From Supporting Motley Crue On Tour To Releasing An Album, The New York Rockers, THE CRINGE Have Plenty To Share!
Posted On 27 Oct 2015
Tag: AIR, Alamodome, Alice Cooper, Alice Smith, All Access, All Access Music Group, Alter Bridge, Artist Interview, Barclays Center, Beatles, Billy Gibbons, Billy Joel, Blind Spot, Brooklyn, Bruce Springsteen, Bullet for My Valentine, Crash Moderns, Don Gilmore, Dust My Broom, Foo Fighters, FUEL, Hollywood Undead, Husker Du, James Rotondi, John Cusimano, Jonny Blaze, Linkin Park, Motley Crue, Mr. Bungle, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Shawn Pelton, Sheryl Crow, SNL Band, Steel Panther, The Cringe, The Final Tour, The New York Dolls, Trapt
On October 16th, the New York City rockers The Cringe released their new studio album, “Blind Spot”. Over the Summer, the group was on the road supporting Mötley Crüe on “The Final Tour,” alongside very special guest Alice Cooper.
Over the last decade, the Lower Manhattan-based band has developed a well-earned reputation for their explosive live performances while opening for bands like The New York Dolls, Steel Panther, Trapt, Alter Bridge, and Fuel. For their fifth full-length release, the highly anticipated follow up to Hiding in Plain Sight, the band took a decidedly fresh new approach working with legendary producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Trapt, Bullet for My Valentine, Hollywood Undead).
“Working with Don was a real eye opening experience,” says The Cringe front-man John Cusimano. “In large part because of him, this is really our most cohesive sounding record lyrically as well as musically. He’s such a great engineer to begin so we have those great drum and guitar sounds, and the result was just big arena rock with lots of hooks and melody. He was really able to help us capture everything we’ve always wanted to do.”
The Cringe are fronted by singer and songwriter Cusimano, and rounded out with a cast of A-listers including lead guitarist James Rotondi (Air, Mr. Bungle), bassist Jonny Blaze (Crash Moderns, Alice Smith) and drummer Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, SNL Band, Bruce Springsteen).
Learn more about The Cringe in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How’s the tour been going with Motley Crue and with special guest Alice Cooper?
It’s been going AMAZINGLY ROCKINGLY well thanks. Man — those two acts BRING it every night. It forces us dudes in The Cringe to bring our “A” game.
How do you keep up the energy night after night? What’s been a favorite show so far?
We try to eat relatively heathy while on the road, try to hit the gym every day, and limit our late night revelry. (This isn’t the 80’s anymore afterall.) Plus once you hit the stage and are face to face with thousands and thousands of hard rock fans, the adrenaline kicks in and takes over. We especially loved playing Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn because it was a home town gig. But all the shows have been our favorites.
Can you remember first starting this group? How did you come up with your name? Why do you think you all work so well together?
I’ve carried around the name The Cringe since high school when my best friend growing up and I started a punky, quirky, garage-y band that was so bad it was supposed to make you cringe. The Cringe has totally evolved at this point — it has nothing at all to do with that first band — but there is still the underpinning of a punk rock energy beneath our heavy rock/melodic hooks/arena showmanship approach. The guys in the band all understand and respect that, and we are all good friends with slightly different, but complementary, musical backgrounds and approaches.
How do you think the band’s sound has changed through these five full-length albums? What has stayed the same?
Our lyric writing process has become much more disciplined and focused. And musically, especially with “Blind Spot”, we have become more focused on writing hard rock songs (albeit melodic ones) instead of experimenting with other musical directions, such as pop, 60’s garage, or prog rock, etc. What has stayed the same is the goal of writing rock songs that can work in a fist pumping arena show, with big melodic hooks, and punk rock energy.
On “Blind Spot”, why did you decide to work with Don Gilmore?
“Blind Spot” in particular is a good example of how we’ve changed since prior albums. We knew we wanted to work with a producer and made a list of producers with whom we wanted to work, and with whom we felt we could get access to through our personal and business contacts. Don was at the top of the list and we spoke and hit it off immediately on a personal level. He also understood the kind of rock album we wanted to make and explained that his mandate would be to help us make an album that would be well-suited for Active Rock radio. He brought a discipline and direction that has made this our most cohesive and hardest rocking album yet. All of the songs sound like they belong to part of a larger whole.
What bands have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
We wouldn’t be musicians if we weren’t influenced by the Beatles of course. Even after all this time and countless repeated listens they still amaze me; they leave me breathless. Those guys wrote the rulebook for pop/rock and did it better than anyone else ever will.
The whole punk rock thing kinda changed my world when I was a kid. Then, when I heard bands — like Hüsker Dü for example — take the punk rock approach and attitude, and wrap it around beautiful pop gems — that’s when I knew what I had to do. Bands from the early 90’s — your Nirvanas and Pearl Jams — really elevated that approach to an art form and I have tremendous respect for those guys. It would be a blast to work with bands like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters in the future — I think we share a lot of their musical sensibilities.
So far, what’s been a favorite memory on the stage, in the studio or elsewhere?
This Motley Crüe/Alice Cooper tour has been night after night of incredible memories. Playing the 30,000 capacity Alamodome was pretty mind blowingly fun. On a totally separate note, we’ve had the distinct honor of having jammed, several times, in Austin, Texas with Billy Gibbons. We even played “Dust My Broom” with him. He’s the real deal.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
There are challenges and situations that everyone in the world faces, whether it’s being in a troubled relationship, or questioning your value in life, or being nostalgic for your childhood, or just dealing with a general feeling of angst. Rock music (especially live) is a communal experience and being at a show, singing about these things at the top of your lungs, along with your favorite band and a whole bunch of other people, may not be able to solve every problem, but it can certainly make you feel better about them.