CRUISR began in 2012, as the solo venture of Andy States. In the five years since, CRUISR has now grown into a three piece that has travelled the country with their blend of indie pop. The band have racked up an impressive mileage so far, having just finished their own tour. The band have previously supported The 1975 on their North American tour as well as more recently supporting PVRIS and Against The Current.
After a good year in terms of getting music written, but a tough year in many other regards, States is happy to be setting off on 2017. The Philadelphia band are encouraged in their hometown, where “there’s a mutual respect for all musicians. Everyone is super supportive, everyone kind of rallies around whoever is doing well.” He says, “Everyone in Philly wants Philly to do well. It’s not really a dog-eat-dog mentality. We all just want to build on the Philly scene.”
States himself only moved to the city recently. “Personally,” he says, “I had a weird experience because I had moved to Philadelphia when I was writing all this stuff. I spent most of my time in my apartment, not really interacting with people. My band kind of came to fruition without me really knowing anything about the scene and then kind of got dropped into it.”
States eventually joined up with Jon Van Dime and Bruno Catrambone. The transition, he explains, was a difficult one. “It still is I think,” he adds. “There’s different phases of progressing into it. Just from teaching everyone the songs to going to how do we work together.”
And then there are the difficulties of giving up control. “It’s still something I hold very tightly to – I’m still the one who call the shots for what the songs are. I’m still controlling in that respect. We’re still finding ways to integrate [the others] into the writing process.” As well as generally wanting to stay in control, States can also get immersed in trying to make everything perfect. “For me, the biggest thing is being overly perfectionist. It’s a sensitive point. […] that’s my downfall, I’m overly protective of our songs. Like not thinking of anything else.”
For their most recent single, ‘Take That’, States went to New York to a “weird little studio” in the BMG building to write. But even with their collection of music already available, the band have yet to do a conventional music video. This is omething that States admits they want to change. “That’s one thing that we’d love to do. The main reason for that is that we’ve just been focusing on building up a body of music. [….] Once we get the album out we’ll start thinking about all the things around it. It’s been all about the songs.”
Even though States sometimes finds it difficult to adjust to not being a solo artist, there are several rounds of people that the songs go to before being released to the world. First, States will write and record and whatever he likes he will send on. “A little rule we have – it goes through the band members and a few people at the label and our producer. [I made a bunch of demos] and get feedback on who likes what, what song is clicking. I know that everything I send out I love and I believe in but it goes through another round in our tight circle. “
As well as this, the group are all involved in the social media side of the industry, although drummer Jon Van Dime tends to take the lead. “It’s a team effort but I’m less into the social networking stuff. Our drummer kind of runs the social media sites.”
States talks about how sometimes fans can take it too far and get a little too close, but for the most part they enjoy the relationship. “We all have a mutual vision for how we want to interact with our fans and how we wanna be on social media.” States enjoys what the social media aspect represents, “Honestly I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a representation something that’s bigger. The internet as a whole. That we have access to that, that we can interact with each other, this sharing of information is a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, I would never choose the opposite – not interacting with fans, or being able to share anything through your own ways. “
As far as the rest of the year goes, CRUISR are committed to getting every track on the upcoming album “as good as possible”.