A cavalier creation

Stephen Lloyd’s father, a pastor, helped Cavalier find its place

By Lauren Napier on April 30, 2009

Randomly walking through downtown Seattle, I decided to stop into a Chinese bistro chain. It wasn’t long before my server started chatting me up about some band his friends were in that I should check out. I didn’t really pay much attention to it, to be quite honest, but the band name took a seat in the back of my consciousness. Hence it struck a familiar note when I came across the name on The Viaduct’s up-coming show list: Cavalier.

Stuck between lists of possible band names and just choosing catchy words from a page in the dictionary, Stephen Lloyd, the vocalist, was “sitting in the pulpit not paying attention” to the words his father, a pastor, was saying when the word “cavalier” struck him. The rest of the didactic sermon might have been lost, but that one “cool word” beat out the “ten or fifteen band names (the band) had been throwing around,” according to Lloyd. Since the band was “in a hurry as far as an album and booking shows,” the name was selected. The name wasn’t taken on MySpace; it all seemed meant to be.

Lloyd first became involved in music at age 11, and along with a few other friends “started a band, volunteered at Club Impact, had a bunch of shows and (has) been playing in bands since then,” says the Cavalier frontman. The current lineup of the band was threaded together through various local bands that dissolved including The Great Disappointment, Sung by Sea, and Daphne Loves Derby.

Driven by having the “best job ever compared to a nine-to-five” and the ability to tour “all over, when there are a bunch of people who have still never left the state,” says Lloyd, he only wishes he’d started sooner and utilized his social network to increase his band’s fan base.

Cavalier is deeply rooted in the all-ages scene because most of their members volunteered at local venues before the band was even a concept. Lloyd is particularly fond of The Viaduct “because it’s all people who were volunteers at other venues and clubs who figured they could do it a lot better … getting bands and treating (them) the way (they) would want to be treated.”

According to the wide-eyed vocalist, the only way the local all-ages scene could be improved is if every “local band that was bad would delete their MySpace accounts and stop polluting the Internet.” A tall order, for sure, but also food for thought. More talent, after all, is the only way our all-ages scene can burgeon.

Speaking of food, special thanks go out to my waiter for the musical tip — it was more auspicious than my fortune cookie.

[The Viaduct, Turned Up Missing with Cavalier, the Welcome Home, He is We, Ramona Come Closer, Saturday, May 2, 7 p.m., $8, 5412 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.1948]