Interview: Cute Is What We Aim For talks Fanbassador and the reunion of the band!

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As of late, I’ve interviewed bands that have had incredibly long lasting careers and those who are just getting started. Every band has their highs and lows but not many are honest about those stories. I recently got the opportunity to sit down with someone who isn’t afraid to be truthful about the journey that they’ve had, that man being Shaant Hacikyn of icons Cute Is What We Aim For. The band just finished up their 10th anniversary tour of their debut record which propelled them to instant fame. With the second album though, there was a break up and a rocky road ever since. In our interview with Hackiyan, he was completely open about the fact that they had only become friends again just last year and this wasn’t something even on their radars to this spring. Find our interview below and keep your eyes peeled for future news from CIWWAF!

Maybe a soft one to get right into it, this is the first American leg of this headlining tour. Maybe how did Australia go and maybe the expectations or hopes for this run?
Australia was a surreal dream. It seems like a whirlwind. In fact, I’m not even sure it happened. The expectations for the US have already been surpassed for the fact that people bought tickets. So that’s pretty much where we set the standard. It’s ten years. So for anyone to even remember is pretty significant.

And was it something that you kind of always wanted to do? Is it something you’ve been planning to do for a while?
No, I think it formed pretty quickly because Tom, Jeff and I just became legitimate friends last fall and then I think around springtime, people were asking us about it. Including the Australian promoter. We were like, “Hey, this is a thing. So maybe we should try it.” And the rest is kind of history.

Like you said, this album did come out ten years ago. The band has had their highs and lows obviously things have happened unfortunately but there have been the great highs. Maybe something you would have told yourself when the three of you started this band? Maybe something you would tell them now, like to the young Cute Is What We Aim For?
Don’t do anything we did. The silver lining for all of it is I love getting to play with younger musicians and talking to younger people that are inspiring. Be like listen I made 85% of the mistakes that someone should never make so please learn from what we did incorrectly. Just to avoid the bullshit.
Monkey see, monkey don’t do.

Then I wanted to ask you. For the band, this is a large part of Fanbassador. Boston kind of won this show in a battle to have a show here. Obviously you’re a big part of that. You’re doing these coffee meet ups, these hang outs. Maybe how did you first start working with Fanbassador?
Fanbassador, it stems from our relationship with Chris Ring, the owner and creator of the whole thing. He’s been booking our shows since we were fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and what was funny is he’s managed bands in the past and he’s a big promoter in Buffalo like he brings in arena acts, brings in festivals. So we just sat in his office and said hey we were asked to tour Australia what do you think we should do? Could you help us as like a angel to get us back in the game? And during that meeting, he was like well I’m launching this company so what do you think of this? And we walked out, both parties Ring included, Jeff and I were like did we just book a tour? The rest just kind of happened.
Big bands are working with them. I know from looking at the website that Every Time I Die is doing it too.
A hundred percent. I think Mitch from Every Time I Die co-owns the venue that Chris Ring does. He’s a member of his wedding party. They’ve been best friends since they were fourteen. So like Ring will go to Australia with Every Time I Die and it just all kind of worked out.
That’s incredible.
Yeah, no kidding.
That’s exciting that you’re one of the initial bands to be doing this.
We’re the guinea pig and that’s what I said to him. One of the most exciting parts of it for me is for the fact that we’re mutually experimenting. We don’t know what we’re in store for and he doesn’t know but it’s been super supportive. It’s been great.

Then obviously being the tenth anniversary tour, I know I was 18 when the record came out. For the younger crowd, why should kids be coming out to these shows? Obviously you’re playing the album front to back but maybe for kids that weren’t around for when the music came out?
I don’t know, one thing I’ve seen is even in Australia is we had our twenty something year olds because we were eighteen, nineteen when this thing came out. But the amount of camaraderie within the crowd but also with us onstage, the connection is unparalleled. I’ve never experienced it before. So if you’re into just unity, you’re into just feeling good and feeling positive then I’d say come out. But if you’re not, then stay away.

Then like you said, you guys became real friends again in the last year or so. Is it something where you could work together again?
Oh yeah for sure! It’s undeniable. To be able to tour with your best friends, these guys are my brothers at the end of the day. We had our bullshit but no one who we grew up with has experienced playing Madison Square Garden when you’re a kid. You turn to people and you’re like yeah you remember? No you don’t, you have no idea what we’re talking about. So that has been incredible and it has made it just so incredible. Like watching the reaction from people, it makes us all feel really stupid for kind of pushing it away for such a long time and understanding how sweet we had it.
So it is something that is going to continue?
Oh yeah something is happening for sure.

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.

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