Band of the Week: Canterbury Arts Club

Band of the Week: Canterbury Arts Club
Photo courtesy of Canterbury Arts Club

MEET THE BAND: James Douglas (guitar, vocals), Brandon Lichtinger (guitar), Rob Carter (bass), Mark Bradbourne (drums)

OBSESSED WITH MUSIC FROM AN EARLY AGE: Local singer-songwriter James Douglas started playing guitar when he was only 5. "I then started writing songs when I was 9, and I haven't stopped," he says. Douglas played in a band in high school and performed solo too before moving to Columbus several years ago. After he moved back to Cleveland in April of 2017, he was randomly looking at the Reddit page about local music when he came across a post from a drummer looking to play in a new band. The drummer mentioned the '90s alternative rock band Jellyfish and that caught Douglas' attention. The two started jamming together and after a few false starts, the drummer, Mark Bradbourne, reached out to his friend Rob Carter to join them on the bass guitar. Brandon Lichtinger, who had played bass in Douglas' high school band, rounds out the quartet. "The band came together in a really roundabout way, but they're all really talented musicians," says Douglas of his bandmates. "I think that's part of why I hadn't played in a band for so long. I was sick of playing with people who either weren't very committed or weren't very good at their instruments."

A PROPER STUDIO EXPERIENCE: Douglas says the guys didn't want to go the home studio route for their album, so they went to Lava Room in Beachwood to cut their forthcoming EP. "We wound up at Lava Room and even knowing how expensive it was, we just did it," he says. "We spent a shitload of money to record four songs, but it sounds great. Mike Pfaff was the engineer. He had great ideas and was almost like a fifth member."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The slow building "Welcome to My Town" features husky vocals and comes off as a moody tune in the vein of Counting Crows and Hootie and the Blowfish. "It's an old song," says Douglas. "For whatever reason, I decided to read the Stephen Chbosky book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After finishing the novel, which I read at the library in Madison, that tune popped into my head. That was 2004. The chorus came together in 2006 or 2007. I tinker with songs so much that it took me until 2011 or 2012 to put it together. I recorded an acoustic version of it. When we put the band together, we started playing it. I never thought it would come through as a song with a rock band. It was all very collaborative."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Canterbury Arts Club performs with Neilston and the Morning Bird at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Beachland Tavern.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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