The Cringe – fronted by singer and songwriter John Cusimano, whose members include lead guitarist James Rotondi (Air, Mr. Bungle), bassist Jonny Blaze (Crash Moderns, Alice Smith) and drummer Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, SNL Band, Bruce Springsteen) – have been lauded both for their incendiary live performances and top-flight musicianship, reveling in rough-hewn textures, bold instrumental turns, and aggressive grooves. The band’s fifth and most recent studio album “Blind Spot” was produced and mixed by the legendary Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Train) and is slated for release in late 2015. We had the chance to interview John and talk about the future of the band, their new album and more.
Hi, guys. How are you?
We are most rockin’ thanks!
You are all from NYC, right? How did all of you get together and started the band?
I was introduced to our drummer Shawn through a mutual friend and recording engineer. Shawn introduced me our guitar player, Roto, and our former bass player, who moved to California a few years ago, introduced me to our bass player, Johnny Blaze.
Yes. We are all fans of heavy, melodic rock.
You always try to slightly incorporate other genres in your songs, why’s that?
While we all love rock, we are also fans of different types of music, and those influences seep into our playing. I grew up listening to a lot of punk rock, Roto is a prog rock fan, Johnny comes from a power pop background, and Shawn loves R&B.
You are currently touring with Motley Crüe and Alice Cooper. Can you tell us a little bit about this experience?
Touring with Motley Crüe and Alice Cooper has really helped us grow as performers. We have been playing to thousands of people a night, for weeks and weeks at a time, and on a bill with two rock and roll legends. You learn really quickly what does and does not work at that scale.
Would you say it is a good time to try new things musically wise? I mean, your music is actually hard to classify, to say the least, but considering who you are touring with, is it being accepted and enjoyed as it should with this audience?
We’ve been very lucky in that the Motley and Alice fans have been so good to us on this tour. We do everything we can to give them what they want – a big arena-sized rock show with punk rock energy and melodic hooks.
How have the tour itself experience been so far?
We love being on tour (although we miss our families). You get into a routine on the road – drive for hours, get to the venue, go to catering and have dinner, play your show, do a meet and greet where you get to meet fans and sign CD’s, merchandise, and take photos with them, and then you go to sleep and do it all over again. The routine is comforting in a way, and it’s exciting to visit new cities and meet new people.
Are you about to release a new material or go back to the studio to record something?
Our new album (our 5th) entitled “Blind Spot” comes out October 16. Produced by Don Gilmore.
What do you think it’s the band’s new next to become the next “most relevant thing on the media”?
Hopefully our new album!
What was your biggest music embarrassment? I mean, we all have a time in our lives, we like a genre that makes us uncomfortable talking about in the future, what is yours?
We once opened for a Ska band that shall remain nameless. Ska and The Cringe are probably not an ideal pairing. It did not go well.
All of the cities and the venues have been great, but Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn was a favorite because it was a hometown gig.
Do you have already or have plans to play in Latin America? I mean, I’m from Brazil and I would definitely want to go to one of your concerts, I bet a lot of people would too.
We would LOVE to play Brazil. The rock fan base in Brazil is passionate in a way that is hard to find in other parts of the world. We will let you know when we do. Hopefully very soon!
Well, I hope that happens in a near future! Is there anything you would like to say to our community before we finish?
Thank you so much for listening – The Cringe loves you!!!! Please check out “Blind Spot” – available on October 16 on all download and streaming services and at www.thecringe.com. Write us a note and we’ll write you back.
Thank you so much for the interview!
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