This week I sat down with the guys from indie pop band CRUISR. They had just got into town, grabbed some coffee, and finished up soundcheck when we met with them at The Roseland Theater. We talked favorite shows, Christmas music, design school, tea cartons, new music, and macaroni. Check out the full interview with Andy States (Guitar, Vocals), Jonathan Van Dine (Drums), Kyle Cook (Bass), Bruno Catrambone (Guitar) and pictures from their show with The 1975 below.
Sam: How are you guys liking Portland so far, I know you guys just got here..
Andy: Yeah, we kind of just got here, but I’ve been to Portland before, I love it here
Jon: We’ve been to a Starbucks that’s about it
A: Yeah sadly we went to Starbucks
S: Out of all the coffee shops in Portland
A: We didn’t know where to go!
Kyle: It was the only thing across the street
A: We were just like what’s close
J: We got here, sound checked and then got coffee
K: We had a pretty traitorous drive over here today
S: So how has touring with The 1975 been so far?
A: Touring with The 1975 has been amazing, not only because their fans are amazing and they’re so excited, they’re very receptive like everything we kinda ask them to do like clap your hands they’re like oh yes and do it right away. Also just watching The 1975 preform, they are all amazing musicians more than I thought, just seeing them every night what they do and what they can pull off. They’re like really great musicians. And their crew is amazing too just watching the show go up every days it’s really kind of educational for us and just kind of amazing to see how they’re a well oiled machine
S: What’s been your favorite show you’ve ever played?
J: Kansas City
A: I think Kansas City on this tour was really-the crowd was just so into it
J: Yeah everything was just perfect about that show. Prior to that I would say Fire Fly was the greatest show.
A: Yeah that’s still at the top of my
K: The whole weekend combined at firefly. I would say maybe Kansas city was the best on this tour, but Firefly overall kind of
A: Probably going to change that in Portland tonight
S: Aha yes, Portland gets pretty exciting. So what are some of your inspirations for your music, musical and non-musical?
A: Hmm good question. Musical inspiration… I think you know I’m into like a lot of old timey music like The Everly Brothers.
J: Christmas Music, love that
A: I have a secret love for Christmas music just cause it’s so old, like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, stuff like that
B: The Hansen Christmas album is really good
A: Other than that I mean we all, well the three of us went to school for design. I feel like there are a lot of things that we’ve learned in going to art school that we kind of like use in our music. One of the things that I can think of is for me when I write a song, always having a focal point is a big thing for me, I like there to be some kind of center you can focus on, you know it’s usually in the chorus, some line of phrase that’s kind of memorable and I feel like that’s something I’ve sort of pulled over from art school that I never would have thought of
J: And being a stickler for details
K: And accepting constructive criticism , All stuff we learned in design school
A: And it’s weird how much of a cross over there is and things I’ve learned from doing art and design and things I’ve learned from doing music that you can kind of swap things you’ve learned in both fields and you can understand like the idea in both fields and you can understand the idea of a composition in both ways and it translates over in kind of an amazing way.
S: So you guys all have a background in design, did you make your EP cover?
A: We did! Well we helped out with it, we kind of worked with somebody the label brought in to do illustration and we developed with the illustrator and with our label we kind of developed an idea and then we sort of mocked it up in the computer and then had an illustrator draw just like a tea carton actually, people think it’s a milk carton but it’s actually
J: It’s a hidden Philadelphia reference that, but yeah so we came up with the concept of that. We sent them photos of what we were trying to get at
A: We’re big fan of espo and I think that we kind of wanted it to be along the lines of something he would do
S: (they handed me a copy of the EP) Yeah I definitely thought this was a milk carton when I saw it online
A: Ya that’s what most people do
J: It’s iced tea from Fish Town, Pennsylvania
A: Fish Town, Pennsylvania haha yeah that doesn’t exist
Bruno: They [the tea cartons] litter the streets it’s just like something you see on the streets
A: Like it’s trash
K: Yeah these empty iced tea cartons
A: You can’t tell unless you look really close, but we hand painted those letters which I feel like was such a waste of time because nobody can tell
S: No, that’s really cool
J: Little details! So if you ever go to Philly have a Arctic Splash carton
S: So do you guys have any plans for new music in the near future?
A: Well right now initially the plan was that we would be writing in this time but the but the opportunity to play with The 1975 came up so we kind of dropped everything and we were like lets drop everything lets get ready for tour, lets improve our live show and focus on writing as soon as we get home. I think we’re finished with this tour on the 16th so we’ll probably get home mid December then back to writing. And then next year we will have definitely a few more songs to release and hopefully a full length by summer time, that’s my goal
J: I think we’re doing EP for spring and hopefully a full length by summer
S: If you could each describe your band in one word, what word would you choose?
J: Feel-Good, it’s got the connecting, it’s hyphenated!!
K: Summer, I think a lot of the songs have a summer time vibe
We ended with a nice conversation on the history of macaroni, it was a lovely chat with the great guys of CRUISR. I even got the honor of taking home the first copy of their “All Over” EP straight out of the box. They went on to preform a great set and can’t wait to see them back in Portland! Yesterday they released a music video for their song “All Over” and this is a music video that is 100% worth 3 minutes and 3 seconds of your life to watch…check it out here!