It marked the first time a Cake album had hit the number 1 spot, and at the time was the lowest sales numbers for album at the top of the Billboard 200.
The album received mostly positive reviews. Scott Bergen of The Record described it as "one of their best albums", while Jim Farber of the Daily News wrote that "Fifteen years after they batted out their first left-field hit with 'The Distance,' the band's sound and words still have bite". George Lang of The Oklahoman, however, wrote that it was "frustratingly lacking in many more songs worthy of the band's late-'90s boom period". To promote the album, Cake performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno before releasing Showroom of Compassion's second single, "Long Time." This was followed by a spring tour of both Europe and North America, concluding with a show in Toronto on May 21. The song "Long Time" was also played in season 1 episode 12 of Showtime's series Shameless.
On February 26, 2011, Cake performed a live set for "Guitar Center Sessions" on DirecTV. The episode included an interview with program host Nic Harcourt. In September 2011, Cake released a 24-page, hand-made visual book for their song, Bound Away. They released a vinyl box set consisting of their six studio albums, their rarities album and the previously unreleased, Live from the Crystal Palace for Record Store Day 2014. A new studio album was announced for an early 2014 release, although in September 2014 McCrea admitted they hadn't yet begun to record a new album. In Fall 2015 bassist Gabe Nelson and drummer Paulo Baldi left the band. In Summer 2016 Todd Roper rejoined the group as drummer. Daniel McCallum and Casey Lipka have both played as bassist during live performances since 2016.
On August 3, 2018, Cake released "Sinking Ship," supposedly the lead single from an upcoming seventh studio album. Cake also hinted at an upcoming seventh studio album in their bio for the Kaaboo Music Festival website, saying the album is due for release in late 2018. On October 25, 2018, the band released the music video for 'Sinking Ship," also announcing that money raised by single sales would go towards Doctors Without Borders. However, as of December 2019, there has been no further mention of an upcoming album.
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