Sounding Board: So what was your relationship with music growing up and what types of artists were you exposed to?
Jon: Well, we all kind of got started in music from our families. Like I was raised on music, it was always on in the house. No one played music within my family, so I’m kind of the first. My sister whose eleven years older than me was really rad and she gave me a Nirvana album when I was like seven, then that changed my life and that’s how I got into drumming.
Bruno: My family, I grew up with my uncles and cousins playing songs together, but I was always to small to know what anything was really about. Then when I got older, my dad got me a guitar and it all changed from there. I got fascinated with learning guitar and also grew up on a lot of nirvana as well, I did get a Spin Doctor CD from my aunt when I was younger too.
Sounding Board: Then how’d the band come together around 2012?
Andy: Well, it started off by myself just making some demos at home and worked with a producer to kinda put them out and then released them on a bunch of blogs and did a lot of PR, so it would get them on some great blogs. Then I lucked out and we got some label attention from those initial demos and some of the people I had been talking to were like you should bring people in to make this a real band.
I had been showing all the demos and stuff to Jon the whole time and he had let me know if I wanted to turn this into a band, he’d be down. So, he was the first person I hit up to join. Then we had another bassist when we first started before Paul, the bassist that plays with us now and we just met him through playing shows, so he fills that spot. Then Bruno, who is another core member of CRUISR, we also met through playing shows and we had another guitarist, but hit a point where we couldn’t play with him anymore and had to find a new one. Bruno had been at the top of our list just because of how we have seen him perform and how good he is.
Sounding Board: Gotcha, and you guys have that indie, summer pop sound, so what attracted you to that sound style?
Andy: I just thinks that’s what came naturally just based on how I am as a person. I tried to write all types of music when I was in-between bands and coming up with songs, that ended up being CRUISR songs before other songs and kind of just ran with it. I could get two or three songs together that have the same feeling or vibe and was just like, I’m going to keep doing this. It slowly developed and now we have enough material out that it’s a little bit of our identity. In the future I think we will be doing all types of music, I like the idea of just keeping it open and slowly stepping away to what we have already done.
Sounding Board: yeah that makes sense. And you have two EPs out and have released multiple singles, so is there a reason you chose to do it that way over one EP and then a full length?
Andy: Well I think the world works different these days. We have been definitely pushed by some of the people we work with, behind the scenes, that when we have a great song ready to go, our best bet is to just put it out there and share it. The way we see it, from our perspective, is that so many people are listening to playlists on Spotify and have this habit of listening to one song at a time, that at first we weren’t worried about releasing an album at first -but rather sharing new stuff with people as frequently as we could. So that’s been the goal and now we are wrapping up and album, cause we are way overdue for an album.
Sounding Board: Yeah, I was a little surprised you hadn’t had one out, but a lot of musicians now are waiting to release a full length and now more release in smaller amounts, but I feel it sets you apart. For your last EP, what was that recording process like?
Andy: oh for “Take That”? We have been working on a lot of new material, but the recording process is the same and a lot of the work happens at a home bedroom studio and the heavy lifting is done on that side of things, coming up with a general idea, bringing all the little pieces together and then we normally do a fleshed out demo as possible. Then we’ll go into a studio and work with guy named Andrew Maury to make the mix sound bigger and clearer. The process is kind of different for everything, like the process for “Take That”, it wasn’t a usual process for us and it was a weird time for us, but I’m happy with the results we had for it. There was a lot of being pushed to do things a little differently than we had before and do things other people wanted us to do things, and I don’t think that’s the way we will do things in the future.
Sounding Board: and of all the songs you have released, what’s been your favorite to record and what has been the most difficult?
Jon: My favorite song we have done is “Go For It” and it was my favorite to record, I don’t know I have a connection to that song. It gets me every time and I never get tired of playing it either so, yeah that’s mine.
Andy: My favorite is “Kidnap Me” because we used to be named Cruisr with an “e” and had a different tone and style, and then with “Kidnap me” we kind of reinvented out we were doing things and transitioned into a new format of how we write songs and put things together. So, It’s still one of my favorites and the one I like the most.
Sounding Board: and do you have a favorite show from this tour run?
Andy: We played a show with a band called Bad Bad Hats and I didn’t really know their music before we played with them and it was a total surprise for me, maybe that’s kinda of shitty I didn’t know their music, I don’t know, we play shows every night, but they’re incredible. Spirit Animal has been great too, but I think that show was in Madison, Wisconsin and it was a Friday night, but we weren’t expecting that much of that night. It ended up being a real party, but that’s been my favorite show of this little stretch.
Sounding Board: Have you played Pittsburgh before?
Andy: Not at this venue (the Smiling Moose), but we come to Pittsburgh a lo
Sounding Board: and you guys said you are in the midst of recording a full length album, can you tell me anything about that?
Andy: Well, we have a new song we are playing on this tour and that’s been really refreshing thing for us to have we can share with the world. So we have the new song for the live show, then we have five other new songs on top of that and combine with the best we have done before that what will be called the album. We don’t’ have music out overseas really and there’s no where to really get it overseas. So it will be nice to have everything grouped together all at once and share it with people, so I think that will be great for us and I’m excited for that.
Sounding Board: Awesome! Well I can’t wait to hear the full album and thanks for sitting down with me!
Andy: Yeah, no problem and thanks!
Check out CRUISR’s most recent release below