Cedar Spring Motel: “Trying to look cool and also alive.”

A hot minute with drummer Jake Dunn on their new self-titled EP and touring Ontario

Cedar Spring Motel: “Trying to look cool and also alive.”

By Punktastic

Sep 5, 2016 15:59

It’s a Tuesday night at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto. I sit at the bar, under a canopy of intertwined Christmas lights, bike parts, and peeling band stickers. One sticks out in particular - a new addiction, stark white corners still stuck to the steel. "Cedar Spring Motel. Power Slop".

Post set, a sweaty, shirt-soaked Cedar Spring Motel leaves the stage. Singer, Cameron Cerant, sports his signature denim on denim. Guitarist, Liam Godden, weaves his fingers through his curly, fit-to-head-bang hair, while drummer, Jake Dunn, is met by the headliner’s drummer – Voice of Addiction’s Vinny Half Price – no doubt complementing Dunn on the stellar slow build during their second song, ‘Stitches’.

All three boys strip and swap their stained band tees for fresh ones, slap on prospective dad-hats, and settle down. Godden mans the merch table, lined with records, Beatle-esque buttons and black band tees. Dunn orders two close-to-last-call Molson Canadians, while Cerant heads back to the van, sneaking in a quick nap before the inevitable 3AM drive back to Acton, Ontario; home of Dunn, Godden, and the actual Cedar Spring Motel – a 3-star fleabag off Highway 7.

I steal a Molson and a couple of minutes from Dunn for an interview under the influence.

Cedar Spring Motel has been touring with Chicago’s Voice of Addiction for the past week, hitting dad bars across Ontario to promote their first self-titled 7” vinyl. Though Dunn says the band, “isn’t at the fan stage yet,” the band still manages to win over straggling, plan-less punk rockers; pleasantly surprised to hear Godden screech, “HAVE A SMOKE BREAK” or to watch Cerant leap from the top of an amp.

Cerant, Dunn and Godden make the drive back to Acton every night on tour, facing full-time jobs when the clock strikes seven. Dunn dubs “trying to look cool and also alive,” after two hours of sleep each night the hardest part of the nine-day bender. Sleeplessness aside, Dunn still gets a kick out of those who butcher their band name, and bouncers who ID their baby-faced frontman.

Dunn has been playing alongside best friends Godden and Cerant for a total of six years; transitioning from playing high-school punk-pop à la Green Day in basements and coffee shops, to strumming, smacking and singing in some of the coolest venues the greater Toronto area has to offer.

With only a couple of tour dates remaining, I ask Dunn if he has any thoughts or feelings about the last show in Oshawa. He muses about pulling up to cities, finding good skate spots, and teaching Godden how to stand on a skateboard. During their last set, Dunn plans to cover as much Tragically Hip as possible, as well as the band’s infamous rendition of Sammy Kershaw’s ‘Yardsale’; a well-forgotten country tune injected by pure teen angst and electric guitar.

Dunn and I end off with a couple of rapid fire questions: a song he wish he wrote, his dream duet, and what he wants at every show. The answers come easily and eloquently, something to be expected from a person who’s spent their life loving music.

“A song I wish I wrote? Most Beatles songs, actually – but mostly ‘Rocky Raccoon’. Something about it gives me chills. ‘The White Album’ in general is crazy, and makes me think about life every time I drop the needle. A duet with Neil Young, but mostly not a duet – maybe just me sitting with a guitar watching him play ‘Harvest Moon’ from front to back. I wouldn’t hate doing a track with Eminem during his 8 Mile days. I think ‘Lose Yourself’ could have really used a hype-man like me…What I’m trying to say is that I wish I was in the movie and that’s it. One thing I want at every show is a crowd. But honestly, if the bartender is shaking his booty by the end of the set, mission accomplished.”

Cedar Spring Motel may be done touring for now, but with these guys, it’s never too late to check in. Check out the official Cedar Spring Motel Bandcamp to play and purchase tunes, along with their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on when CSM hits a dive bar near you.