Cinnamon Aluminum. Cinnamon Aluminum. Cinnamon Aluminum. Last Thursday, when I caught up with them for a couple minute before their practice time, they admitted they gravitated to the name because of it's tongue-twisting difficulty. For those who don't know, the group is a four piece outfit, consisting of Zach Acard (drums, vocals, sampler, synth, guitar), Mike Schroeder (bass, vocals, synths, samplers), Chris Svoboda (synths, laptop, vocals, sax), and the most recent addition, Bill Conroy (drums, percussion, samplers). They've played at The Vault, Soundlab, Nietzsches, DBGBS, and a couple of other places. As you could probably tell from the photo, their approach to performance is strongly visual- they embrace the use of projectors, wear costumes, etc. All of this in order to conjure a certain atmosphere. One that will induce crowd members into participating in the zany hypnotism that is happening in front of them.
buffaBLOG: How'd you guys come together?
Zach Acard: Me and Chris went to college together, we used to be in a band together, but we knew each other way before that, then we met Mike through a casual acquaintance. I met Bill in college too.
Mike Schroeder: I met Bill in high-school.
Zach Acard: Me and Chris used to be in a band called Ape Documentary.
Chris Svobada: Yeah it was basically when we figuring out our instruments (laughs).
Zach Acard: We came together as Cinnamon Aluminum in 2009.
buffaBLOG: Who would you say your influences are?
ZA: We were listening to a lot of Animal Collective, it was right around the time when Merriweather Post Pavilion came out. It kind of changed our direction.
CS: We listen to a lot of house and Daft Punk.
MS: Devo and Talking Heads.
CS: Black Dice.
ZS: One of the reasons me and Schroeder connected was because of the Of Montreal album Hissing Fauna.
CS: That's probably a big influence on the theatrical aspect of our band, that and Zappa.
ZA: Yeah, he's like all of our uncles.
MS: It's his attitude toward comedy, music, and life. It's kind of how we try to think about it. Don't take it too seriously, it's a joke, we're performers, we're dancing around, we want you to laugh and have a good time. Just doing whatever what's on our mind musically. We'll like start with some corny, corny chant and turn it into a cool song.
CS: That's kind of how we wrote our last album.
ZA: Yeah, we have recorded albums of just as chanting.
buffaBLOG: So you just started going into your song-writing process, can you flesh that out more?
ZA: We do the chants, sometimes instead of having regular guitar practice, we'll set up our samplers, synths, and computers in our living room and call it "fort night", and build a fort. Then we'll bring them into practice and make them into real songs I guess. We're trying to write more sounds based on improv, we used to do that, but now we've been trying to jam more. Having a second drummer helps, now we can have full songs no matter what I'm doing.
MS: We definitely write in all those ways, we always switch it, right now we're doing more of the jamming and writing lyrics over it, perfecting it to make it sound good. We still have a lot of songs that need drums.
buffaBLOG: What's your favorite venue to play at?
ZA: The Vault is my favorite place to see a show, it's probably my favorite place to play a show.
MS: The Vault is hands down the best venue.
ZA: Playing here [at Slyboots] is cool, but you have to really bring in a crowd.
CS: It's a little off the grid.
ZA: I prefer playing at places like The Vault over a bar, because there are people that just go there to drink, and that's something you have to fight. I like playing at Soundlab a lot too.
buffaBLOG: What do you guys have in store for the future?
MS: We wanna have more monthly shows, more circus shows, people dressed up as wizards. Weird creepy fantasy jesters.
ZA: We plan on setting up like a monthly party where it's gonna be a set day and a set place. We also have a new album that we're putting out right now. Shabooshkadoti*
MS: It was one of my aunt's nicknames, somehow, I don't know how it was given to her.
*writers note: I may have butchered that.