Life is a journey from point to point and the songs of Carbon Tigers form a retrospective view of each part. Chris Wienke (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Nick Cudone (guitar/keyboard/vocals), Aaron Sweatt (bass/guitar/vocals), and Darien Williams (drums/vocals) provide a unique combination of indie rock music based on their own experiences. From Chicago, Illinois, the band has just released their single, Out of Heaven, which features elemental music with thrilling two-part harmonies.
Forever alone. Touring is fun, but the downside is being away from friends and family for extended periods of time. The new album describes a myriad of emotions associated with being absent that musicians must address while on the road. More often than not, problems can seem insurmountable. Lyrics from the song, “Everybody Else” say, “This riddle gets too hard to solve so I/leave it on the shelf/But I am just like everybody else”. When an issue arises that cannot be solved, no matter how hard you try, it is better to take a step back, because it can bring a new perspective that leads to a solution.
There is a defining moment when you realize music is your passion. For Sweatt, the emo scene brought an influx of bands through town that made him realize he was destined to be a musician. However, the process was not so simple for Cudone, who faced a different type of dilemma. After graduating from college, he was offered a “dream” job in the suburbs. He was able to buy a new car. Cudone was on the fast track to success, but a moment of panic enveloped him as he drove his new car off the lot. He thought, “I am going to have to work this job. I’m never going to get to go on tour with my band. I’m never going to get to practice”. It was then Cudone decided to follow his heart. He returned the car, declined the job, and dedicated himself to making music with Carbon Tigers.
The sky is the limit. A decade has passed since four guys from Chicago decided to defy convention and make music. Their songs have evolved with elements of jazz, electronic influences, and will continue to progress with four part harmonies they are currently developing. Carbon Tigers make the most of their collective musical talent, featuring different voices and switching instruments throughout their performance. Unexpected tempo changes keep the listener engaged, resulting in a cohesive and professional sound. The band believes that playing with an orchestra would be a dream come true and are trying to be more efficient in the songwriting process. Wienke explains, “We have always been a completely democratic band. We start with an idea, whatever it is, and eventually we figure out how to shape that into a finished song with each of us writing our own parts as we go”. By focusing on how they work together, they will be able to streamline the process by adding layers from each artist to produce the best songs.
Music is a partnership between artist and audience. Williams says, “We want to exist in the moment that is present between us and the listener, bringing people an experience where our worries, concerns, and sense of time just disappear. For the sake of that moment, they can listen and experience our music”. I will admit that before the first song ended, I was so enchanted that I completely forgot I was standing in The Locker Room at Mahall’s in Cleveland. I am setting Out of Heaven to replay, because it is the perfect pause to my busy life.