Whatever assumptions audiences might make before attending a show by Cavalcade, there is one thing that guitarist, vocalist and songwriter William Greer wants to make clear: "Expect no cover songs," he says. "Do not expect cover songs."
Instead, crowds should prepare for a riff-heavy sound inspired by '90s alternative rock and the post-punk influence of groups like Fugazi and the Cure.
Greer says, "I don't know how to describe it. It's not very progressive. It's relatively simple, at least the rhythm guitar and the song structures. I've heard people say 'early '90s rock,' [or] 'That one song reminded me of that Helmet song.' This is way better. My bassist just texted me this: 'It's like if Nirvana and Iron and Wine had an offspring, and that offspring was really into punk.' Perfect."
First adding bassist Justin Linde after a chance meeting during an open mic appearance in 2009, Greer and the current lineup of Cavalcade became complete after drummer Nick Reed joined the band in January, 2011.
As for how the group came to be called Cavalcade, well, that's another story.
"I was browsing through a dictionary hoping something would pop out, and then 'Cavalcade' did," Greer says. "I thought it just sounded good off the tongue, and one of the definitions said something like 'a travelling group of people, usually on horseback, where participation outweighs destination,' which I thought was cool, 'It doesn't matter where it goes, just that you're part of it.'"
Following that philosophy, Greer treats his songwriting process as a daily journey—a journey that requires a lot of time and practice.
"I play guitar almost every day," he says. "First comes the chord progression, then the vocal melody, then the words. I put a lot of sweat into the words. Sometimes all three elements come together at once. Those songs are called 'gifts.'"
As for subject matter, Greer confesses that he continues to mine nuggets from the most classic of songwriting caves.
"It's funny. It seems [like] more of a cycle than an evolution," he says. "I started writing songs about relationships, then I was a bit more abstract for a while, now I'm back to relationships again. As far as the music, it was a little folk-rockier at first. Now it's straight-up rock. Someone said my brand new demos were very Wilco and Spoon-ish."
Turning those demos into a new album is next on Greer's list. Cavalcade is currently recording material for a full-length record titled Devices, which should be done this summer. After that the band plans to schedule shows to promote the release.
But that's not all Greer has up his sleeve.
He says, "My side project, Secret Staircase, just finished its first 'album.' An album of demos. I'll be hitting up a bunch of open mics real soon, promoting it."
For more information on Cavalcade, please visit http://www.facebook.com/cvlcd and http://www.myspace.com/cvlcd.