“Our name is Breezewood and we’ve been clean and sober for 9 minutes. Breezewood started as a solo acoustic act for Jay Cadwallader late in 2010 and really started taking shape with live performances and bedroom recording after he left school in 2011. Since then a full band has formed under the pseudonym with drummer Dylan Chieffalo and bassist TJ Lauser. Finding influence from numerous sources its hard to pinpoint our sound though were often compared to ’90’s rock; Nirvana, Built to Spill, Pavement, Modest Mouse etc. (thanks!) Our slogan is bring your moms and we won’t tell you why no matter how you beg, we will answer any other questions you have though, which sort of seems like the point of this exercise. We’re Breezewood and we’re going to be the best band in the world.”
Part of an emerging and exciting DIY underground scene here in Pittsburgh, you can check out the band on their official Website, FaceBook, SoundCloud and BandCamp. Along with Dewey Marquee, they are supporting Motive this Friday at GarfArt. My thanks to Jay Cadwallader (Vocals/Guitar), TJ Lauser (Bass) and Dylan Chieffalo (Drums) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
Jay Cadwallader: I bought The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” with my birthday money when I was in 3rd grade. I know this because I used a gift card from my orthodontist and its easiest to gauge my age in pictures by what grade I remember sporting braces in. Nowadays, I tend to gauge moments in my life by what band was my favorite at that time, but from this point forward The Beatles would never truly leave that number one spot. That was one of the best things my dad has done for me and he’s a pretty good dad, all told!
TJ Lauser: Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” when I was in 7th grade, which I purchased it at my local FYE with some money that my parents had given me for Christmas. At the time, I was really into gaming, and many of the games I played featured soundtracks that were guitar heavy and fast paced. I asked around at school about bands that fit that description and one of my friends told me about Metallica and I decided to give them a shot. I listened to that record endlessly in the months that followed. I was so inspired by the late Cliff Burton that I decided to take up the bass guitar shortly thereafter.
Dylan Chieffalo: I don’t remember the very first piece of music I ever bought with my parent’s money as a kid but I can’t help but feel it was a Slipknot or Mudvayne CD from FYE.
Your last album bought?
Jay: I recently bought the entire Pavement discography at my favorite record store in the greater Pittsburgh area, Eides Entertainment. Stephen Malkmus has always sort of embodied the anti-frontman to me and that is a template I embrace. He was in a band because he loved music. There’s a lesson there for glam rockers the world round.
TJ: Two Door Cinema Club’s “Tourist History”, which I just bought yesterday! Jay introduced me to them a few weeks ago and their music has been stuck in my head ever since, so I decided to make “Tourist History” my first purchase of 2013.
Dylan: The last album I payed for was Secret Smoker’s debut LP “Terminal Architecture” out on Protagonist Music. Although the amount of twinkle/emo bands emerging is so great, SS stood out to me enough to pre order their music.
Favorite album of all time?
Jay: This has always been one of the more difficult conversation pieces but here it goes. My last.fm account has only been around for about a year but it accounts for over one hundred thousand plays so I think that it is an accurate depiction of my favorite music, particularly as of late. Given that this is all but cut and dry I will name the top Three. First is Bright Eye’s “Fevers & Mirrors”. It is, in my mind, a flawless album and the perfect rendition of the human condition. Conor Oberst is quite honestly the best songwriter of our generation. Second is Modest Mouse’s “The Lonesome Crowded West”. Their album “Building Nothing Out of Something” comes to mind but I tend to listen to “Lonesome Crowded West” more when I am angry, which is a lot of the time according to last.fm. Third is “Abbey Road” and I do believe we have come full circle so I will leave it at that.
TJ: “Twilight Theater” by Poets of the Fall. It’s one of the few albums that I can listen to in its entirety without skipping a song or two. I first heard of Poets of the Fall while playing through the video game “Alan Wake”, and they’ve been one of my favorite bands ever since.
Dylan: My favorite album of all time is and always will be Foo Fighter’s “Colour and The Shape”. Sit down and listen to the entire record from start to finish.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Jay: This is a no brainer, I specifically instructed my girlfriend at the time to pre-order Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs” the day it was announced. She got me what they called ‘The Newspaper Edition’. It came with a newspaper and more album art and two clear vinyl copies and a CD and blotting paper for acid. What it excluded was the Jonny Greenwood guitar craftsmanship that I had grown so fond of. It was by far the most disappointed I have ever been with one of my favorite bands. That said, I saw Radiohead this summer and their live performance was still one of the best things that has ever happened to me so my affinity for Thom and Jonny is anything but damaged!
TJ: I listened to Metallica’s “St. Anger” once. Never listened to it again. Dylan: In High School I experienced a severe case of Chris Drew Flu. Those unfamiliar with this artist, Never Shout Never is his brain child. And his latest mini albums, consisting of 8 songs at the most, are mega let downs. His 2012 release “Indigo” reminds me how fortunate I am for websites like POZ (Property of Zac) who wean young people off of what’s cool to what’s good and new and fulfilling, like anybody signed to Topshelf, for example.
First concert attended?
Jay: Oddly enough I can’t be certain of the answer to this. I am fairly certain it was Steely Dan, The Police, or Neil Young. I remember none of these shows, however. I honestly couldn’t tell you what the first show was I remember going to, there was just a time in my life after that fateful run in with The Beatles that everything was better with music playing and most of the rest has ended up blending together
TJ: The first concert I ever attended was an Iron Maiden concert I went to when I was in 9th grade. I had an incredible time, and watching Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris run around stage like a couple of madmen despite being in their mid-fifties had a huge impression on me.
Dylan: In 2007, Poison and Ratt performed at Post-Gazette Pavilion when it was still Post-Gazette Pavilion. My dad took me and a friend. This was a great beginning to the live music experience, but Brett Michaels has been playing the same exact set year after year. The confetti that falls at the conclusion of the show is even the same colors, I bet.
Favorite concert ever?
Jay: The best concert I have ever been to is also a hard question to think about. There are many that come to mind. Thankfully, I have saved every concert ticket I have ever bought. The first of three meetings with Arctic Monkeys was probably one of the best nights of my life. The feeling in the air was anticipatory. It was December 7th, 2009 and the band played at Mr.Small’s here in Pittsburgh. They were touring to promote their new album “Humbug” at the time which, too, is one of my favorite albums ever. The venue seemed uncharacteristically intimate for a band who had already in their career headlined T in the Park and Glastonbury festivals. That only added to the magic of the evening though, I have since become enamored with Alex Turner’s delivery and would very much recommend seeing Arctic Monkeys. Other notable concerts as of late: Why?, Deerhoof, Radiohead, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Conor Oberst’s solo tour, Bright Eyes some dozen times, Cursive, Dr.Dog, and Desaparecidos.
TJ: Of all the concerts I’ve been to, I’d have to say that the time I saw Iron Maiden (I’ve seen them four times now, and haven’t been disappointed once!) in 2008 during their ‘Somewhere Back in Time Tour’ was my favorite. They played all of their classic songs and even a few surprises selections, including a few of my personal favorites. Their set list, plus Maiden’s signature theatrics and appearances by their mascot, Eddie, made for an amazing concert experience.
Dylan: The best show I have ever attended is not just one show, but the multitude of house shows being organized by independent promoters, like Cool Shoes and Don’t Let the Scene Go Down on Me!Collective. Basement shows are what make me fear turning 29, or whatever age it all stops at. If you’re living in Pittsburgh and haven’t tried attending these wholesome events around the East End and even the South Hills, you must be involved in the most enticing intramural dodgeball team ever, or something.
Least favorite concert?
Jay: The worst show I have ever been to was in 2004. It was the first opportunity most of us in Pittsburgh who hadn’t yet had the pleasure of getting our driver’s license would get to see Modest Mouse as they had last been here in ‘97 to promote the aforementioned “Lonesome Crowded West” (man, what I would to do to see them in that era). Anyhow, I was not yet even a fan of theirs, my friend was a diehard though and I was given a ticket to accompany him. I was excited as a 12 year old Jay, nonetheless, to hear that ‘Float On’ song. Long story short, Isaac and company showed up long enough only to play a 30 minute set (WOW, WE PLAY LONGER THAN THAT COME CHECK US OUT!) It wouldn’t have bothered me if my friend hadn’t bitched about it for the next decade. I saw them this summer twice though, having since become a Modest Mouse nut myself and there is a Modest Mouse tattoo in my future, or present depending on when you are reading this. Don’t tell my mom.
TJ: A few summers ago, a girl I was dating had bought tickets to see Rhianna with a friend of hers. However, her friend ended up canceling last minute, so in an effort not to waste the money, I went in her place. It definitely was not my style of music, but some of the theatrics were interesting. We ended up leaving about half an hour into the concert. She was in a bad mood to begin with because her friend bailed on her and was offended by Rhianna’s lack of clothing for some strange reason. Disappointing night all around!
Dylan: The worst show I ever attended and worth mentioning was Tigers Jaw at the Smiling Moose, Summer 2012. Frontman Ben left tour early, so the rest of TJ played without him, and they would’ve sounded fine had they had better attitudes about it. The place was sold out and they didn’t even encore. The band even refused to go on after a certain amount of time because “They can’t do this without Ben”. I disagree, and have lost a little love for this band. One of the opening acts, Brightside, played the best set I have heard in a very long time. They saved the day.
Favorite thoughts, experiences (or bands) in Pittsburgh?
Jay: Without any hesitation, it has to be Brightside. They are good friends, hard working musicians, and incredibly fun performers. We will be sharing shows with them to promote our new album and they play a lot on their own as well. I would very earnestly urge you to get out and see them. Other notable acts and friends of mine include Unraveler (Dylan Bahney), Legs Like Tree Trunks, Psychic Boots, Partly Sunny, Ivory Weeds, and The Beauregards and Rose & Sara
TJ: Like Jay and Dylan, I’m a fan of Brightside. I think they’re definitely one of Pittsburgh’s top bands.
Dylan: While I’m talking about them, Brightside has become the band in Pittsburgh I am fixated with. Even their earlier project, The Edukators, were an incredible group to follow.
Thanks, fellas. It’s very interesting what you and your fellow cohorts are bringing to the music scene here in Pittsburgh. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.