“Combing R&B sounds similar to The Weeknd and BANKS, merged with rock influences such as The Neighbourhood and Bring Me The Horizon creating a seductive genre-bending sound,”
Utah Provo’s alternative R&B/rock band, The CMDWN (“The CMDWN”) is releasing its debut EP, Debut, on August 19. The CMDWN consists of Chris Gibbons (vocals), Andrue Hale (bass), River Wilde (guitar) and Clayton Blue (guitar). The band claims to have “revolutionized the modern rock by adding influences from the indie, hip-hop and R&B world, with the use of heavy 808’s, hook driven leads and R&B influenced vocal melodies.” CMDWN have already performed at The LoudWire Music Festival alongside Linkin Park, Weezer, A Day To Remember and Rob Zombie. The band also performed at the 2016 So What?! Music Festival in Texas. www.theartola.com recently caught up with CMDWN to discuss the band, their music and the collaborative songwriting process, creating videos, and their future plans.
What does CMDWN stand for and how did you all pick that band name?
The CMDWN: It’s just our stylization of The Comedown. We picked it because it fit the overall energy of the music we were writing. Looming, climatic, airy, dark, etc.
How did the band come together and long have you been together?
The CMDWN: The Comedown has been a band for a little over a year. We were all mutual friends/had been in bands together before, but weren’t finding the musical outlet and drive in our previous projects. So once we all knew of each other and got in a room together, it worked too well to not continue.
Is everyone from Provo, Utah?
The CMDWN:Our guitarist Blue grew up everywhere, New Mexico, North Carolina, England, and then Utah. River and Chris are from the Provo area. Andy moved from a city named Bountiful, an hour away from his family, to Provo when he was 17.
What the music scene like in Provo, Utah?
The CMDWN: Weird. It’s very up and down. Sometimes there are shows going on all the time, new bands coming out and a ton of people supporting/spreading the buzz, and in the same month it can go dead-silent and barely have a show anyone goes to, all in the same month. Creatively, the artists here are incredible.
Do you have similar tastes and influences in music?
The CMDWN: We do have similarities in our tastes, and we all also like a lot of music that the other guys don’t. We all like the R&B, electronic, hip-hip, rock, hardcore, metal essentially the same, and we each just branch off on our own direction further.
What did you grow up listening to?
The CMDWN: A lot of classic rock, pop and country. The Eagles, Rush, Michael Jackson, Journey, Garth Brooks, Linkin Park as we got older, Rob Zombie… and then it kind of exploded from there.
What make the band pick the particular musical direction it’s going in?
The CMDWN: Mainly because of our strong interest in both sounds, we all love heavy music, but we also love ethereal ambience you can float in. We also challenged ourselves to pull off this “new fusion” of those sounds, and we haven’t heard or found another artist doing the same style as we are.
Can you tell how you collaborate, arrange and write songs as a unit?
The CMDWN: We usually start with either a vocal melody from Chris, or Blue and/or River will write up a progression that we all like, and then just build from there. We work the best when all four of us are in a room collaborating on everything together.
What inspires the lyrical content of the songs? What moves or touches you the most emotionally or compels you to write?
The CMDWN: Normally Chris will “feel out” the song, and write about whatever first thought/emotion it invokes. We all can usually relate to what he’s trying to say, and we’ll throw in our suggestions or ideas after he has the skeleton of it.
How involved are you in the process of making videos? Do you enjoy making them?
The CMDWN: We love being involved, but we also love an artist getting inspired by our music. We’ve been very involved in the videos we’ve done in the past, but left room for the director to explore. Every music video for the EP has been written, produced and/or edited by us completely, so it’s all us on these newer ones.
The band hadn’t released its debut EP yet but it seems like you have a strong and solid fan base going having played prominent music festivals. Is that on the strength on releasing “This High,” “Shiver,” and “Empty Room”? Did you gig at all around at small clubs first or just immediately started playing at festivals?
The CMDWN: The first show we played as The Comedown was at Loudwire Music Festival, and that was insane for us. After being in so many bands that weren’t exactly what we wanted, we just really took our time preparing our songs and videos to be exactly how we wanted, and planned out exactly how we wanted to release them – and it led to a lot of those festival opportunities. We still play a few club shows around Utah, but mainly we just focus on writing.
Will the band be on the road again to support the release of Doubt? What is next for CMDWN?
The CMDWN: We have a few tour options and ideas in the works, but nothing set in stone yet. We’re also taking on more projects and continuing to write more music, so we won’t be slowing down after the EP.