Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

Palo Alto High School's Arts and Culture Magazine

C Magazine

Featured Artist: Strother Field

4 MIN READ

The strum of a Fender Stratocaster guitar echoes through the Tiny Telephone recording studio. Palo Alto High School’s Clay Cudahy, Max Rabbitt-Tomita, Dexter Cleveringa and Menlo Atherton’s Casey St. Clair prepared to record their first Extended Play (EP) as a band: Strother Field. 

Strother Field is the product of Cudahy and Cleveringa’s garage band dream which started in seventh grade and is now turning into a reality. After years of hard work, Strother Field has gained a following on social media, and music platforms like Spotify, for their alternative rock self-titled EP.

As lead vocalist, Cudahy writes the band’s lyrics before presenting it to the rest of the group. 

“My songwriting is inspired by a lot of other music,” Cudahy said. “I listen to a lot of sounds and I try to make songs that feel like what I want to hear”

A lot of the inspiration for their sound comes from alternative rock bands like Dinosaur Jr, Modest Mouse, Pixies and Pavement.

Tiny Telephone, established in Oakland in 1997, unexpectedly became the band’s creative space. With songwriter and frontman Cudahy, Rabbitt-Tomita as the lead guitarist, bassist St. Clair and Cleveringa on drums, it took the band three straight days to record and compile the songs on their discography. 

“We were originally going to go down to LA at United Recording to record, but the studio got shut down,” Cleveringa said. “We had heard of Tiny Telephone and decided to give it a shot, and it turned out great.”

During the recording process, Strother Field decided to record their instruments live instead of using virtual components to create the most authentic sound for their EP. This decision posed a challenge for the band as it was their first time recording in a professional studio. 

“When we’re playing in the garage and practicing, we don’t really know what the songs sound like to someone else,” Rabbitt-Tomita said. “The acoustics in a recording studio are very different than in a regular room, but we’re glad we used live sounds because it made a big difference.”

Whether it’s the vocals or the drums, after each component is recorded, a mastering musical engineer helps the band make their final edits and assemble the entirety of the song. 

“We did most of the mixing and additions in the studio and after recording,” Cudahy said. “All we had to do was play our instruments and he [the engineer] mixed it and set up all the equipment.” 

Besides releasing their music on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, the band also performs live. At their most recent show this past Halloween at Burgess Skate Park, they had an audience of roughly 100 people in attendance and they played their favorite songs.

“We performed the four songs from our EP and a few more we’ve learned,” Cleveringa said. “We pick covers from bands that we sound very similar to, and just songs that we enjoy.”

With band members coming and going since middle school and sounds continuing to change, Strother Field has grown from a seventh-grade garage band dream to a professional band that is always striving to create their best music. They welcome new members and customize their personal sound and to maintain the integrity of their music.

“Being the newest member is dope,” St. Clair said. “Clay and I have very similar tastes in music so we see eye to eye on a lot of things.”

As Strother Field continues to evolve by creating and performing new music they have many goals for the future of their band.

“We plan to record a split EP with another band,” Rabbitt-Tomita said. “We also are excited to record a full-length album.”

Despite creative differences, the band is always creating new finished products to share with their listeners.

“Most songs usually start and come in very differently than how they come out,” Rabbitt-Tomita said. “But that’s what makes the process so fun.”


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About the Contributors
Katelyn Pegg, Staff Writer
2023-2024 Staff Writer I joined C Mag because I was super inspired by the fun stories and creative design elements that go into creating the magazine. I am excited to work with others who bring so many unique ideas to the table! Some of my hobbies include sports, music, and hanging out with friends & family. In the future, I hope to go into a creative field!
Saachi Nagar, Business Manager
2022-2023 Staff Writer 2023-2024 Business Manager I joined C Mag because I love digital design and writing about arts + culture! My favorite parts of C Mag are getting to interview super cool people in unique fields and getting to be creative with design. I love going to the beach, hanging out with friends and thrifting!