Sunday, June 14, 2009

Interview with C~of~W - The Pioneers of Rebel Rock

Recently, I became aware of this band, that was recently stirring up a buzz down here in Florida, so I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to interview them for this blog. The band in question is none other than C~of~W (which stands... well, read below to find out!). What was even more surprising to me was that the band is actually a family... which is a pretty rare site to see in this day and age. And even rarer is the fact that the lead guitarist and vocalist is a child prodigy that's only "knee high to a grasshopper" as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers would say. They have an up and coming engagement at an event called SoCool Evenue, so please be sure to check it out, for this is a band that is definitely not to be missed. So without any further ado, below is the interview that I conducted with Oggur P.C. (vocalist/keyboardist) of C~of~W.

PS: Cite your musical influences for us.

OPC: Our biggest musical influence is definitely U2. But who can come close to ever sounding like them. We have literally woken up with their music, watched over and over their live concert videos and in our car that’s what’s always playing besides our own shit.

PS: How many instruments do you play and which one would you consider to be your main instrument?

OPC: Well I play the drums and keyboard, my son Elternative plays the guitar as well as the drums. But I will be focused more on vocals for live play, but will continue playing the drums on some of our recordings, I love it.

PS: What do the initials C~of~W stand for?

OPC: What does C~of~W stand for? C~of~W stands for "Cup of Wine"... and there’s a crazy story behind it, and how we came up with the name.

PS: Would you care to elaborate upon that a little more?

OPC: Glad you asked. Okay, so it all starts on us figuring out what the name should be. Elternative wanted a different name but the name he wanted was already taken. I happen to always drink wine before I go to sleep, I hate sleeping by the way, and one day as I was sipping away on my wine I said to Elternative, we should name it "Cup of Wine". He actually liked the idea, but wanted to abbreviate it. After a few discussions and uncertainties my wife searched the word "Cup of Wine". It so happens that in the Jewish Religion, they celebrate a feast where they serve five cups of wine on the table, they drink four out of the five cups and the last cup they leave full in acceptance of Elijah the Prophet whom some believe to be the Messiah. They call it Elijah’s Cup of Wine. My son’s real name is Elijah and this is his band so when we read that we definitely knew it had to be "C~of~W" for "Elijah’s Cup of Wine".

PS: What genre would you say best classifies the music that you're producing?

OPC: We really don’t know, but my son describes it as "Rebel Rock" because we oppose every system that’s out there. All of our songs are so different from each other that it’s hard to say. Some have said its indie, some punk rock, others hardcore. But I like Elternative’s description better.

PS: How many members are in the band and how many have their been to date?

OPC: We have four members right now, though we started with three; My son, myself and my wife. My little sister joined us after the first four songs were being recorded.

PS: Is it hard to find a balance between a personal life and a professional one, when it comes to playing music together as a family?

OPC: Man, playing together as a family is great. We all live together and we are always together. We are all in awe in what we’re doing and in what we’ve created. My wife and sister are just filling in, in what my son and I were missing. We started out not knowing what the heck we were doing, only knowing that we loved making music and that we wanted to play live in front of a crowd, whether it was two people or thousands of people. We enjoyed each other's company but knew we needed a couple of more elements to join us. We asked a couple of experienced boy’s to join us, but both denied and we ended up with these two fine chicks. When it’s time for business, when it’s time for rehearsal we are all focused, when it’s time to promote we are all focused, when it’s time to take time off we enjoy each other’s company once more, music is a gift, and we are all enjoying this wonderful journey of being an artist...

PS: Which song do you consider your favorite and could you tell us why?

OPC: Favorite song? Man... they are all so special, but it definitely my son’s favorite is Magazines Don’t Have Pictures. Its unique guitar riffs, drums, bass and lyrics are all just a fresh new sound. Mine is Song of My Fellow. It has so many angles, beats, an intermission where it completely slows down and then speeds back up, it’s truly a cool song. My wife’s favorite is one called Dawgs and the reason is because that’s where she was most passionate on the bass guitar. My sister’s favorite is Dumb obviously because of the drums...

PS: To date how many albums, demos, singles, etc. has your band released?

OPC: We have just finished our first album entitled Shells on the Beach which will be out on June 20th, 2009.

PS: What would you say are the central themes or subjects behind your songs?

OPC: We speak about everything that goes on in our personal life, also about an abandoned generation being raised without parents and being raised on television, and being told, what to think, what to believe, what to study and all the other make believe crap.

PS: Could you share with us your thoughts on the local music scene here in Florida... like, do you think it still has a long way to go before it actually caters to musicians, or do you think that it's fine the way it is?

OPC: I think we have so much talent and potential down here in Miami. We just need a specific band to go out and put us back on the map so we can get the attention of both the country and the world. We’re willing to take on that task, so... let the revolution begin!

PS: I've been told that your band is generating a buzz down here recently. What in your opinion, do you think attributes to that success?

OPC: This is a 24 hour business. You have to hustle, take risks, and be creative. We’re just constantly coming up with ideas on how to market ourselves. But this comes from an invisible and creative place within, and only then will the doors open. Our sound, unique lineup, lyrics, staying in touch with our fans and supporters is another great aspect of it. You can’t just expect people to like you and follow you just because you sound good, there are tons of bands out there and you need to separate yourself in some kind of way, and really show people you care. I mean they’re the ones who buy and listen to your music; the least you can do is acknowledge them. Especially in the beginning when your fan base is not that big.

PS: And as a follow up to that question (and the one prior to it, as well...) do you think that local bands can actually start making something happening to change the music landscape down here in Florida, or do you feel that it is necessary for them to have to go someplace else and tour the country in order to raise awareness about what's going on down here?

OPC: Man, I’m a firm believer in starting in your own backyard. But you have to go against the current, be innovative, it takes more than talent, it takes courage, guts and a lot of faith in what you’re doing. It all depends on what you want though, if music is just a hobby than treat it like that, but if music is what you’re really passionate about and want to make a career out of it, then you have to launch out and separate yourself from those that are treating it like a hobby.

PS: Do you think that social network sites help a great deal in getting in touch with or at least acquiring a strong fan base, or do you leave it more up to live appearances to do just that?

OPC: If you’re serious about your work, then you need to put your name in how many things you can. Create a buzz, act like you’ve made it. Act, walk, and talk like you’re the biggest thing since the freaking Beatles.

PS: Describe what performing on stage is like for you as a musician, and/or an individual, for that matter...

OPC: That’s what we live for, that’s why Elternative started the band. He loves to perform and is great at it. The interaction with the crowd, to feed off them, to see them singing along to your’s truly a supernatural experience. Elternative’s reason for starting the band was to play in front of thousands of people. That’s what really motivates him, not the studio part and recording, but rather being on stage and just letting go and feeling free. It’s a place of freedom, a place where you can be yourself; as both an artist and an entertainer.

PS: Where do you see your music headed towards in say the next couple of years?

OPC: Where do we see our music going? We will continue to evolve as musicians. Never getting comfortable but always pushing towards a fresh start. Every song is different, every sound is never alike, and so we’ll continue to surprise ourselves as well as our fans. Our album sounds like nothing I've ever heard before and that is the comment we hear the most. Most absolutely love it, others just hate it, but that’s the sign of pioneering. A pioneer's work is first criticized, then analyzed and finally it's imitated.

PS: Do you feel as though your band is a novelty act... what with it being a family band and all, as well as having a child prodigy behind the guitar?

OPC: Well, this is his idea. His dream and he wanted us in it. I’m just glad I can be part of it. I don’t know how long we will be doing this, he wants to make about sixty albums, and we are already starting to work on the next ones. The way music is being made and marketed is changing so rapidly, so I think maybe it won’t be sixty albums, but a whole lot of songs coming. But knowing him, it will be about sixty albums. [laughing out loud]

PS: Do you personally feel that something as unique as your set up/make up/or whatever it is that sets you apart from the rest of the bands out there; can be subject to wearing off as the years progress?

OPC: Anything can wear off at any time, we love to evolve, my son will evolve, and all of us will evolve as musicians as well as artists. The cool thing is that our music and songs are not little kid's songs... they’re controversial, truthful and very relevant to our time. The first four songs were just a little taste of what the rest of the album will be. We will experiment with as much as possible on the next albums; we are now coming to know so many other great bands and styles of music. I can’t say we will follow any specific motto or style but one thing is for sure we will be our own biggest fans and our biggest critics. This is just me and my son’s first business venture that we have done together. So you'll have to enjoy us while it lasts. We will stop whenever we feel is time to stop. We have other ventures in mind for the future, such as movies, animation shows, websites, engineering roller coasters and so much more. Music is just a step to catapult us to higher heights... although, music is our first passion and base.

PS: Thank you very much for doing this interview.

Well, there you have it folks! C~of~W, the self-proclaimed pioneers of "Rebel Rock". Be sure to get their new album Shells on the Beach, which will be out on iTunes soon. And also, if you're on Twitter be sure to follow them as well for all their latest happenings...

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog. Peace (frog) out!

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