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INTERVIEW


Cymbals Eat Guitars


You guys are about to go on a pretty lengthy tour with The Thermals and some shows in Europe. How did that come about? Are you excited/anxious for this tour any differently than the others you


have been on? We were hoping to get one last national tour in before we go away for a while to work on our next record, ideally supporting a bigger band.


So, when The Thermals invited us we were very excited. The tour was perfect and we were already fans of theirs, so it couldn’t have worked out much better.


BY COLE DOWNS


Independent of independent. Staten Island’s Cymbals Eat Guitars has only been together for a few years, but the group is already making waves internationally. Their debut album Why There Are Mountains received rave reviews from Pitchfork Media, and we had the chance to shoot bassist Matt Whipple a few questions while the band flew to the U.K.


With your second album coming out next year on a label and the tour coming up this fall, does anyone in the band still have day jobs? Brian has his own business building boutique effects pedals called


smallsound/bigsound.


Other than that, none of us have jobs. We have only been home for about a month at a time all year, so it is kind of tough. It’s pretty easy for us to be envious of bands we tour with who have bartending shifts to come home to. After our [tour], we can focus on writing and finding day jobs again.


Do you have a particular creative process with your songwriting? Lots and lots of editing and re-thinking of parts and arrangements. From one rehearsal to the next we’ll play a new song completely differently until it feels right.


If not music, what do you think each of you would be doing professionally or non- professionally? It’s pretty tough to imagine our lives without music, but I suppose I’d be in law school. I tried to be a Wall Street broker my first year out of college and it was really awful. Joe [D’Agostino] says he’d be working


50


in a bookstore. Brian [Hamilton] would be in Cirque du Soleil. Matt [Miller] would drive an ice cream truck.


Many artists claim they make next to nothing because of pirating. As an independent band that has grown up/lives in the digital music world, what are your stances on pirating music and digital distribution? Free music on the Internet helps little weird bands build up a base to go out and play shows. Folks do need to understand that it’s peoples’ entire lives that go into making that music though, so we’d be lying to say that it isn’t a little bit disheartening


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