AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CUCKOOS
Rock n' Roll is still alive! And the revival lives on in this Austin-based band, The Cuckoos. The band is comprised of four young guys looking to express themselves through trippy bass and catchy hooks. Between the process behind making music videos to surviving in the Austin music scene, The Cuckoos spill it all….
YOU GUYS HAVE A CLEAR 60’S INFLUENCE. WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THIS TIME?
KENNETH: I think the 60’s influence just came from the type of music we were listening to when we recorded the EP. I feel like the 60's really impacted my late high school phase and this EP came at the end of that. We’re on a slightly different wavelength now and are trying out new things.
YOUR VIDEO FOR “A LITTLE BIT FUNKY” IS A GREAT PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE. TELL US ABOUT THE BIRTH OF THIS VIDEO. HOW DO YOU COLLABORATE AS A BAND TO CREATE MUSIC VIDEOS?
I honestly spent $15 on iMovie, and threw together some old stock footage with all of the iPhone videos and show footage we’ve acquired over the past couple of years. I did video tech back in school before I dropped out. The videos for "New Sunrise" and “A Little Bit Funky" were just little 48 hour sessions of me glued to the computer.
YOU ALSO RELEASED A VIDEO TO “NEW SUNRISE” WITH A SIMILAR THEME. ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE MORE VIDEOS FOR THE EP IN THE SAME VEIN OR DO YOU THINK YOU’LL MOVE IN A NEW DIRECTION?
Possibly, but we’ll definitely have more videos for the new stuff coming out.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SELF TITLED EP. PROCESS? INSPIRATION? MESSAGES?
All of the recording took place over a year and a half ago at a couple of studios in Austin - one in a garage, the other a church. We were just listening to Iggy Pop and Rubber Soul and making funky tunes that expressed all of the things we were feeling. A lot of my personal experiences through love and growing up went into it. Like I said, I just think about my high school experiences when I listen to it. It was all only a few years ago, but I’ve done a lot in that time, and a lot has changed. It makes me sad and happy at the same time.
SOME OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS OF THE EP ARE THE GUITAR RIFFS - “GET IT ON” IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT. FOR YOUR LEAD GUITARIST, DAVE NORTH, WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR GUITAR IDOLS?
DAVE: I grew up listening to a lot of The Stones’ records and always loved how Keith would just flick his wrist and play to the song. I got really into Randy Rhoads’ playing, so I studied what he did like a religion, got all the tab books and instructional DVDs and wore the records in. After that I got into Jeff Beck and his instrumental style of playing and tried to grow from there. I would watch the “Live at Ronnie Scott’s” concert over and over to figure out how the heck he was getting the guitar to sound like that!
THE AUSTIN MUSIC SCENE! TELL ALL. DO YOU FIND IT SUPPORTIVE? ARE YOU LOOKING FOR OTHER PLACES TO EXPLORE ARTISTICALLY?
KENNETH: We’ve been trying to focus outside of Austin in all honesty lately. I will say there are some extremely supportive people in the Austin scene, but there’s quite an over-saturation of music here. Everybody is a musician. Everybody is trying to make it. Most of them don’t. And you get a lot of bitter, negative people who will try and live off of what you’re trying to do. Austin is fucking awesome, and I think I could live here the rest of my life, but you have to watch it if you’re trying to be a musician.
AN ARTIST, SONG, OR ALBUM THAT MAKES YOU FEEL A HEAVY DOSE OF NOSTALGIA?
Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker and Lonerism. It’s like a flashback to walking home from school.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A BAND IN THE 21ST CENTURY????? OVERWHELMING AMOUNT OF TECHNOLOGY? SOCIAL MEDIA CRUCIAL TO SHARING MUSIC?
It’s fun. I think we are living in a very creative time for music, but it’s hard to be heard in such a big sea of bumpin' tunes. I’m just happy to be alive and I feel blessed to be able to do and experience the things I have.