Los Angeles’ own Cedar Boulevard is set to release their very first full length album, Turn To Stone, on February 3rd. The album is the follow up to the band’s self-titled EP released back in 2015. They recently released the music video for the title track to hold us over until release day, which you can watch here. Ellen recently chatted with the guys to get all the details on the album and what’s up next for the band. Check it out below!
You guys experiment with a variety of different styles on this album. Which style is your favourite to work with?
The heavy side I would say. The more metal aspects like guitar solos and riffs. They are a lot more challenging but I feel like getting them right is the most rewarding.
How important is it to you for an album to have a good balance between slower tracks and some heavier stuff?
Very very important, a good album should be like a journey or an adventure. You want it to have ups and downs and take the listener somewhere. An hour worth of nothing but super heavy stuff will all blend into itself at some point. Just like an hour worth of slow stuff is going to bore the pants off someone.
There’s an 8 minute long instrumental on the album. What made you guys decide to include this on the album?
Our guitarist CJ came up with this 4 minute song and it was very “metal” and very riffy and we realised it just wasn’t going to work with vocals. So it became an instrumental and from there the length just grew and grew until it was over 8 minutes long. It’s the closing track on the album and we feel like it really helps to show that metal side of the band. A lot of the rest of the album ended up being more melodic than expected so we really wanted something to make a heavier statement.
How did you get involved with Todd Barriage up in Canada? What was it like working with him?
Cedar Boulevard actually started up in Canada. Our guitarist Luke is originally from Australia and moved out to Canada to pursue music. Back before Cedar Boulevard even started he met Todd who was in a band called Theatria in Toronto. From there they kept in touch and several years down the track when we needed an engineer to mix and master the album, Todd was the guy.
Working with him was great. We did it remotely cos we were still in LA and he was in Canada. So lots of conversations back and forth and trying to articulate things to get mixes of songs just right. But it was a great experience and he is by far the most talented sound engineer we’ve ever worked with.
Are you looking forward to getting back to playing shows?
Getting back to playing shows is what we are most exticted about. We took an extended period away from shows to just write, record and release the album. So we are now back in rehearsals and really trying to lock down the live set to bring these songs to people.
What are you most excited about with the release of this album?
Having people hear how we have evolved in our sound. The previous EP we put out was a completely different sound as a band and so we really just want people to hear what we have to offer now. We hope people will follow us as we move forward.
Is there anything you’re hoping your fans will take away from this album?
Do what you want to do and be yourself. We specifically set out to make an album that didn’t sound like all the other bands out there right now and we feel like we really pulled it off. Lyrically the album covers a lot of intorspective ideas and looking and yourself, who you are and the person you want to be. So I feel like people should always be who they are and take chances to chase what they want.
Do you have a favourite memory from the recording process?
Our guitarist CJ said his favourite memory in the reocrding process was making fun of our singer Isac’s mistakes during the vocal recording sessions. I think what it really represents is that even though this is a job for us, we are all the best of friends and like to poke fun at each other and laugh while we are doing it.
What can we expect from Cedar Boulevard in 2017?
A lot of shows. We are starting to plan shows around LA in the coming months and then touring a little later in the year. We’ve also just put out the new music video for the title track from the album ‘Turn To Stone’.
Lastly, what are your top 5 artists/albums you’ve been listening to recently?
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
Metallica – Hardwired… To Self Destruct
Pierce The Veil – Misadventures
Letlive – If I’m The Devil…
Dream Theater – The Astonishing