Interview - Cruisr
CS: Let's talk about your sound: Cohesive, but not repetitive unlike a lot of popular indie bands today. How did you build the identity of Cruisr's music?
Andy: For me, I feel like we’re just establishing that identity. I hear something and I’m like, “Oh, this sounds like a Cruisr song.” A lot is my voice, having the same voice on everything kind of just pulls it together. When I started out, it was all kind of just making beachy sounding stuff. It kind of came naturally to me to make these upbeat pop songs with guitar. It was just strumming guitar chords constantly. As we’ve gone on, we started taking the guitar strums out little by little and explored new sounds and new ways to broaden the sounds we’ve been using.
CS: In March, you released your Go For It EP, Go For It actually just reached one million plays on your Soundcloud! Do you consider this your biggest song and did you expect this to be your biggest song when you wrote it?
Jon: We thought that would be the one.
Andy: Honestly, that might still be my favorite. When I made that song, I had that feeling of “this is something,” but as we worked on it, you kind of get waves of feeling really excited about it, then “this sucks, I’m sick of it.” I feel like you never think it’s going to do something for you. We think that every time we release something it’s going to help create awareness for the band but you never really know. You kind of have to work on stuff not knowing weather anyone’s going to like it or not. It’s weird; I’ve noticed with Go For It, a lot of people don’t like it and a lot of people love it. It’s weird to see it do well on Soundcloud then on not Spotify. You work on stuff and hope for the best but you never know how people are going to take it, especially if they have their predetermined thoughts on what it should sound like.
Jon: I had a good feeling about it... but I’m also not the singer, or the writer. From the outer perspective I thought it was a good one.
CS: Cruisr started as a solo project, tell us how you got to be a touring four piece band with us here tonight.
Andy: Square one was I released the EP and went out on a bunch of blogs and a guy from a label found it and started talking to me. He ended up being our manager at Vagrant Records. He was like “You need to get a live thing together if you want to be a real band.”
CS: So you guys were all friends before and came together for Cruisr?
Andy: Yeah, more or less. I knew Jon; he was kind of the first person I reached out to. I had been showing him Cruisr as it went along and he was like “Well, let me know when you want to make it a band, I’d love to be part of it.” He knew Kyle.
Kyle: We were working together, and at the time I had gone to college with [Andy’s] girlfriend. He had always played to Cruisr EP a lot at work.
CS: So the name was always Cruisr, even when you were by yourself Andy?
Andy: Yeah, I hadn’t released that much before. Two or three months later is when the band formed. We met Bruno through playing shows. We had a different guitarist before and when the time came up, Bruno was the first person we thought of. I remember going to a show and watching him play and Jon and I looked at each other with ravenous eyes.
Jon: Totally, I remember it to this day, man.
Kyle: And then Bruno found out we played soccer together when we were kids. We didn’t know until our dads met. They saw each other and were like “What’s up, Chuck!” I think that’s a testament to the Philadelphia music scene.
CS: So your parents are a part of the Philly music scene as well?
Kyle: No, it’s just how we all came together. Working together, going to the same school without knowing, it’s all super small.
Jon: I always heard people talking this Bruno guy.
CS: Firefly's in a few weeks! What are your plans for the festival?
Jon: We’re going to be playing a new song!
Andy: It’s weird because the song is done. We can probably play it right now if we want to, but there’s a lot of stuff we do in the studio to grow and chance the song, and a lot of times we’ll lay something down and be like “Okay, so I don’t remember what we did in the studio, how do we play this live?” There’s a lot of intricate pieces woven, where we’re like “Okay, who’s going to play what? I don’t even know how we’re going to pull this off live.” That’s what makes it interesting at the end of the day, doing some kind of trickery on stage to get it all to work. We had to add an instrument, basically, to do Go For It.
CS: So is it all instruments when you perform? No backing or anything?
Andy: We have some backing tracks but we all are doing as much as we can constantly.
Jon: There’s subtle things.
Kyle: There’s like steel drums to add to the drums, some synth.
Andy: We’d have to have like 12 people on tour to do it all live.
Kyle: We’;re stressed about Firefly, basically.
Andy: Yeah, when you said it’s a few weeks away it’s like “Oh shit, that’s super close.”
Kyle: A week after that we’re playing an arena with Imagine Dragons at their Philadelphia date.
CS: Oh that’s great! You guys are doing a huge show for your hometown!
Andy: Yeah, it’s kind of convenient.
CS: What's up next for Cruisr?
Andy: We just finished up a new song and we’re re-releasing an older song, Moving To Neptune. We’ve been playing that live, the old way still, but we’re going to be refreshing that song, then a new song in July. We’re constantly chipping away at an album. We’re focusing on one song at a time, putting every ounce of energy we have into that song, finishing it, and then going on to the next. It’s kind of a difficult way to work because you can’t hop around. We’re hoping to release a new song every few months, then we have a tour with Young Rising Sons.
CS: That's awesome to hear. Thanks for talking with us! We have one fan question, too!
Jon: Power pose!
Andy: There’s a thing called a power pose that we learned from a TED Talk, and it works… and you should all do it…
Jon: You really just hold your hands in the air.
Andy: If you have to go for an interview or anything where you need a lot of confidence, do the power pose.
Jon: It boosts your confidence, and lowers your stress.
Andy: Even blind people do this *does Power Pose* when they win.
Jon: By nature, it’s a confident reaction.
Andy: It’s like when people say “Smile, it’ll make you feel happier,” it’s true.
Jon: If you put a pencil in your mouth, it makes you fake smile and it makes you happier… it’s true!
CS: I wasn’t sure because [Kyle’s] laughing, I didn’t know if you were trying to BS me!
Kyle: I was laughing because Jon’s always full of little random facts!
Andy: He’s like encyclopedia Jon.
Jon: I learned that on March 27, 2009.
We'd like to give a huge thanks to Cruisr for taking time out of their day to talk with us. Visit their Soundcloud for their music.
For more from Cruisr, visit their website: cruisrtheband.com