Interview by: Alessandro Mascellino in 2016
Are you more of a Pop Punk or Alternative Rock band?
CDS: We’re not that great at labeling our genre, because we mainly don’t make music to fit specifically into a genre, we just make music and then it happens to fall in a category. For the most part our sound is pop punk but we definitely have a lot of alternative rock aspects and influences incorporated in our music.
Are you guys all from Old Bridge, New Jersey? How did you meet and what inspired you to make music together?
CDS: Three of us (Jill, Dan, and Zion) are from Old Bridge. Jimmy is the next town over in Sayreville, and Ryan is the furthest from all of us up in northern NJ. Dan, Jill, and Zion all met because they go to the same high school so it was us three as a band for awhile, until we swapped out a few bassists and singers, then befriended Ryan through social media and he was our perfect fit for our bassist. We then met Jimmy from mutual friends who took the permanent place of our lead vocalist just last winter. We all have the same dream between the five of us and it’s to make a living out of creating music for others and ourselves to enjoy. All five of us definitely share the same passion for this band.
Tell me 3 great things about NJ, and 3 that are not.
CDS: The NJ scene is fantastic for music so that’s definitely one great thing. Another great thing about Jersey is that everyone in the music scene knows or at least knows of each other and it’s a really great community. Jersey also has so many friendly people in the music scene and usually everyone is very welcoming and fair to each other. Though on the downside for Jersey is that there’s a very limited amount of venues in the state that actually have shows that are successful with people there. There’s many underground venues in the North Jersey scene, and just a few scattered venues in the Central/South Jersey area so it can be tricky.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
CDS: All of our musical influences differ between the five of us. Jimmy definitely has a lot of classic soul and funk influences for his voice, Jill takes a lot of influences for many synth/alternative/pop rock types of bands and artists, Dan has a lot of pop punk and indie bands that influence his drumming, Ryan has very different influences for his bass lines like metal, math rock, and hardcore music, and Zion has a lot of post hardcore and pop punk influences to his guitar patterns. It definitely varies between all five of us.
Is Jill the only one writing the lyrics? What are they about?
CDS: Jill is definitely not the only one writing the lyrics. Jimmy and Jill usually collaborate for all of the lyrics written, sometimes the lyrics will be just Jimmy’s lyrics and sometimes the lyrics will be just Jill’s lyrics but the lyrics are mostly written with the two of us working together, and on occasion Dan will write some of the lyrics. All of our songs are usually about completely different things and we don’t really have much of a theme of what we write about but they’re all always personal experiences about a situation or a subject that has happened to us personally.
Was there ever more than a working collaboration between Jill and Dan?
CDS: Jill and Dan were the ones who started the band so they’ve been best friends for years and years now.
You don’t have a record label just yet. How do you promote your band and shows?
CDS: Not having a record label is just basically doing all of the work for the band. We do all of the booking for tours ourselves, we distribute our music digitally and physically ourselves, and promote ourselves as much as possible ourselves. We promote our music and shows by using as many outlets as possible to get as much exposure as we can. Using social media to our best ability to get our name out there is definitely the key we feel like.
What are your dreams and goals?
CDS: Speaking as a band, our dreams/goals are to be able to make a living off creating music as a band for others to enjoy and going on tour.
What is the biggest musical difference between your first EP “And a Step Forward” and the second one “A Proper Introduction”?
CDS: There’s a gigantic difference between the two releases. Not only has the production quality matured immensely, but us as musicians have improved so much since the first release to the latest. Our general sound has matured a lot and we definitely feel like the second EP release was overall a huge improvement to our first EP release. We added two new members since the first release (Ryan Ross on bass, and Jimmy Fasulo as lead vocalist) and it really shows in comparison since the first release before they were on it.
Which is the song that most represents you?
CDS: A song of ours we feel that definitely represents us the most as a band is our first song off the EP, “A Proper Introduction that we just released called “Words/Phrases.”
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
CDS: Everything with our music evolved since we first started playing music with each other. Our skills on our instruments individually has gotten a lot stronger, and our tightness with playing together as a band has evolved an incredible amount over the time.
When are you planning to release you first actual album?
CDS: We haven’t set an actual date for releasing our first full length and we’re currently in no rush to get that out soon. We want to do as much as we can without releasing a full length until we know it’s the absolute right time to release it and make sure it’s our best songs we can possibly put out so we can make the biggest impact releasing the album.
Are you currently making a sustainable and profitable living off your music or is it too soon?
CDS: We’re not really profiting much at the moment because all of the money we get, we put right back into investing to bigger things for the band. Profiting from the band as individuals aren’t something we can be too worried about since it’s important to keep putting in the effort that you get out.
What advice would you give to fellow bands?
CDS: Giving advice at the level that we are now would be a little contradicting since we are still at the unsigned level but for bands that are just starting up, we’d like to just say that the more effort you put in, you will get it in return as long as your passion is there.
What is it that you do outside music that nurtures your creativity?
CDS: A lot of us have other hobbies and side activities that we do that definitely nurtures our creativity in the band. Dan is really into painting and visual art and Jimmy is an actor and has a lot of plays which definitely supports creativity into the band.
How does music affect you and the world around you?
CDS: Music affects this world in the greatest way possible and most importantly, it brings so many people together. Going to shows and playing shows is such a beautiful thing because you really see everyone come together and enjoy the same music. Music affects each of us in the most effective way possible and it is indeed a beautiful thing.
Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?
CDS: We’ve played in numerous places in New Jersey of course, but on our tour that we just passed, we went out to as far as Columbus, OH. We traveled up in New York and played in cities like Syracuse and Poughkeepsie, then coming back from the route to Ohio, we played cities like Pittsburgh, PA, Stroudsburg, PA, Long Island, and Massachusetts. One of our favorite venues we played is the Black Forge Coffee House in Pittsburgh, PA.
What are the biggest obstacles for bands?
CDS: Some of the biggest obstacles for bands is getting to that next step of having an actual following and fans coming to see shows from all these different states and cities you don’t really know anyone in.
Are you planning any trips to Europe?
CDS: We hope to eventually be traveling to Europe but for now we’re taking it step by step each tour we do to get more and more out there throughout the US!
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
CDS: Anyone can access our music on just about any digital store out there..iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube, our website (chasingdownsunsetband.com) or really any digital music store for both of our EP’s.
Tell us a curiosity fact about each one of your members.
CDS: One random fact about Jimmy is that you’ll always see him drinking either coffee or an energy drink because that is how he survives each day! For Jill, it’d be that she is really into doing special effects makeup. Dan is an amazing drawer with very very unique styles of drawing and painting. Zion is talented in multiple instruments besides guitar such as drums, bass and piano. And Ryan brings his Dunkin Donut hat to wear on regular occasions.
Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
CDS: We have a lot of plans in store as for some mini tours in the fall/winter, but for now we’re playing a few shows at the end of this month (one of them in Connecticut) that we’re really excited for! You should be there because if you missed us on our tour that just passed, here’s another chance to see us play before the summer ends!