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An Interview With CMON CMON

A new self-titled EP release from CMON CMON feels like flipping through a picture book of one of your best Summers with your friends as this pop rock release gives off these wondrous hints of nostalgia and managed to do it in a way that has this warmth to it that makes everything just feel good to listen to.

This record has a pretty vast sound to it in a way as the guitars ring out with open chords and the vocals are melodic and engulfing in a way, but everything's done with this pop sheen to it so it's all very catchy at the same time.

The other thing about this record is that although it's short, it feels like it's very big and that's quite a cool thing given that it's a three-track release.

This band definitely performs with heart and there's also that same level of heart in the songwriting itself because you can feel that as they play through.

This is part of why it feels good to listen to this record as well. In a way it's almost like a love letter to something, and it can be a bit addicting honestly.

All three of these songs can stand alone on their own two feet. They're all singles in their own right and they all have a certain energy that almost delivers like a live performance.

It's almost like you can hear that everyone was kind of feeding off that same energy while they were recording it.

This EP feels like it's shared between everyone on the record. And not all releases feel like that. But this one, you can tell that it was a collective effort, and everyone not only put in their time, energy and musicianship, but also put in the same amount of love.

Sounds weird to say I guess but it's something that you can hear if you listen.

These songs are catchy, they're fun, they're energetic and they have touches of cinematic undertone.

With the release of such a wondrous EP, we wanted to have a sit-down with CMON CMON to find out where this actually did come from and what might be coming up next for them as well.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay guys let's start with the self-titled EP! This had some killer grooves and a touch of edginess beneath the surface! How did this record come about?

Well, to be honest, we never really intended to record this, let alone release it. We got back together after more than a decade without seeing each other because we missed playing music together. So, we did. Jorrit wrote a bunch of songs, Steven and Michel started working with them and we figured they were pretty good. Next thing we knew, we contacted producer Alex Newport in LA and he said he loved to make this record with us. And now here we are. Buzz Slayers: How did you all get together as a band?

First, we met as college students 20 years ago and started playing music together in the band. I was working in a bar back then to pay for my education. I used to ask the people at the bar if they happened to know a great bass player who loved Hüsker Dü which is how I got to meet Steven. Then we placed an ad to look for a drummer with a Slingerland kit and then Michel responded. And then we were a band. With a Slingerland kit. Now Michel plays vintage Ludwig though. Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you guys?

Well, I can’t write about what I do not know, so I tend to write about my experiences and observations, turning them into stories. It’s mostly melancholy stories about people who fail at life and lose everything. I don’t know, but I can’t seem to tell a happy story. And I won’t do love songs or break-up songs either. We have Taylor Swift to excel at that anyway. When I’m playing, I look for hooks and melodies, phrases that trigger me and I build upon that. Buzz Slayers: Can you guys give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Sure, we’re all huge fans of Teenage Fanclub, Nada Surf, Hüsker Dü, R.E.M., The Lemonheads, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, ABBA, you know, the big pop song writers, they keep inspiring us and we learn from their writing and heritage. Being a three-piece you’re forced to focus on the song and to make that work with minimal instrumentation, you need a hell of a big vocal melody. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

Professionally, Steven is a Lecturer in Sociology. He’s always concerned with these two questions: if I look at people, what do I learn from society? And if I look at society, what do I learn about people? Michel’s a real estate agent. He’s always looking for the ideal groove, both in music as in real life. And I work as a creative director in advertising. Besides that, we love to spend time off with our families.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

I spend a lot of time with “Expert In A Dying Field” by The Beths from New Zealand. Love that record. I tend to listen to one album at a time but then I will listen to it like 100 times. I need to analyse everything I listen to. Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?

No, we’re not touring for the moment, we will go back on the road to support a new release this year but we’re still planning that. For now, we started another writing session which feels very fulfilling. Buzz Slayers: Did you guys record yourselves or hit a big studio for this?

We were lucky enough to be able to record at an incredible studio in The Netherlands called Trypoul. It’s a heavenly place to record and they have all those rare German mics from the sixties. That was an amazing playground for us to work. Our producer was in LA and we worked with glass fiber cable connections. Went very well. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

We’re planning to release our debut album in 2023. Can’t wait for this to happen so I hope to be able to share more news on that soon! Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

I think we have the best fans we could wish for; their response has been so overwhelming and we’re very grateful for their kind messages and support. We hope to give them the best possible CMON CMON record they could wish for.

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