The CMDWN - Sound In The Signals Interview

The CMDWN are a unique mix of alternative R&B and rock. Their first single "This High" was released exclusively with LoudWire which led to them performing on the main stage of LoudWire Music Festival alongside Linkin Park, Weezer, A Day To Remember, and Rob Zombie. They're set to release their debut EP Doubt in August. They were kind enough to tell us how they effortlessly fuse rock and R&B, how fans should expect the unexpected on the EP, and how truly being yourself is what makes you cool.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you formed The CMDWN? How did you decide to combine your heavier sound with R&B to form your unique sound?

It was formed with the intent of doing something different. The scene is saturated with straight metal bands, hardcore bands, indie bands... we wanted more options to be creative with. The Heavy Rock and R&B influence came about because they are both on two opposite sides of the spectrum, but are both very emotional genres. We can write whatever we want and make it sound however we want with that being our "style", which is what we wanted when we got the group established.

Your debut EP, Doubt is set for release on August 19th. You've released "Shiver" and "Empty Room" so far, which gives a good introduction to the EP. Can you offer the fans any teases on what to expect with the remaining songs?

Expect the unexpected. The other new songs are definitely a new territory for us. 

I understand that you took six months for a "creative hiatus" so you could work on your sound and vision which is when you wrote and self-produced the upcoming EP. Tell us a bit about those six months. How did the writing and recording process go? Did this method help cement that vision and your sound?

River and Blue weren't in the group yet, they were just producing the record. But as time went on they were in their own project and realized The Comedown had the same vision and sonically, and they thought Chris's voice was way cooler so they wanted to join up. Eventually some things worked out that made it a possibility, so we got a space to write and record the EP and we spend as much time there as possible. The process has been kind of brutal, to be honest. There's a lot of pressure in doing it yourself.

Blue: I can't tell you how many times I've re-tracked guitar parts or sat for hours tweaking the compression on my snare drum or A/P checking the EQ on my masters... All while having to keep up with release deadlines and our normal adult lives. But it did help us cement our sound. It made us commit to parts that we were overthinking or scrap parts that weren't worth keeping. There was never any time for debate, it was always a yes or no situation. I feel like the extra pressure almost inspired us at times when we would have just called it a day on some things. 

You premiered the video for "Empty Room" with Substream Magazine. When describing the song you said, "this song is about the fear and self-consciousness that we all face at one point or another, but in a positive way. It's about that moment that you realize you control your emotions and who you want to be, facing those dark feelings and knowing that they don't own you". What advice would you offer a fan who struggles with feeling self-conscious? How can music offer relief and/or acceptance? 

Everyone feels self-conscious about all kinds of things, it's totally normal.  Everyone feels this pressure to be perfect and look perfect, but that just doesn't exist. All you have to do is own your flaws, own everything you do. It's easier than you think. "Fitting in" isn't cool, dressing or acting a certain way to appease/impress a certain crowd isn't cool. Truly being yourself is what makes you cool. It may sound like a cliche, but it's 100% true.  Everyone can see through someone that's trying to fake it. So own everything you do, because it's yours to own. No one will have any reason to ridicule you and make you feel stupid.  Our music comes from a personal place, we don't write generic songs with generic subject matter to make sure it's relatable... We do it because we want to create something real, but also so people can hear that the things they worry about is normal. Stress is there to make you a better person. We all struggle emotionally and physically but like I said earlier, you just have to own it and move on. 

You've said "we all came together with the goal of creating music for people to make memories to. We want to write the best songs we can, but we also want people to feel something when they listen to our music". I agree that the best songs are those that the listener can attach a memory or a moment to in time. Do you have any songs or albums (yours or others) that really stick out to you and take you back to a certain memory or time in your life?

There are way too many.  Recent The Neighbourhood and The 1975 albums are big ones. Older Say Anything, Brand New, Melanie Martinez. There are a ton. Any time I'm a sad guy, I just drive and listen to sad songs. Most of those are commonly included on the playlist.

You just opened your online merch store. How involved was the band in creating those designs? Will you be adding more items or perhaps a vinyl option of Doubt in the future? 

We were all very involved in the more recent designs. There are definitely new things to be added soon.

What can fans expect as they await the debut of Doubt? Will you be touring afterward? How can they keep up with what's going on?

Expect the unexpected. We really tried to do something different. Not necessarily "weird" different, but just something that isn't necessarily the standard. There are tours being discussed but nothing is for sure yet. Please follow us on our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, etc. It's all @thecmdwn

Thanks for the interview. Do you have anything else you would like to add?

We hope to see all our new fans at shows. We're happy to see everyone responding so positively to something we did on our own and built from the ground up. So thank you to everyone that has listened to us and shared it around.  Doing things without label support is very difficult and the only way to grow is through the people that share our music, we truly do appreciate it.

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