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Cardinals - SCENE Music Festival

Cardinals Fly "Farther Than Love" at SCENE Music Festival

Brita Brookes

Day 1 of the SCENE music festival made itself known to be the hottest ‘‘Day 1’’ ever, in both weather conditions and in the musical line up. Part of the “Day 1” SCENE line up included the Niagara area's very own Cardinals. This Ontario trio began their musical journey like many, in their family homes. Lead singer and guitarist Levi Clattenburg had a musical father and a supportive family. “We always had some kind of music going on in the house growing up,” stated Levi as we all sat down to talk prior to their performance at SCENE on the main stage Saturday. Drummer/Vocals, Nathaniel Rustenberg’s dad was also a musician and is an active mentor to the band today. Bass player and Vocals, Myles Rogers parents were not musicians but were supportive of his musical interests as he grew up in the Niagara area and started playing in local bands. This is the band’s third time playing SCENE and their first time playing the SCENE main stage. “We are so excited to be playing the main stage this year, it’s important to us as we have been here playing at this Festival before and it’s our home town area.”

The group all met at Eden High School on Lake Street in Saint Catharines and also at community music related events. At the time, the three all played in different bands and also together in a high school jazz band. “We would play school district events, parties and other local events–all kinds of places–that was our jazz group, that was our start in getting experience in playing gigs” said Levi.

When asked if they ever envisioned themselves playing in a group at SCENE Myles responded “we never thought the three of us would be together like this, we were all in other indie bands doing other things. Finally, Levi wrote a song for our old band and shared it with me. We decided that the song was something special we wanted to work on together. After that creative decision was made, things just fell together. We decided we needed a drummer and that’s when we called on Nathaniel. At the time, Nathaniel was playing local cafes.” When asked what bands have influenced them, they responded with a range of influences including Michael Kiwanuka, Motown, John Mayer and John Mayer trio, and lately Myles has been listening non stop to Jimi Hendrix’s ‘‘Band of Gypsies’’ which is one of his favorite albums of all time.

With two EP’s out, the latest one entitled “Farther Than Love” was swiftly recorded at B Town Sound in Burlington, Ontario in a hurried one day duration, of which, has become a kind of ‘‘inside the band legend’’ or shared memory. Nate and Myles explained that “we were about to go on tour and had all these songs that we wrote which were honed and ready to go down on tracks but just not recorded. We decided that we would just go into B Town lay down the tracks and have it ready to go with us on the tour. We just did it in like 9 hours, it was crazy but also kind of special at the same time.” The album has eight songs, all written by them and one Beatle’s cover. “Doing the tracks at B Town Sound was great, it has a big live room, it’s an amazing space. Lights recorded drums there, as well as Walk off the Earth and Somebody I Used to Know etc...”

The album ranges from a mix of folk-rock Mayer-esque tracks to more soul and Motown inspired originals. When asked about the sound on Farther Than Love, Nate described that “we were raised on Motown sound and 70’s music so when we wrote the tracks for Farther Than Love we decided we wanted to express that kind of honesty in our music.”

Today, Cardinals have evolved into a young naturally musically inclined trio that plays a unique indie sound. Cardinals play gigs across Canada including PEI which was one of their favorite places to play. “That place has so much musical heart and history, we want to go back there soon,” said Levi. They have played all across Ontario, in Montreal, in Winnipeg and would like to soon do some shows in the Vancouver areas. “We also recently played two music festivals in Florida,” stated Levi.

When asked how they keep their energy up while on tour they laughed and all said “SLEEP!!!” in unison. “We are actually also part of speaking group for a non-profit motivational music and youth group calledLive Different out of Hamilton. So in addition to festivals and our tour, we also travel across Canada to present at schools as part of Live Different, which takes a ton of energy,” stated Nate. The work they do inspires teens to live mindful lives in their actions, life choices and works.

The set list at SCENE includes three new unrecorded songs that will be part of a future album no doubt. It seems these music birds have left the nest to fly onwards, spreading their authentic and original songs across the land and airwaves.

Cardinals performed as the third act on the main stage of Day 1 of the SCENE Music Festival in Saint Catherines, Ontario.

Levi Clattenburg- Guitar/Vocals

Myles Rogers- Bass/Vocals

Nathaniel Rustenberg- Drums/Vocals

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