The Sea and Cake (Thrill Jockey) are a staple in the Chicago music scene, releasing several albums since they formed in 1993. The four-piece are renowned around town and the world for their distinct sound: symphonic, cathartic and coalescent. Epitonic sat down with Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, John McEntire and Eric Claridge of the band shortly after their performance at the Empty Bottle.

State your name, the instrument you play, and a fact about another member of the band.

Sam Prekop: I play guitar and sing, well. Archer ran a party house back in college; it was a crash pad party house, crash pad punk rock, very illicit.  His name is not really Archer; it’s Alan.

Archer Prewitt: But Archer is my middle name. My mom decided to call me by my middle name. I’m Archer; I play guitar, piano and vocals. John wears only black steel-toed boots.

John McEntire: I'm John, I play drums and Eric does some very interesting artwork.

Eric Claridge: I’m Eric, synthesizer and bass. I got nothing.

Prince, David Bowie and T Rex all ask you to tour with them. Who do you choose?

AP: Marc Bolan.

SP: It would be a hard choice between Bowie and Prince.

EC: Marc Bolan.

JMcE: Bowie.

Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played?

SP: We played in an old schoolhouse in Switzerland, drapes through foggy peach moss fields that led to a speakeasy.  We also have had bad luck playing on boats. Although somehow we always ended up performing on a boat.

If you were to communicate using one word, what would it be?

AP: I would speak in a series of whistles, because it would be pleasant.

SP: Yes or no. Wait…maybe.

AP: I would choose yes; go Yoko on it.

SP: I’m going with maybe.

Can you dance? If not, what is your day job?

EC: Yes. [all others nod in agreement]

AP: I can dance, [albeit] more and more slowly with each passing year.

Hypothetical Scenario: You find a craigslist missed connections ad written about you. What does it say?

AP: "Beat you up on the L tracks; forgot to stomp on your glasses."

SP: Wow, that is dark, man.

The band took a bit of a hiatus between 2004 and 2007, from One Bedroom to Everybody. How did a three-year gap change your recording process?

AP: We recorded at Key Club, in Benton Harbor, where we had them do most of the recording. It was a challenge because prior to that, John recorded us.

SP: We came back into the studio and my first thought was, "Can we do this? Can we still play?" And we realized soon that it all just sort of fell right back into place. It was kind of, actually, it was great.

JMcE: It's not unusual for bands to take a break and tour for a few years after an album. It gave us time to work on our own lives, and then return to the studio refreshed.

What can we expect from the band in the future?

SP: We are releasing a new album soon and touring through the US, Canada and Europe.