KPSU Interview with CRUISR
Written by Lanny Lieu on November 18, 2014
Last Thursday night, CRUISR opened up for The 1975 at the Roseland Theatre. Before the sold-out show, I had the chance to speak to the indie pop quartet.Can everyone go around and introduce themselves and tell us what they do in the band?
Kyle: I’m Kyle. I play bass.
Bruno: I’m Bruno. I play guitar.
Jon: I’m Jon. I play drums.
Andy: I’m Andy and I sing and play guitar.
Initially, CRUISR started out as a solo project with you, Andy. What inspired you to start writing and recording music?
Andy: Once I picked it up when I was 16, I never really stopped. I think I’ve always loved the idea of creating something and knowing that, you can create stuff and leave it behind or you can do something else. I’ve always known that I wanted to create songs because I think people love music more than they love anything else. I think people love music in a way that they don’t love movies. Like, people don’t play movies at their weddings. People love music and I wanted to make it because I knew people loved it so much. That’s what got me into it and that’s why there was a solo project to start out with.
You started recording music in your bedroom. What was the set-up like?
Andy: I had a computer I would use – an iMac. I had one microphone, an SM57 microphone – for the nerds. I had a walk-in closet and I basically turned that into a little studio. I was in the middle of a city so the walls were paper thin but in this walk-in closet, I could set up a microphone and record for hours and hours on end. I did everything there and then I reached out to a guy who had done Youth Lagoon and I worked with him and flushed everything out.
When did you start enlisting the other members (Jon, Kyle, and Bruno)?
Andy: After I released the EP, I put it out on a bunch of blogs and we started getting contacted. One of those people were Vagrant, who we are signed with now. One of my first calls with Vagrant, they asked what the live situation was like. At the time I didn’t have a band at all and he was like, “you might want to work on that.” Jon was the first person I reached out to. He had shown a lot of interest in the band.
Jon: He had been showing me his demos and his EP when it came out and I was really into it. Like “dude, I wanna play drums for you.”
Andy: Jon was friends with Kyle and we were indirect friends. So I met with Kyle and he just nailed everything from the get-go.
Kyle: Jon was always sending me stuff that Andy was working on so I was a fan of CRUISR for a while.
Andy: Bruno was added a little later. We met Bruno from playing shows out. We played a few out and bonded over the fact that we went to the same college. We were always amazed by his abilities as a singer and guitar player so when we needed to fill that spot, he was the first person we thought of.
Once you had a full band, would you say that the song-writing process that it changed a lot vs. you writing by yourself?
Andy: I wouldn’t say it changed a lot but it definitely transformed. I think we’re still going through that transformation. I have a lot of songs started before they were even part of the band which are just getting flushed out now. So we’re still transitioning into it but I’m definitely working with Jon a lot more to get him involved in writing drums because he is much better writing drums than I am. I can think in a logical way of what works in this song but I can’t drum like a drummer would in a natural way. So we’ve been recording home and I would write over that recording, which is fun. Bruno is new so he hasn’t gotten a chance to out his touch on anything yet but we’ve worked on some things I’m really excited to flush out and turn into songs.
How did you guys come up with the current sound you have now – the upbeat indie pop sound?
Andy: I think for me that’s what came naturally. I’m generally a happy guy and I like making music that uplifts people and bring them out of a funk. I have had moments where I love sad music but I think, at the end of the day, it’s easiest for me to make happy music. Every time I’m writing music and I have a good idea, I’m dancing in my bedroom. To me, that’s the best feeling, working on something and dancing to it by yourself.
Did you have any goals before writing the All Over EP and if you did, do you think you accomplished them?
Andy: To be honest, I think our goal with the EP was to do more than three songs. In a big way, the goal was to develop the band. The new stuff is more polished and bigger sounding, a lot more approachable to a broad audience. So in that way, I do think we achieved our goal. In another way though, I wanted to put out a lot of songs. There were a few songs that I wanted to put out on the EP – one of them we’ll play tonight. They just didn’t translate totally from the demos to the new sound. We’re still working on those.
Are you guys adjusting to tour alright?
Andy: I think I have bronchitis. I googled bronchitis today and I was like, that’s what I fucking have!
Kyle: I’m tired all the time. We’re figuring out who’s better to drive in the mornings and who’s better to stay up late and drive. We finally figured out how to pack the van. It took us like a week to figure it out efficiently. So in that sense, we’re doing much better than we were the first day.
Andy: We’re definitely getting the swing on the live side. As far as playing in these big rooms, I definitely think we’ve gotten the swing of it. We’re starting to feel comfortable in our new set. We re-imagined our set a while ago and recreating it every night was a little difficult at first but now we’re able to do it.
As the year is winding down to an end, my last question for you guys is: what have you been listening to in 2014?
Andy: I really love Alvvays and Angel Olsens. We’ve also been listening to a lot of stuff from last year like the Generationals. We’ve just been blasting that and wanting to make music like that, too.
Kyle: Did Mac Demarco come out this year? I liked Salad Days.
Jon: I’m scrolling through my Spotify. Panama Wedding! We worked with their producer.
Andy: Did they hear your ringtone yet? His ringtone is him saying my name in the Uma sound.
Kyle: I listen to a lot of hip-hop. Like the new Run the Jewels. I love it.
Bruno: Sylvan Esso.
For more information on this band, visit their Facebook