Can you give a brief history of the band?
Well, the band started in 2009, and all of the members met in Greenville, IL, at Greenville College. We started from scratch without jobs and worked our way up to where we are at now with two Ep’s and a music video. That is, of course, all thanks to our family, friends, fans, and God above all.
To someone who has never heard you guys before, How would you explain your music?
That’s a tough question. Our influences are constantly changing and our music is constantly evolving. I guess I would just say that we play in dropped-B tuning, we have a pretty even mix of singing with screaming, and we use a decent amount of programming.
Explain your motivation for making music? Were there any bands that made you think touring is what you wanted to do for a living?
I would say our motivation is more of a passion. We have a passion to share love with people who can’t find love. We reciprocate the love that Christ has personally shown each of us. Our focus, specifically, is on the global issue of sex-trafficking. We are showing people that they are able to love people they have never met, and that they are capable of making a change in this generation. In terms of bands that convinced us to pursue music on the road, I would have to say some of the legendaries like Haste The Day would be a good example. There were innumerous shows we had been to as kids, too, that won our hearts over.
How did you guys come up with your name? It seems pretty direct.
In a marketing sense, we were looking for a word (or words) that was not too terribly common among band names online so that we would be easy to look up. We decided “cynic” would be a good word to work with and then built ideas off of it from there. We then decided that we wanted our music to be a message to all cynics out there, hence the name.
On the topic of making music, I hear your guys a working on a full length and are using a Kickstarter to help fund it. How is the writing process going? Also how do you guys feel about the evolution of kickstarter helping unsigned bands make a name for themselves without the help of a label?
Unfortunately the Kickstarter fell through. However, we recorded our last Ep by ourselves, saving hundreds of dollars, and we are planning on doing that again with this full length. Most of us are audio engineers, so we own our own recording gears and have professional training. The writing process is going great. We have about nine or more songs written so far, and these songs are definitely improved. I think Kickstarter is fantastic! A lot of people are skeptical and even bitter about it because I think they assume it is the “easy way out” of earning money and putting hard work into the band. This is not the case. We pour thousands and thousands into this band, and we work every day, every night on our music, branching out and playing shows as much as possible. Kickstarter was just giving people who support our cause, our mission, a chance to be a part of the movement we support.
I also saw you guys just released a video. How was that? I’ve heard so many horror stories about making videos, but just as many good stories.
Yes, our music video for Silence, The Killer was released last year. We had a show at Agape Fest 2011 the same weekend we had to shoot the whole thing. We were exhausted and pressed for time. Our original set, which was totally awesome, was signed off and approved by the owner for us to use. It was an abandoned building on the side of a country road. We literally cleaned the entire place out so we could fit our stuff in there when one of the co-owners came by and rejected our contract last second. We had to find a new set in a day, which we were able to, luckily. I got multiple ticks on the back of my head on the new set, John did a bass flip and it went flying straight into the ground, we had to kill a bunch of hornets with a shovel, we helped and old guy get his truck out of a ditch, the stories go on.
How do you guys keep the perfect balance of focusing on your music (touring, writing, etc..) and focusing on the ministry side of your band? (Keeping the focus on God and on your individual growth).
We strongly believe that if your ministry is going to be effective, you need to know the inside and out of it. If you are a musician, this includes diligent practicing and keeping your gear updated. But also, with such a heavy topic as sex-slavery, talking to real people who have dealt with real life and researching the topic is incredibly important. God is our drive. There is no money in music. We do not play shows to make money. This is ministry driven. This may be a little too bold, but I honestly have no idea what appeals to people about touring for a living if it is not for some sort of cause, whether it be for global cause, supporting some kind of organization, or if it is merely for the love of music. The average musician makes less than 20,000 a year.
One of our readers at IVM was wondering what kind of an instrument set up you guys use during live shows.
I play a Schecter C-1 Diamond Series guitar, Jon uses an Epiphone Thunderbird bass, and Caleb uses an ESP LTD H-101.
What is the most surreal moment you have had while being in a band? In other words, has there ever been a moment where you really felt like you were “living the dream”?
For me personally, it’s always when God shows up. Multiple times we were about to head out on the road to a show without enough money for gas, trusting God will provide. And every single time, somebody randomly comes up to us with the exact amount we need to get to the show and back. It gives me chills every time. God is always looking out for us.
On the flip side, what have been the worst moments of being in a band?
Some of the worst moments include us showing up at a venue and then having the owner pull out some excuse why we cannot play that night. It has happened multiple times. We have even had to pay right out of our pockets in some of those cases just to play!
Is there anything in the music world you guys are excited about in this up and coming year? I’m personally pretty stoked on the Five Iron Frenzy reunion.
The Five Iron Frenzy story is hard to top. For us, it is probably just the new music we are recording. It just means we don’t have to keep playing the same stuff in our set every time.
As I type up these questions I’m working on my top 10 albums of the year list. It’s pretty tough this year with so many good releases. What are some of your favorite?
For 2011, I’d have to say that Life In Your Way’s Kingdom album set and Erra’s Impulse were my top two favorites by far.
Where would you like to see yourselves as a band and as individuals by the end of this up coming year?
We want to have our full length fully recorded and hopefully released by then.
Any last comments for the readers?
We like purple Powerade and Snack Packs!
Check them out on Facebook!