Talented musicians from Hamburg with their own music style and raisin in May.Life & Live. An Interview With Germany’s band "Cinnamon loves Candy"
Cinnamon loves Candy Members
George Green - Vocals
The Valentine - Guitar
Phil Summer - Drums
Ian Newland - Bass
ML&L - Before we begin with questions, welcome in My.Life. How did you get into singing and when did you realize that’s what you wanted to do? What inspired you to start writing songs?
George Green - Getting into singing was coincidence. I was practicing my first two chords, A minor and C major, and sang along as I played. I still remember that quite clearly.
Then as I recorded my first music experiment, I liked my voice far more than my playing. This was my first song but do not ask me what it was about. Probably love and death and similar epic things.
ML&L - How did you get started with idea of a band?
George Green - I formed my first band during a night shift at a paper factory together with a friend.
The band wasn’t even my idea. We were standing at the conveyer belt and he suddenly turned around with the idea to form a band. I was out of boredom more than anything else.
The band did not last for long and we did not get very far but after this first experience of getting in touch with my creative side I was hooked.
ML&L - What do you remember about playing your first concert?
George Green - My first concert was dreadful. I never expected that we were ever going to play live. Our drummer had organized the gig. We were to play at a university party.
At the time none of us could play our instrument properly. It was a pure catastrophe.
Luckily there was hardly anyone there and we exposed our cringe-worthy display to barely a hand full of people who hopefully have forgotten it meanwhile.
ML&L - How does songwriting process usually develop? Do you find it hard work? How long does it usually take you to write a song?
George Green - Usually I come up with somechords, some lyrics and a melody. The others play along with my singing and the song gradually evolves.
In the course of months, even when we think the song has finished, it goes through minor but very important changes. Someone might bring along a keyboard playback.
Often mistakes lead to new ideas. Eventually we record the song in the rehearsal room and fix the remaining flaws. To create a song is often exhausting but it never feels like work.
Coincidence is a valuable friend during the creative process. We often have a clear sound and a clear structure in mind, sometimes even a definite time length.
As for my singing, I have a clear idea as to how I want melodies to evolve, where in the song I want to have the highest tension and where I want the tension to dissolve.
I sing and play guitar. No matter who comes up with the first idea, it is the whole band who develops the song. Calling oneself composer only because you had the idea of a first chord or melody is a bit self-righteous.
It does not take into account that the first idea of a song is but a mass of clay and that there are at least four people involved into building a piece of art out of sheer mud.
ML&L - How did you develop your talents into what they are today?
George Green - As opposed to writing songs, developing, what you call my talents, was hard work. Five years ago I could not do half as much with my voice as I can today.
I’ve had, and still have, long, exhausting evenings in the rehearsal room and a lot of singing coaches at quite a few music schools.I am still developing my voice. There is always scope for improvement.
ML&L - What artists did you listen to when you were growing up and what about them appealed to you?
George Green - Used to be a die-hard Joy Divisionfan.
I had all their records and bought every bootleg available on the free market. It was their intriguing sadness that appealed to me. I don’t listen to them muchanymore but I still love them.
ML&L - In your musical roots which musicians and songwriters have been the greatest influence?
George Green - I owe my first music experience to the Beatles. It’s a cliché, I know. But it is true. As a child my parents let me watch TV on Sunday mornings. One Sunday they showed a program about the Beatles.
That was the first time I heard rock n roll music. What I have always admired about The Beatles is their clear and simple song structure and their catchy melodies.
ML&L - Do you have a favorite band?
George Green - My favorite bands are Jimmy Eat World and Angels and Airwaves. I go through periods of favorite albums or songs rather than favorite bands.
My favorite songs, albums at the moment are: Transparent Seas by Make Do And Mend, This Is The Sea by The Waterboys, The Balcony by Catfish And the Bottlemen,
Trainspotting by Zuhause (German band) and so on.
ML&L - What was the first record/CD you ever bought and do you still listen to it?
George Green - My first record was “A Broken Frame” by Depeche Mode. The last song “The Sun And the Rainfall” is still one of my favorites. A wonderful album full of subtle sadness.
I would still listen to it but I lent it to a friend and she returned it in a disastrous state.
ML&L- How did you manage to get a record deal?
George Green - We were very, very lucky. We actually did not expect that anyone would be interested in our music, so I started my own label. It is still registered in Germany as “Naschwerk Records” which means something like “Treats Records”. We had recorded four songs at a studio in Hamburg, including our first Single “Superpower”, and we started looking for someone to promote a potential long player. I sent an email to a radio promoter on the offchance I’d get a reply. He came back rather enthusiastic and offered us his own record label.
That is how the label brillJant sounds found us, or rather how we found them. And now we are putting out our debut longplayer “All Our Secrets Remain” with them on May, 15th.
ML&L - Are you nervous singing live or do you get nervous before a show?
George Green - I am getting nervous shortly before the show starts. During the show I am rather focused.
Cinnamon loves Candy - "All Our Secrets Remain" (Official Video)
Cinnamon loves Candy
ML&L - How would you describe your music to somebody who'd never heard it before?
George Green - Our music very much focuses on hook lines. The basis of our sound is guitars, chiefly the guitar of our lead guitarist Till Valentin who I call The Valentine because of his passion for The Edge, the guitarist of U2.If anyone has the largest influence on our sound then it is him. Behind the guitars you will very often find subtle keyboards. Melodies and the way they evolve during the song is very important.
Be it the melody of the voice or the melody of an instrument. A certain heaviness is often there, though we are not an alternative rock band. I reckon we are far closer to pop than to rock.
ML&L - How did you find an Interesting Name for your Band? Why you called it "Cinnamon loves Candy"?
George Green - We wanted a name that is close to our sound.
A name that potentially conveys the sound of the band like "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart" or "God Is an Astronaut". Cinnamon likes Candy is like our music: sweet as candy and spicy as cinnamon.
ML&L - What would you be doing if you weren't making music, composing?
George Green - I haven’t got the faintest idea. Hopefully there would still be this band called Cinnamon loves Candy. Then I would definitely buy their records and go to their concerts.
ML&L - Is there a story behind your music, songs?
George Green - The songs on our debut album “All Our Secrets Remain” are often about the idea of letting things go.
Be it the last farewell that you say to a friend who suffers from a fataldisease as on the album track “Wherever You Are Heading”,
or be it that you relinquish the pursuitofa certain idea, such as the idea that you would preferyour parents to be different of behave in a certain way, as on the album track “For a Moment”.
Letting things go and the loss of things are perhaps the most central topics. Our single “All Our Secrets Remain” gave the album its name. It is about the loss of hope and faith,
about a moment where an inner darkness rises and you find yourself on the verge of an abyss with no idea how to escape. We tried to convey this feeling in our video.
We invited four actresses to the set who had to act as if they were at an interview where they gradually reveal a dire secret that encumbers them terribly.
We asked them to combine their story with an escalation at the end of which they had to cry heartbreakingly.
ML&L - Do you have any advice for new singers or bands?
George Green - Find a decent job!
ML&L - What are your plans & hopes for the future with regard to your music?
George Green - We hope to sell a reasonable or even considerable amount of records so that we can play a lot of shows all over Europe. So folks watch these videos, and then buy the record.
Cinnamon loves Candy - Phil Summer / George Green / The Valentine / Ian Newland
May.Life & Live - Thank you for your time.
May.Life & Live wishes you great success with your career, more concert tours, videos, CDs, DVDs. Best of luck to you as you progress in your music life.