StyleCasting: Cymbals Eat Guitars


StyleCaster: What is your latest/newfound inspiration?

Matthew Miller: Phoenix.

Brian Hamilton: Reconnecting with old friends.

Joseph D’Agostino: Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor.

SC: What is your favorite movie?

MM: Legend starring a young, dashing Tom Cruise.

BH: I really love documentaries and faux-documentaries, so I think I’d have to have a tie between Home Movie (not the current horror flick) and Spinal Tap.

JD: Right now, probably Michael Clayton.

SC: The Flaming Lips is an iconic band – how do you feel about opening the show for them?

MM: I’m still trying not to crap myself.

BH: Pretty amazed that it is actually happening. After seeing them play at the Pitchfork Festival, I can’t wait for the opportunity to dress up as a furry animal and be onstage with them while they’re playing. Also, I’ve seen Fearless Freaks (Flaming Lips documentary) a handful of times… Enough said.

JD: I saw the Lips at the Roseland a few years ago and it changed my life. That we’re opening for them still seems preposterously lucky to me.

SC: You all started with such different musical tastes – do your early tastes influence your music now?

MM: Absolutely. I used to listen to a lot of punk and if there is one thing I took from that, it’s don’t be afraid to beat the hell out of your drums.

BH: I imagine that all of my past musical experiences and influences have created who I am today as a musician. I come from more of a jazz background, though, which for the most part, has influenced me to play much simpler and focus more on supporting the other people in the band.

JD: Not really…I used to listen to a lot of rap rock…Rage Against the Machine, etc. Are we talking childhood here? I mean, I love Jackson Browne still, and my dad forced that on me from a very early age. Some elements of his music shape what I do, to some degree, certainly. Late For The Sky” is really very sad, lovely, and thoughtful. Dennis Cooper referred to him in a short story as “the great enemy of music” or something, but I think a lot of the glam acts he would favor are complete shit.

SC: When did you know you wanted to be a musician/songwriter/singer?

MM: Since I realized that I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.

BH: The first time I ever sat down and played piano, which I think was the middle of my junior year of high school; I was super stoned at a friend’s house. I started just making things up and everyone was really enthralled, including myself. The next morning I woke up and told my parents I wanted to become a pianist.

JD: For so long and with such fervor did I wish for the life I now find myself inhabiting that it seems I’ve never wanted anything else, ever.

SC: What is your favorite band?

MM: My favorite band at the moment would have to be Broken Social Scene.

BH: That’s an incredibly difficult question to answer… At the moment, either Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes.

JD: Impossible to answer.

SC: What was the last song you listened to?

MM: “Lasso”- Phoenix.

BH: “John Cassavetes” (1)’ by Ekkehard Ehlers, from the record “Plays.”

JD: The theme song from The Wire.

SC: Do you have a music icon?

BH: I feel like there have been different musicians I’ve looked up to at different times of my life for different reasons. Probably the most prevalent and recurring has been Brian Eno.

JD: Funny music note.

SC: Where is your next travel destination?

MM: Germany!

BH: Amsterdam!

JD: We pick up the van we’ll be using on our European tour in Amsterdam!!! Unfortunately we’ll spend about fifteen minutes there…I think that’s all the time Matt and I need though.

SC: What books are you reading now?

MM: World War Z.

BH: Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges and Papillon by Henri Charrire.

JD: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, and the collected poems of Robert Creeley.

SC: What was your first AIM screen name?

MM: Same one I still have today from second grade, BEATBOY87.

BH: I never actually used AIM… lol.

JD: Ummmm…. I can’t recall. The one I have right now is about ten years old, it could be my first… Mojoetheseventh. Sigh.

SC: Are you dating anyone?

MM: Nope.

BH: As Facebook would say… it’s complicated.

JD: Ah, nah.

SC: Do you have a celebrity crush? If so, who is it?

MM: Emma Watson <3.

BH: Not really.


SC: When you sing about love, does it reflect personal experiences?

MM: I try not to sing so those who do love me won’t run.

BH: It probably would if I sang about love… Ha.

JD: I don’t think I’ve ever been in love. When I sing about relationships, it reflects personal experience, yes.

SC: If you could time travel to any period, which would it be?

MM: The year 3000; I was meant to be born in an era full of plentiful and cheap X-wings.

BH: Probably the early 1960s. I think I’d be pretty happy then…

JD: Probably to Whitechapel London, 1887. I really like From Hell, lol.

SC: Where is your favorite downtown destination?

MM: St. Marks Place = favorite Japanese and Korean cuisine.

BH: Pure Food and Wine. Yum.

JD: I can only think of a couple of really puerile answers to this one. Ok, ok, fine. Five Guys Burgers!

SC: What is your favorite drink and where do you like to drink it?

MM: Gin and Sprite or a Heini at a show.

BH: Green vegetable juice with a blast of cayenne pepper and/or PBR – I’ll take either one anywhere.

JD: I don’t really drink, though when we played Le Poisson Rouge last Friday for CMJ I had a pretty good one called The Garfunkel. It had gin, lemongrass, rosemary and simple syrup… it was pretty delicious, if a little sweet.

SC: If you were to lead a walking tour of New York, what neighborhood would you choose and what would the tour be called?

MM: From the Seaport to Union Square and it’d be called the ‘Cheap, Amazing Food Tour.’

BH: Williamsburg. The ‘Look at That F**king Hipster Tour.’

JD: We’d go to Bushwick, Meserole and Bushwick Ave., the “See How Long It Takes Matt To Get Clubbed In the Back of the Head With a Broom Handle” tour.

SC: What song do you have on repeat right now?

MM: “Fire Eyed Boy” by Broken Social Scene.

BH: “Coloradoby Grizzly Bear, from “Yellow House.”

JD: “We Invent You” by Unwound, and “Unbelievable Things” by Superchunk.

SC: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

MM: Hopefully filling out more feature interviews because I’m still in a band called Cymbals Eat Guitars, but hopefully in an apartment in NYC and not in my parent’s house.

BH: Playing music in nicer places than I play now.

JD: “I’m not making plans past 2012.” –John Cusack.

SC: What was your first gig?

MM: My first gig was a high school battle of the bands i think…?

BH: Solo piano at my high school talent show.

JD: I played with my first band at a guitar academy in Toms River, NJ. I had a guitar on, but it wasn’t plugged in. The other dude in my band had won GUITARMAGEDDON that year, so he was more than capable of handling the axe-strangling.