We at May the Rock be with You have been fans of Cinder Road from way back when they were still known as Plunge, had the chance to see them live in the States and love what they do. So it’s great to be able to bring them to our readers, especially for those of you that have never heard of them. Unfortunately this interview comes as the band is about to take a hiatus but the music will continue to live on until they decide it’s time to make music together again.
We got singer Mike Ruocco to tell us about the band, their latest album Damage Control and the advice that Gene Simmons gave the band.
We give you Cinder Road as we truly believe they are one of the Best Things You’ve Never Heard:
For those that may have heard of Cinder Road, give our readers a quick synopsis on the CR story and sound…
Cinder Road is a band formed by a bunch of friends in Baltimore Maryland in 2006. We were signed by EMI records shortly after we formed the band and wrote, recorded and released our debut album “SuperHuman” in 2007. We spent all of 2007-2008 touring the world in support of SH and were fortunate enough to support some great acts like KISS, Daughtry, Tesla, Sick Puppies, Alice Cooper and Candlebox among others. Our sound is something we like to refer to as “Arena Rock”. It’s a brand of rock & roll similar to the 70’s and 80’s rock bands with a modern flavor!
The new album ‘Damage Control’ that you released in 2010 we feel is a killer rock album, the direction is somewhat different to your debut which was more poppy / melodic, and you’ve taken a harder edge on ‘Damage Control’ was that the intention when you were writing for the album?
I think that when we went into the studio to write and record DC we had a lot of things on our minds. Anger about the first album not being a bigger success among other things. This is probably where some of the heavier songs were inspired from. I think the album really has two sides, the heavy side and the more melodic side. The more mellow tunes came from us growing up a bit and having the amazing opportunity of touring the world. We really learned a lot over the past few years some good, some bad. I think it all came out in bits on the album. I am sure the next album will be different as well!
You worked with Scott Stevens from The Exies as producer on the new album, how did you get involved with Scott? How did he differ from working with Marti Frederiksen who you worked with on Superhuman?
Scott and I have been friends for a few years through the music business. We met when I was playing in SR-71. I always thought The Exies were a great band so when it came time to write the new album Scott and I sat down and quickly formed a songwriting bond. Everyone was excited with what we were coming up with so we decided to have Scott produce the album. As far as the differences between Scott and Marti… Each producer is different and has a different style of doing things. Both experiences were totally different but equally as cool. We love both albums.
Is there anyone else in the industry on your wish list you’d love to work with?
Mutt Lange would be awesome! I am a huge Def Leppard fan so anything with Mutt would be a dream come true. Hopefully one of these days we will be talking about the difference between Marti, Scott and Mutt!
Now I know a lot of bands boast that they’re ‘Big in Japan’ but seriously, you had a top 10 single over there and recently played some shows with our Aussie girl Orianthi, how did this notoriety come about in Japan?
The Japanese fans really seem to love Rock & Roll that has a bit of an old school throw back feel to it so this market was perfect for us. We felt very at home with the Japanese fans and they welcomed Cinder Road with open arms. We love Japan!
Japan is so close to Australia, did you ever think about coming over to say G’day and possibly play some shows? As you know we’d love to have you guys here!
We would LOVE to play in Australia. It’s one of my dreams but the opportunity has not come up for us to play there as of yet. Hey maybe you guys can organize a Cinder Road Aussie tour…!
Tell us about the single ‘It Hurts’ which without sucking up is about 1,000 times better than anything on the radio at the moment, lyrically are all your songs taken from life experience?
Thank you very much. We feel like our songs are as strong as anything on the radio but sadly we do not control what goes on the radio. The music business is in a rough spot right now we just hope is gets itself right while CR is still rockin! As far as the lyrics, yes all of the songs come from life experience. Some songs are more direct and to the point than others, any way you cut it all songs are stories about life. My life, someone else’s life or just people you pass in the street. Whatever inspires you.
Personally, I feel like you’ve bugged my apartment to get ideas for songs as far too many of the new tracks hit home in a big way and are just too real, are there any new ideas you need? As I’ll get on that for you ASAP ha ha, but seriously, I feel that relating to a song is what makes a band so good, so who if anyone did you relate to growing up to steer you in the direction musically and lyrically that you’ve taken with Cinder Road?
Well I think like most people we were influenced by our parents, friends, etc. growing up but when I discovered music it started with the 50’s and 50’s band like The Beach Boys. I then migrated to 80’s metal which is still my heart and soul. Gotta love the hair!
Recently you’ve added the newest members of Cinder Road in Eric and Jordan taking on the rhythm section, how are the new guys settling in? How is the band sounding at the moment?
The band is doing well. You really get a chance to gel when you tour extensively which we have not done in a while but Japan was a great chance for us to travel and form a bond.
We at May the Rock be with You were lucky to see you live in 2007, as a live band you are electric and I put this out to everyone, you need to see Cinder Road if you can. Is the stage a much more comfortable place for you than the studio?
Absolutely, I live to play and we love to be on stage. There is something really great about the art and creation of the studio but for me nothing beats the thrill of a live show.
Recently we saw that you had the opportunity to open for Rock Legends ‘Stryper’ how was that?!
It was great! I have loved those guys for a long time and it was awesome to share the stage. Hopefully we will do more shows in the future.
Over the years you have opened for many bands and played numerous shows, who stands out as the greatest so far in your eyes and did any of them give you some words of wisdom?
All of the bands we have toured with have been great. Obviously opening for KISS was a pretty huge thing for us. They are Rock & Roll legends after all! We were covering Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell on the tour and Gene Simmons came up to me and say “You guys are too goood to do covers, stick to your own songs…” I thought that was pretty damn cool. Chris is really good at that tune so did it when we got back to the states!
You played a few dates in March, but are there plans to head back out on the road anytime soon?
We are always looking for good opportunities to tour but those chances have become fewer and fewer, but trust me if the right opportunity comes up we will jump at the chance!
Mike, you’ve been in the industry now for a while with other bands such as SR-71 and prior to Cinder Road you were Plunge, how have you personally seen the music industry change in The States over the last 10 years or so?
Absolutely and sadly not for the better. Less bands are being signed, less tours are going out and ultimately less people are buying music. This really hurts the chances for new bands like us to get off the ground. Hopefully things make a come back though!
What do you think needs to happen to make Cinder Road stand high atop a mountain of Rock?!
A lot more people like you guys spreading the good word of Cinder Road!!!!
Lastly, with 2011 already a few months down, here’s a chance to gaze into your crystal ball. In 2011, Cinder Road will have:
You’ll have to wait and see…. Thanks for the support gents!!
Sounds Like: “Our sound is something we like to refer to as ‘Arena Rock’. Its a brand of Rock and Roll similar to the 70’s and 80’s rock bands with a modern flavor!”
Band Members: Mike Ruocco – Vocals / Guitar, Anthiny Shucosky – Guitar, Pat Dement – Guitar, Jordan Young – Drums, Eric Jung – Bass
Latest Release: Damage Control