Cedar Boulevard is a punk, rock, post hardcore band. They have a sound along the lines of Black Veil Brides crossed with Avenged Sevenfold, mixed with Fall Out Boy and Pierce The Veil. Based between Los Angeles and Toronto, they have just released their self titled EP. Check out my exclusive interview with the guys below and get to know this great up and coming band I am sure you are going to be hearing a lot about.
Can you give me a brief history on your band; how and when you formed and how you decided on the band name Cedar Boulevard?
The band was originally started in Australia by Kris & myself (Luke). We decided to move to Toronto, Canada where we found our drummer David. There was then a fairly lengthy process of trying to find a singer as dedicated as the rest of us. After a long search we eventually found our singer Julian in Los Angeles, and from there everything just really clicked and before we knew it we were in the studio recording our self titled EP. The name Cedar Boulevard has a long story behind it, which will slowly come out over time, but for now we leave you pondering…..
How would you describe your sound?
The band’s sound comes from a lot of our influences and what we enjoy listening to. Overall we combine a mix of genres, hard rock/metal similar to bands like Avenged Sevenfold/Black Veil Brides mixed with a punk/post-hardcore feel like Fall Out Boy/Pierce The Veil. Mainly its catchy vocals, lead guitars and thick driving rhythm.
Who do you think would enjoy listening to your music?
We hope that there is something in there for everybody. We’ve been told we sound like a lot of bands. Blink 182, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy and that punk vibe through to heavier stuff like Atreyu, A Day To Remember and Avenged Sevenfold. I think it’s because we have some heavier tracks on the EP, driven by the instrumentation, we also have an acoustic track on there so we feel we have quite a range as we think it’s important to be diverse. Hopefully that helps bring a diverse audience as well.
You just released your amazing self-titled EP that was recorded in North Carolina. What was it like to record your debut release?
A strange mix of exciting and stressful would probably sum it up. We were lucky enough to be able to record at Adelaide Recording Studios with Shawn Milke and Neil Engle, the team behind Alesana’s latest release. We went into it with everything already written and demoed, which proved useful as we were short on time. David’s skill as a drummer really shone through and he managed to record all of his drums in just one day. That really set the tone for the recording process and Luke and Kris pushed themselves immensely to make sure we got the rhythm guitar and bass done. It left us just enough time for Julian to record his vocals and for Luke to get the lead guitars done before we had to catch a flight back home. Working with a deadline pushed us to get it done, it was probably what we needed.
The EP’s opening track is a great song with a unique and interesting title, “A Raven Like A Writing Desk,” what inspired that?
The track itself has this dark and eerie classical string opening which then kicks into the song with full force. It is definitely our heaviest track on the EP with plenty of guitar leads and some more “metal” riffs. Lyrically the song explores a character who is questioning his own sanity and whether or not he is in fact going crazy. The lyrics from the pre-chorus depict it perfectly, “And they say maybe I’m losing my mind, and I said maybe it’s already gone”. The song title comes from a line in Alice In Wonderland where the Mad Hatter says to Alice; “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”. The Hatter admits that he doesn’t actually know the answer, eluding to his madness. Something that related strongly to the lyrical content of the song.
What kind of festivals are you hoping to play at? I could definitely see you guys at Warped Tour.
Warped Tour is definitely a big one that we would love to play at. So many of the bands we all love have been on that tour at one point or another. Spending a summer playing music, hanging out with your friends and getting to meet so many music fans from around the country sounds amazing. Another festival would be Soundwave in Australia, it would be awesome because both Kris and Luke are Australian and the festival itself has a great mix of bands, but really Europe or any festival that would allow us to play to new fans.
What is your writing process like? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
The writing process for this first release was different to our current writing process. Luke and Kris had already written the skeletons of most of the songs when they were back in Australia. It was when they moved out to Toronto and found David that we really started to see them come to life. When we sat down and wrote the vocal/melodies with Julian it all just came very naturally. And we think that was the most important part, the four of us writing together just feels very natural. Now that we have put this release out we are beginning from the ground up on our next release and the writing is happening in many different ways which is great. Whether it is a rough song idea or a vocal idea from Julian or a guitar part from Luke, it’ll get brought to the group as a whole and then Kris will add a bass part or David will bring in the drums etc. Everything just comes to life from there, it’s very much a group effort.
What albums and bands do you individually or as a band enjoy listening to?
As a band we think one of the biggest things that makes our sound so diverse is that each of us has really different musical tastes. It’s where we get our combination or rock, pop punk, post hardcore and metal.
Kris: I listen to a variety of genres from Rush and Macklemore, to more of the heavier side, bands like Escape The Fate, Black Veil Brides, Close Your Eyes etc…
Julian: I love everything, as long as it’s good for what it is. But a few specific examples would have to be Beartooth, who I’m really into right now, and Issues. Also, I used to be an All Time Low fanboy … It was bad.
David: Avenged Sevenfold, A Day To Remember, Metallica, Rush, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy. I also listen to Rap/RnB/Hip Hop and EDM music.
Luke: Classical Music, Symphonic Metal, Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, All That Remains, Queen, Green Day, so many more.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
The best advice we would have is just to go for it. Start small, get your friends together and do it for the simple love of music. Some of the best times we’ve all had is the simple pleasure of being with your friends and writing music. From there see where you want to go with it, understanding that you should always do it for the love of music, not for money or fame. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing, pursuing it as a career is as equally hard as it is rewarding, just make sure it’s definitely something you want 100% because you have to put your heart and soul into doing it to really get somewhere.
How can fans stay in touch with the band and its members?
We try and make it easy, people can stay in touch with us as a band and individuals via our social media. We’re most active on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. We actually genuinely love talking to fans and interacting, answering questions and we definitely encourage people to talk to us.
You can also check out Cedar Boulevard’s official website for more info and to purchase their EP.
Check out the band’s Facebook to see how you can win some official merch from the band!
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