I haven’t posted in AGES, however I asked Crying a bunch of questions. They’re one of the most exciting bands around at the moment. Mixing chiptune with a poppy punk feel, they’re blending it up in the best of ways.
Crying! How’re you?
Ryan: We are all doin’ fine!
That’s great! Now, Could you start by introducing yourselves & what each of you do in the band?
Elaiza: Hello, this is Elaiza. The singing/songwriting/snacking is me!
Ryan: Hey, I’m Ryan. I play guitar and program the Game Boy. Nick’s playing bass and singing on tour with LVL UP right now, so it’s just us!
So, for people that don’t know. You mix chiptune (video game/8-bit music) with an emo-punk blend. That’s how I interpret it anyway! Could you explain your sound & how you became a band for us?
Ryan: I actually see us more as a power pop/pop-punk band with a keyboardist and bassist that just happen to be tracks on a Game Boy. I’ve always loved music that mixes distorted guitars with electronics, but I think using Game Boy (and the software LSDJ) was more of me just having fun and experimenting. It then became clear that I wanted to focus on it.
Elaiza: Ryan sent me an e-mail two summers ago saying his band was looking for a singer. A friend (our good pal Megan!) showed him my solo music and he thought I would fit well with the group. What started off very slowly somehow came together with much more confidence and progress around last spring. Now, it seems we’re becoming more in tune with one another in the songwriting process [and our friendship ha]; we hope it translates in the new material!
You released your debut EP “Get Olde” in August of this year. How has the record been received & have you any plans to release it physically?
Ryan: So far, it’s been really positive. We want to release it physically, but are still figuring things out.
Being featured on a Topshelf Records sampler is pretty huge for a band in the emo/punk scene especially when you’ve only had music out for a couple of months. How did that come about!?
Ryan: They’re familiar with LVL UP and Spook Houses (bands that Nick and Dave from Double Double Whammy are in) and heard us since we’re related. Fortunately, they liked us enough to share us with everyone else!
Your song, “Vacation”, was featured on thisisfakediy.co.uk’s best of bandcamp for October. Is it nice to see your music being shared overseas & were you expecting that to happen?
Ryan: I wasn’t expecting the response we’ve gotten so far. The overseas stuff is really great too. In addition to that one, we’ve been included in a few posts from Japan. I assume that if English speakers can find us online, then anyone can.
With such an odd sound, do you find it hard to find shows to jump on or is Purchase, NY’s scene “pumping”?.. as my grandad would say.
Elaiza: The nice thing about shows is that there is no formula. A bill doesn’t have to “make sense” in terms of keeping a uniform aesthetic. More often than not, the people with whom we’ve played shows in the past have different styles and sounds, but everyone is friendly and on the same page about Doing The Thing. We’re all just fans of one another, really.
When you guys write lyrics what sorts of subjects do you try & tackle? Are they really deep or fun & carefree?
Elaiza: Lyrically, it’s a mix of both. Everything is personal, but you can…dance to it? People should dance more often, at shows and in general.
What would you say are your biggest influences? It’s doesn’t have to be a band. Ideologies, people around you & just general mentalities are totally valid too!
Ryan: I think my biggest musical influence in terms of band philosophy is The Go! Team. Their whole thing was just mixing everything they loved together and delivering it in a super fun and energetic package that sounded original.
Do you prefer to play with full bands or chiptune artists?
Ryan: I don’t think we care! At the same time, it would probably be really cool for us to play with a loaded chiptune lineup. I’ve attended two Blip Fests in NYC and it feels like a more spiritual experience than other shows since everyone is there to celebrate a specific set of sounds.
Who are your favourite chiptune artists?
Ryan: Out of the three of us, I’m the only one that regularly listens to chiptune. I think my favorite chiptune and chiptune-related artists are Anamanaguchi, George & Jonathan, Infinity Shred, cTrix, Chalkboards, and Maxo. There are too many other amazing artists, though.
Any plans for a tour or two soon? I’m pretty sure people will be dying to see this musical blend in the flesh.
Ryan: We have a super short northeastern US thing happening at the end of year, but it’s still being worked out so I’m not going to say much else.
What’s your song writing process like?
Ryan: For most of the songs, I write all the guitar and Game Boy first and then bring it to either Elaiza or Nick and they’d write their parts. There are some cases where Elaiza would write the guitar chords or I would write a portion of lyrics or Nick would make a change to the arrangement of certain sections. Most of the songs on Get Olde were just kind of floating around as guitar/Game Boy pieces before the band existed. The stuff we’re writing now is more collaborative.
Elaiza: Writing with other people is hard because, with solo stuff, you have more control over the entire creation process. Working with Ryan and Nick is sometimes difficult because what those two come up with can seem already finished even without lyrics. It’s-so-good-that-it’s-intimidating kind of stuff. But!, when the lyrics finally make sense, everything comes together and I realize how much more complete the songs sound with everyone contributing something. It’s a healthy challenge that keeps us pushing one another to be better.
I know you’ve just released “Get Olde” but are there any new releases coming up that you’d like to talk about?
Ryan: We’re writing every day and planning our next thing. We’re still trying to get people to hear Get Olde, though.
Ok, so now it’s your turn to recommend a bunch of zines/bands/labels/friends/anything vaugely DIY.
Ryan: Double Double Whammy (tape label family) and Chalkboards (chiptune band in Texas). I think it’s alright to plug him since he’s not answering any questions. Here’s his site: http://www.totallyruinedcircuits.com/
Elaiza: Frankie Cosmos and Baby Mollusk are dear friends and some of the strongest girls I know. Also, a sweet blog focused on female-identified artists called The Le Sigh is putting out their first zine and tape compilation, which features those two plus my solo project. We’re all playing the release show at Silent Barn on the 17th!
I haven’t done an interview in a while but I’m going to ask you an old Try-Hard classic. If you could tour with any 4 bands to any 4 places. Where, Who and Why?
Ryan: The Go! Team in Europe and tricot in Japan. The Go! Team seems like they’re not done, but I still have hope. tricot is slowly becoming my favorite Japanese band and their album T H E is one of my favorite albums this year. I’d want both of them to show us their home worlds.
Elaiza: Nice Try (Madeline Ava is very good) + Usher (minor role in a movie called The Faculty) circa early 2000s? Am I allowed to say that? I want to play a basement show with Usher.
Good choices & of course you can! More people should.
Thanks very much Crying. Try-Hard wishes you all the best in your future endeavours & hope you cross the pond to the UK fairly soon!
Ryan: Thank you too. Hope we can make that happen!
Bandcamp & Facebook