So boisterous and tenacious, let alone infectious, that a bouncing body to its bait is inescapable, the Cinders sound is an infection in the waiting. All the evidence is there on the US band’s new album; a collection of indie pop tracks embracing a host of flavours as they romp in the ears. We had the pleasure to find out more with big thanks to the band, examining the band’s beginnings, inspirations and of course Cinder’s latest album alongside much more…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
No problem at all! Thank you for having us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?
Cinders is a rowdy-acoustic-pop band from Salt Lake City, UT.
Adrian De La Cruz: Bass Guitar
Austin Harris: Keyboard / Multi-Instrumentalist
Brad Bennett: Drums
Chelsey Powell: Saxophone / Vocals
Jordan Zabriskie: Vocals / Guitar
Montana Smith: Vocals / Guitar
We were brought together by a love for music and a desire to make a career out of doing something that we actually love. We are all of the same mind-set that if someone has a passion, they should be able to be passionate about it and do everything they can to pursue it! And for the last 3 years that is what we have been doing.
Some of us met when we were teenagers. We jammed to a lot of the same music and rebelled in the same ways (we would wait until the 3rd time our mom asked us to clean our room to actually do it). Some met a little later in life when we had matured a bit, gone to school, and experienced life around different parts of the country. Within our search for self-discovery we would always come back to music. It is what we love most and what we will continue to do the rest of our lives.
Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so how has that had any impact on what you are doing now?
Yeah most of us have been in and out of other bands! Whether they were high school jazz bands, or metalcore bands, we have all come from a musical performance background. Each group/band taught us important lessons about working together and about what it takes to make a successful band.
I think we definitely pull aspects from each band we played in. It has played a big role in creating our genre and how we act on stage. We are very different from all of those projects though so we approach Cinders very differently. Our ultimate goal is to have fun and bring people together. So we try to write songs with that goal in mind.
What inspired the band name?
It felt like an appropriate name for a band of 6 people who have played music for years but never together. It is short and sweet and represents our music well…though because it is so simple, people often feel like it should be more complicated and add in “the” to the title. We are not The Cinders ha-ha. We are a huge fan of The Led Zeppelins though…
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
It was something we all wanted and needed. Music is what drives us. Playing in a band with people as motivated as yourself is awesome. We felt the sound we had to offer was familiar but unique. It is like when you meet someone for the first time and they are super cool, but you feel like you have known them for years. You wonder why you haven’t known it this whole time and from now on it becomes a part of you.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
When we first started, I feel like we had a smaller view of what we wanted the band to become and how we were going to get there. We have always wanted to be a touring band. We were definitely driven by hopes and our dreams and by each other and that has not changed.
But what has been added to the list is a compilation of all the successes, all the lives changed, all the support from fans, all of the small goals achieved, all of the trials conquered, all the lame part time jobs, and all of the fun experiences. With all of these things motivating us and driving us, we won’t stop until we get where we want to be.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
Short dumb answer would be “slowly”. We didn’t realize how much we loved yelling and hitting instruments super hard until we played live. Even the softest songs from our first record became much heavier live. So when we hit the studio again we had more of that mind-set of creating fun live songs that would appropriate to break our instruments to. We of course don’t break our instruments though… because, well, we need them to make music.
Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately trying new things?
Tooooootally organic for sure… I don’t think we have had very many discussions on what sound we want and there hasn’t been any disagreements with what the songs turn into. I have seen band after band split up because they have different ideas of what they want the music to be. So many start their own solo projects; so many release EP after EP sounding like a new band every time. But with Cinders, we all just kind of do our own thing and trust each other and build on our demos until a final song just sounds like Cinders.
Presumably 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 approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
Twenty One Pilots, one of the biggest bands in the world right now has a heavy influence on our work ethics, our goals, and our expectations. Tyler and Josh are from Ohio and they started as nobodies. They worked hard, they released music, they toured, they did all those things that bands say “we will do that when we are a big band”. They are proof to us that any band from anywhere with whatever tools and connections they have or don’t have can make a career out of music touring the world. It has inspired us to go all out and make our live shows as crazy and fun as possible. We want people to say “that is the funniest concert I’ve been to” whether we played for 25 people or for 25,000 people.
Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?
Songs will typically start with an acoustic guitar and a vocal melody. There may or may not be lyrics written yet. The lyrics will usually come as the chord progressions are discovered. The song will form first as a rough acoustic demo, it won’t really take shape until each member has sat down with the demo to add in their flavor and make necessary changes. We often will sit down and jam with each other before we solidify a song idea.
Where do inspirations to that lyrical side come from?
Inspiration can come from literally anywhere. I remember being in the grocery store writing down the lyrics for 100 Foxes on my grocery list. Typically they will come from personal experience or feelings though. We really try to show what we are feeling lyrically rather than tell it. A story is much more interesting and meaningful than an explanation.
Would you give us some background to your latest release?
We are extremely stoked that our new album, Looking Forward to Looking Back, is finally out! It just came out on September 29th and it is our second full length album. This record is much heavier musically and lyrically. It is a matured sound for the band and really drives emotion. It has been a 2 year project and our proudest achievement to date!
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
We really wanted to make something that reflected us and the way we feel, and the way our fans feel. So the premise would be that we want everyone to know that no matter what you’re going through right now, there are always good things that are on the way. The album title, Looking Forward to Looking Back really encompasses the theme of the album. Each song is very reflective and forthcoming at the same time.
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?
We are very fortunate to have been able to build our own studio. So we are in the studio almost every day. We are always recording new ideas that we have. Whether we have a full song or just a cool line, we want to have it recorded. We started out with just over 30 demos for Looking Forward to Looking Back. In the end we felt very strongly about the 11 we chose. We didn’t want to just settle on any tracks. We wanted to make sure that this album was the best that it possibly could be.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?
The shows are the best part! The crowd energy is always insane! The fans are seriously the best part of it. To hear all those people screaming our songs right back at us is so cool. We may have some easy listening songs but we treat every performance like a punk show and go as hard as we can every night. We want to make sure that everyone who paid to see us gets the show they paid for!
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?
The music scene in Salt Lake City, UT is awesome! There are a lot of college towns around us as well that have great venues and incredibly talented musicians. It is hard not to be a lover and supporter of music when the music scene you are in is so cool. We love touring nationally. There is nothing like coming home and playing a show for your town though. We are always the most excited for those shows!
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success but in a climate where people are not buying music?
Social media has played a huge part in our success so it is hard to say too many negative things about it (other than it taking over all of our lives ha-ha). There are a lot of awesome YouTubers that have become great supporters and friends who have shared our music to their worldwide fan-base. We rely a lot on the reach of our social media and our online marketing to help reach fans across the world we wouldn’t have normally hit! We definitely look at it as a positive for our band.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Pete RingMaster 07/11/2018
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