What is your name and role within Leaving Cardboard Houses?
My name is Chris, I’m the drummer of the band. But I also run all of our live shows and manage the band. I also assist in the writing process, whether that be lyrics or instrumentals. However, Kyle, the vocalist and ukulele player, does most of the song writing.
How did you start?
We were actually in a car together, on our way to watch the Ohio State v. Michigan football game. Which for those who don’t know a lot about American college football, it is the biggest rivalry in the country. On our way to Kyle’s buddies house we were talking about music in general, which Kyle had recently shown an interest in. He picked up the Ukulele and had been singing for a year or so. I asked him if he had ever heard of an electric ukulele, which he said no. So we looked it up, and couldn’t find anyone using one in an actual performance. So I turned to him and said, “Kyle, why don’t we start a band?” From there we started writing songs together and recording.
Where are you based?
Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
First we will pick the style of song that we want to try to do. Then Kyle or I will come up with the lyrics first. So far Kyle has written the lyrics to all of our songs, except for Drifting, which was written by me. Then Kyle or I might work on a few midi tracks and different synth sounds we would like to use. After that we record a scratch track, which is basically a really basic outline of the song. These tracks mostly consist of basic Ukulele and vocal tracks. Really roughly recorded versions. For songs that don’t use the Ukulele, we put in a basic outline of midi tracks and piano. Then I’ll take the scratch track and begin writing the drum parts for it. After the drum parts are finished, we will re-record Ukulele and vocals to get a clean final version. Then we will add in all the final midi and bass tracks and start the process of mixing and mastering.
What are you working on right now?
We have begun writing and recording new music for a full length album. On this album we are exploring new styles and sounds that we have always been interested in but haven’t really heard before. We are also working with several other Columbus area artists to work on tracks together, in order to combine everyones ideas into tracks and feature different talent around our local area.
What is your gear setup?
Our live set up is pretty simple. I get my drums from a company called SJC Custom Drums. They do great stuff. Kyle uses two different Ukuleles. A Luna Acoustic-Electric and a Sojing UkII-ax2 Concert Silent Electric Ukulele run through a Fender Champion Combo Amp. When we play live we use wireless in-ears and run our tracks through Ableton Live with a click track.
When we do our recording we use Logic Pro X. We use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 to record vocals, ukulele, and drums. To record vocals we use a Bluebird SL Large-diaphragm Condenser Mic. When I record the drums, I use Shure SM57 LC mics to mic my snare and toms and a Shure Beta 52 to mic the bass drum.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I’m a big film nerd so if I am not in my studio writing music, often you can find me at the movie theater. Kyle, myself, and some other friends that we grew up with try to go to all the big Thursday night premiers. I’m also a big sports fan. I love watching the NFL, MLS, and NBA. My sport of choice to play is definitely ultimate frisbee.
I also like going out and just chilling with my friends and meeting people. Often we will mention or talk about dumb situations that we have gotten ourselves into in our music. We like to try to reflect our lives and hobbies into our music because it makes it more relatable and helps us connect more with our fans.
How would you describe your music genre?
We try to include all sorts of genres in our music. Our most popular song at the moment is “Adventure” which is very much an alt-pop, catchy tune. But then in songs like “Drifting” we take on a more alt-rock tone. We like to include rap into our music and EDM sounds. This combination of different styles and sounds in our music stems from Kyle and I’s different music tastes and inspirations. We both have a few artists that we both really enjoy but often times we will show each other new artists and styles that we like to learn from. It is the combination of all these different styles that makes our sound unique.
Do you know any music theory?
I know a bit of music theory. I’m decent at reading music and I understand basic chord structures. However, my knowledge beyond that is pretty limited.
What are your plans for the future?
Continue to make music and grow. We are just going to keep recording new music and playing shows. Constantly keeping things fresh and engaging with new and old fans.
How did you get into music?
I first started to get into music in school. I joined the orchestra and started playing the cello when I was 10. But a year or two later I decided to quit cello and I joined the percussion section in band. From there I started taking drum set lessons and I fell in love with it.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Currently I’ve been into a lot of hip-hop/rap music. I’ve been jamming out to Jay Prince’s album “Late Summers”, Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” and Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book”. I’ve also been listening to a lot of electronic music lately, specifically Madeon’s “Adventure” and Sam Gellaitry’s “Escapism III”.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
- Matt Reiner
- Josh Dun
- Christopher Nolan
- Hanz Zimmer
When are you playing next?
We have two big upcoming shows. We are playing with the Alvarez Kings here in Columbus on June 23 and we are playing at Fashion Meets Music Festival on August 18.
Please feel free to include any extra info.
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