The Rule of Three

Saving Cadence

Life’s been good lately for the talented alternative pop rock trio Saving Cadence, thanks to a fresh-sounding debut album and an opening act date with Jimmy Cliff

Twins Jordan and Taylor Fite are proof that while bad things can happen in threes, good things often arrive in that same number cluster as well.

First, the bad batch: Several years ago following a summer of hard work and saving their money, the Fite brothers hit the road in California and made a beeline for Florida as the promising acoustic pop rock duo Saving Cadence. Up until then, life as students at Santa Monica College had prevented Jordan, a guitarist/vocalist, and Taylor, a drum-mer/vocalist, from fully immersing themselves in L.A.’s dizzying music scene. But once free of their studies, the twins were eager to complete their trek east, where they were promised a recording opportunity in Tallahassee and an invitation to join another band for a swing along the Atlantic Coast.

“Taylor and I had never been part of a tour and we wanted to try it out,” Jordan says. “We spent days on the road and when we finally arrived in Tallahassee, first, the band we were supposed to link up with bailed on us; second, the recording engineer we were supposed to record an EP with told us he was all booked up for the next six months, and third, the friend we were supposed to stay with told us she was too overwhelmed with school and we wouldn’t be able to stay with her any longer.”

Ouch. Not even college courses such as “Rude Awakenings for Beginning Bands 101” and “Misery Loves Road Musicians 102” could have adequately prepared the Fites, 2007 graduates of Kailua-based Le Jardin Academy, for a series of setbacks that left them “scrambling and gritting our teeth.” Fortunately, the reeling siblings would find stable footing a thousand miles to the north in a Pennsylvania-based sound engineer – “a friend of a friend of a friend,” as Jordan puts it – who was more than willing to help refine the brothers’ sound and commit their songs to record.

Now, the good part: Those early recordings, while considered ancient history by the twins, would set the stage for their eventual return to Hawaii and portend three favorable occurrences, beginning with the siblings’ entry into last year’s Island 98.5 Cecilio & Kapono Battle of the Bands competition, which they won.

Soon afterward, the Fites added Kapolei High graduate Glenn Molina to the lineup, who brought the kind of bass-slapping umph to the band that was previously lacking.

Jordan Fite, Glenn Molina and Taylor Fite

The alternative pop rock trio Saving Cadence, with Jordan Fite, Glenn Molina and Taylor Fite, opens for Jimmy Cliff April 18 at Aloha Tower. Photo courtesy of Saving Cadence

“Glenn was recommended by a mutual friend, who thought we needed another instrument to take the band to the next level,” Jordan tells me. “One night, Glenn came out to one of our shows and absolutely loved our style. We connected right away because we share many of the same interests in music.”

Now a trio, the band was ready to revel in its third accomplishment – a debut album released just weeks ago, It

Always Comes Back Around, which features 10 original tracks, including the Plain White T’s-sounding K-I-S-S-I-N-G and the Red Hot Chili Pepper-ish Getting By Without You and Dangerous. Additionally, Saving Cadence is featured on Alternative HI, a compilation album of alternative rock tunes released last month, courtesy of local producers Brandon Apeles and Shawn Livingston Moseley, and Mountain Apple Co.

So, you could say that life’s been more satisfying for the band ever since the brothers’ misfortune in Florida were followed by a trio of career-shaping events.

“Yeah. We’re not complaining,” says Jordan, who along with the rest of Saving Cadence can be heard opening for Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff April 18 at Aloha Tower Waterfront. Doors open at 7 and the show begins promptly at 8.

Here’s what else the talented trio told Musical Notes while preparing for their next gig:

MN: OK, which one of you decided to call the band after an ex-girlfriend?

JF: (laughing) That is what a lot of people think. Some people have even called us Saving Candice, which kind of bums us out. But no, the band isn’t named after a girl.

MN: So what’s the story behind your name?

JF: I really wish I had an epic answer. But, really, we just took to the Internet one day and found a band name generator site. Originally, it spat out Burning Cadence. We eventually settled on Saving Cadence.

MN: How did you land one of the opening act slots for Jimmy Cliff?

TF: We’re actually really good friends with a local promoter, Brandon Apeles. He was the one who suggested and fought for us to open up for Jimmy Cliff. Sure enough, the concert promoter said, OK, we’ll give those guys a shot. Now, our name is on every Jimmy Cliff promotional poster islandwide and we’re pretty excited about that.

MN: Aside from the Jimmy Cliff gig, where else can fans hear you live?

JF: We’re kind of all over the place. Hawaiian Brian’s, Station Bar & Lounge, Rivals Sports Bar and Jazz Minds Art & Cafe – you name it. We’ve also played at Apartment3.

MN: In your liner notes, you credit Honolulu Community College’s Music & Entertainment Learning Experience (MELE) program for its role in developing Saving Cadence. What exactly did MELE teach you?

GM: From my perspective, the MELE program was probably the most important thing to happen to this band, just in terms of teaching us how to get publicity, make press kits and solidify our brand name. The program taught us how the industry works and it’s been extremely beneficial to us. I would recommend anyone interested in music to learn more about this program.

MN: What are some of the band’s goals?

GM: Personally, I’d love to one day win a Grammy.

JF: Come 2014, we promised ourselves that if we worked hard enough we’d be playing at the Hollywood Bowl. That’s our goal; that’s something we really want to do. But we’d also like to get back on the road and finally do some touring.