David Lowery is a successful performer who is very familiar with the business of making music and the fame and fortune that goes along with it. As lead vocalist and guitarist for Camper Van Beethoven back in late ’80s/early ’90s, Lowery had already seen phenomenal success with the bittersweet single, “Pictures of Matchstick Men.”
After Camper Van Beethoven took a break Lowery and Johnny Hickman, lead guitarist, created the band Cracker. The hit single “Low” cemented the group as an independent act in its own right. Lowery grew up in Redlands and met the members of both bands while living in the Inland Empire, so performing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Sept. 15 will be like coming home for him.
“Camper was kind of alternative and folksy, while Cracker was rock with some country elements,” Lowery says. Camper Van Beethoven has its own influences, but Cracker has others. “The ’60s hippy rock band Kaleidoscope is a big influence on Camper Van Beethoven, along with UK’s The Fall and Nick Cave. With our next album we really plan to just carry on where we left off. Camper is more timeless, I’d say.”
Cracker is alternative rock with an Inland Empire twist. “A lot of the IE resonates throughout our entire catalog. We really are influenced by that part of Southern California, where we grew up.” Lowery is part of a proud tradition of music in the Inland Empire, which includes performers like Frank Zappa. “Zappa was here in the ’70s. A lot of surf bands also came from around San Bernardino County. The Rolling Stones even played one of their first U.S. gigs out here.”