Photos by Alex Bergshaw
The Brooklyn-born team of Ev Gold (vocals, guitar)
and Paul Claro (drums) has been entertaining audiences for
more than a decade. The hard-touring cousins have just released
their fifth full-length, CCMXD, in partnership
with Nefarious Industries. While Cinema Cinema has used
guest musicians on individual tracks in the past, for the
first time, the duo adds a third musician - reed player
Matt Darriau - throughout this album, venturing into ambient
and atmospheric free-jazz excursions in addition to their
potent post-punk clobber. Ev Gold took time to chat with
Jersey Beat's newest staffer PHLIS for this interview.
Q: Why was "Cyclops" the first choice
for your first single release from CCXMD?
Ev Gold: Actually, it was the third single we released.
Odd though, that small snafu in questioning does help to
unlock a deeper answer! As we had originally considered
“Cyclops” for the lead single slot, but had
a change of heart in the days leading up to the campaign.
Instead we went with “Radio Ready” as the first
single. The reasoning behind all this was that “Cyclops”
felt like a piece that was very close to sensible song structure,
with a repetitive guitar line tying the tune together. It
had a uniformity that we liked and felt like a good first
step to introduce listeners to the record. As we further
analyzed that decision, we started to feel like the core
of the CCXMD album is a more erratic, schizophrenic beast.
We wanted the first taste to be less about accessibility
and more about challenging the listener, hence our switcheroo
to leading with the more insane “Radio Ready”
and laying in the somewhat calmer (by comparison) “Cyclops”
as the final single, before the record drops.
Q: Just how did you reach outside your normal comfort
zone for some of the material on CCXMD?
EG: The inclusion of a third musical contributor, a wind
instrument specialist named Matt Darriau (The Klezmatics,
Paradox Trio, Orange Then Blue). We’ve prided ourselves
on being a duo since our start in 2008. To flesh the band
out to a trio configuration for this album (as Darriau appears
on all tracks) was the large leap outside our normal confines.
Q: What is your definition of being in the groove
EG: No thoughts enter. Only the moment and the music exist.
That is being “lost” in the groove. A great
space to occupy.
Q: For CCXMD, you take a more relaxed approach
with ambience and free jazz styles to name a couple. Is
this shift an organic thing was it just some random idea
in a way?
EG: The more relaxed approach you mention was undoubtedly
attributed to the elemental change occurring with the inclusion
of varied wind instruments via Darriau. We were less inclined
to blast beat or pump the distortion pedals. We leaned more
towards filling the empty space with sound, as opposed to
mauling the walls with sheer brute volume and force.
Q: I feel a lot of the time people label bands styles
wrong or even create styles/genres for them. Do you feel
that you have been classed correctly in the media?
EG: We like that we have been able to defy genre since our
start. Our goal when we started was to not limit ourselves
stylistically in any way. Being a duo, you kind of start
out with limitations in place, no matter how inventive or
strategic you are, you are lacking a few sets of hands,
feet, and ears in comparison to the majority of bands out
there. With that in mind, we still have always made the
music that feels the best to us at the time with zero regard
for adherence to any specific genre. It wasn’t until
we were called “Experi-Metal Punk”, by the Village
Voice in 2013, that we had a close enough to correct description
to make use of. “Art-Punk” is another one that
seems to have stuck over the years.
Q: Going from the last question, lets have some
fun. Create 5 new genres for Cinema Cinema, the funnier
the better ??
1. Jazz-Punk Fra Diavolo
2. Punk-Metal-Prog Edge
3. Insanity Rock
4. Wacko Jacko Core
5. Gas Chamber Pop
Q: You toured a bit across Europe, how did the experience
and reception differ from the US and any plans to return?
EG: We’ve done 6 separate European runs since late
2013. Each one successively better than the last. We will
return in late 2020. The experience is consistently great.
That “great” is based in just how artist-friendly
the entire endeavor is over there. It feels less about the
commodification of the acts and more about the musical expression
of the journey.
Q: Of all the venues in all the world, what one
venue brings you the most joy to play and why?
EG: Hard to choose just one. We’ve had great times
at Café Carina in Vienna, Austria. It never disappoints.
Rabid, thrilled, large crowds there.
Q: Touring can take it’s toll, what is the
one thing you miss most whilst on tour?
EG: My domestic partner Lauren and our little dog Gus.
Q: Superman’s weakness is Kryptonite, what’s
EG: Sound persons who immediately request volume be turned
down on the amps, at the very start of line-check or sound
Q: "Radio Ready" was an attempt at a mainstream-friendly
single, at one point did it divert from that?
EG: Haha, immediately.
Q: What is the best and worst parts of being cousins
in a band?
EG: Best: we care about every single solitary aspect of
the band, DEEPLY. It’s the family business. Worst:
we care about every single solitary aspect of the band,
DEEPLY. It’s the family business.
Q: Thank you so much for giving Jersey Beat this
interview, anything you want to add?
EG: We’d like to let everyone know that after the
initial tour dates conclude in late November, we are planning
additional USA dates in support of CCXMD, for the Spring
Stream/download CCXMD here...
Cinema Cinema Tour Schedule
11/08/2019 Jerry’s Pizza & Pub –
11/09/2019 Old Towne Pub – Pasadena, CA
11/10/2019 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor – Reno, NV
11/11/2019 El Rio – San Francisco, CA
11/12/209 Elbo Room JL – Oakland, CA
11/13/2019 Sun Space – Shadow Hills, CA w/ Mike Watt
& The Missingmen
11/15/2019 Rubber Gloves – Denton, TX
11/16/2019 Tradewinds Social Club – Dallas, TX