Exploding on the Salt Lake City music scene in 2015, Cinders has been a bundle of great sounds and fun luring fresh waves of new fans year by year, song by song. Their diverse indie-pop/alternative rock sound has been acclaimed by those fans as “rowdy acoustic pop”, a tag which perfectly fits their releases to date and a live presence which leaves a venue smiling breathlessly. We took the chance to find out more about the sextet with both hands, chatting with the band about beginnings, music, the lure of their live shows and plenty more…
Hello all and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?
Chelsey: Well- we have Adrian our ’emo punk’ that studies jazz, Jordan ‘the one who never grew up’, Montana our ‘spikeball extraordinaire’, Austin ‘the one with the dad jokes’, Brad ‘the sex appeal’ and me…. band mom. We are just a bunch of geeks that like music.
I would say the vision of Cinders came from Montana and Jordan. As to how we all came together, some members of the band are long time high school friends, work friends, others met later in life while living in Tennessee, and even social media has played a large part in the formation of Cinders.
Have you all been involved in other bands before? If so how has that possibly shaped what you are doing now?
Austin: Everyone has had experience in bands prior to Cinders, even if that experience was jazz band, wind symphony, or marching band… Jordan, Montana, Adrian, and Brad all played in “cool” high school bands. Adrian and Chelsey both studied jazz in college so between the 6 of us we have a lot of experience in many different styles of music.”
What inspired the band name?
Montana: It was the title of a terrible song we wrote in high school, and we thought the name was super cool and deserved more than just that terrible song. It was also the very first song Jordan and Montana ever played together about 7 years ago.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
Jordan: None of us have really ever had a backup plan in life ha-ha. We found what we wanted to do and we are going after it! Music is everything to us and when you find 6 people who all have the same goal in mind, work just tends to get done. We are all pretty happy and positive people and think that the world could use a bit of a more hopeful sound. So although not all of our songs have the happiest lyrics, we try to keep in that hopeful tone to spread the feeling that everything will be okay and life is good.
And that still primarily drives the band or have they evolved over time?
Montana: I think we can all agree that of course the love for music drives us, but nothing drives as like crowd interaction at shows. Seeing them dance to the rhythms and hearing them scream the lyrics is the most rewarding feeling on earth.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has it been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately trying new things?
Jordan: The band started off a bit more calm and chill until we performed live. We would be jumping, screaming, and stomping on stage to acoustic songs sans drums and it was awesome! It helped us realize more that people want to see a show and they want to see a band loving what they do for a living. I think we have all been to those shows where the band looks sad and stands still the whole time. After the show is over I’ll sometimes hear them saying “that was the funnest night of my life.” you can do those same things at a funeral (though at the end of the day they probably wouldn’t say it was the funnest day ever). We wanted to start creating music that fit our live performance better, so we did, and we still are. We want to whole heartedly say each night “This was the funnest night of our life.” Our fans come to have a great night, so that is what we work to give them.
You touched on it earlier, across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approaches and ideas to creating and playing music?
Jordan: We definitely come from very different musical backgrounds, but that is something we root ourselves in and take pride in. Music is not one sound or genre so we don’t want to be that either. We want to sound like who each of us are. Every Cinders song is like a cake. The cake isn’t all good, big and pretty until all the ingredients and frosting are added. We are each an important ingredient (Chelsey and Austin are the couple on top of the cake). So I guess the inspiration comes from trying to see outside of the box. Yes it has definitely helped us to look at music in a more open way!
Is there a regular process to the band’s songwriting?
Brad: So the songs at the beginning generally come from Jordan’s or Montana’s mind. With a few ideas, a riff, or some lyrics. Once we get something tangible to work with, I’ll usually record some drums for them. And then bit by bit we each add ideas and mess with it. Montana works his pro-tools magic and next thing you know we’ve got a solid demo, or a song.
Where do the prime inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs come from?
Jordan: Personal experience, words with friends, rhyming dictionaries, childhood books ha-ha. It comes from everywhere. I feel like all of us writers have very strange minds. They are like caves full of thoughts waiting to come out, it is just a matter of searching hard enough to find them. That search can be very tough but super fulfilling.
Would you give us some background to your latest release and some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?
Brad: Our latest release is our acoustics vol. 1. We love to rock out, but we also love the chill feel of stripping everything away and revealing the songs as they are by themselves. We call it vol. 1 because we plan on doing an acoustic vol. 2 of course. Not for a while though! 😉
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Adrian: For our first record we had the mentality of the final state is what we were recording. And then we would only slightly modify what we had. But that has definitely changed. We are now working on demos and having a group production phase to our songs.
Tell us more about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band and as many bands will attest to, it is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield, how have you found it your neck of the woods?
Adrian: Our fans are definitely our favorite part. We wouldn’t be a band if it wasn’t for them. And as for the opportunities out here in Utah they are great. Utah has a great sense of community in live and local music.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?
Jordan: Social media is awesome! It has created a way for artists and fans to communicate and connect in ways they never could have 20 years ago. We really owe it all to our friends and fans who have shared our music all over social media to help us get to where we are! Wherever our fans are, we want to be there as well. So we have loved being able to keep them updated with photos and videos of each show. We have even started a Patreon so that they can be a part of the writing of our new album! The music industry is changing and I think social media is a huge part of it and I think it is very positive.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Thanks again for having us, we really appreciate it. To those reading, we love you and are so grateful for all of the support you have shown us! Thank you for everything and look forward to #album2 coming soon!
Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017
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