Interview: Cole McKenzie and Aaron Yamamoto-Potts of Cathedral Hills

Ahead of the release of their upcoming, debut EP Munen, I got the chance to send over some questions to Cole McKenzie and Aaron Yamamoto-Potts for an email interview. Check out the responses below which include information on the band’s origin, the album title, who they worked with, the music video and concept behind “Farewell/Forgotten” and more! Huge shout out to their manager, Vinny, for the opportunity and to the guys for answering so quickly! 


BearlySinister: First of all, thank you for doing this. Can you introduce yourself and your role(s) in the band?

Not a problem. My name is Cole and I play guitar. Aaron is right here as well and he’s gonna be helping fill this out with me. He plays guitar and sings, and we both write music and lyrics alongside our bassist Jacoby, our drumer Dakota, and our lead vocalst Cyle.

BearlySinister: Where did you draw inspiration for the band name “Cathedral Hills?”

When Aaron and I were in our last band, Cathedral Hills was a trail we would go to hang out at and discuss band issues, or just relax and watch the stars. It was an important place to us, so the name represents “a place of inner peace” for us.

BearlySinister: What inspired the formation of this band?

Just the desire to play really. Aaron and I worked really well together so we just wanted to keep writing music together after our band broke up, and the other guys in Cathedral Hills came along, Cyle, Jacoby, and Dakota, and had the same heart for music as us, and had all been in fairly big local acts as well. It just happened very naturally.

BearlySinister: Let’s talk about the release of your music video for “Farewell/Forgotten” in a two-part question. First, what is the story behind the track? Second, who did you work with and how did the video become a reality?

The story is what you take from it. We all write our music together, so that song means something different for each of us lyrically. We all threw our work in there, so that it’s personal to each of us. We worked with Riley from Siren Studios recording it, and Kendall Johns from Deadcrown for the video. The video was pretty easy to make a reality. We just put in the work to get it all done in a timely manner, and it happened and turned out really well, as well as being a lot of fun.

BearlySinister: What has been the overall reaction to that track and what are you hoping fans take away from it?

The overall reaction has been really amazing. People seem to have really enjoyed it. Haha we have had a couple people from outside the genre tell us we should scream less. We want people to take what they can from the song, the basic idea of it is being able to live with loss, in many forms. We hope that if anyone is dealing with loss, maybe we with what they need to help themselves.

BearlySinister: You’re currently in the mixing/mastering phase of your debut EP “Munen” which will be released soon. Where did you draw inspiration from for the title of the EP?

“Munen” is Japanese for regret. Our guitarist/vocalist Aaron is Japanese and very in touch with his culture, and we all just super dug the sound of it. The theme of the EP is regret of course, in a few forms, and moving on and living with them. Everything we write, we write because we’ve been through it and we would listen to music to help us through what we were going through. We would like reach out the same way that the bands we listened to reached out to us.

BearlySinister: With who and where did you record the EP and why did you choose that particular studio?

We recorded with Riley at Siren Studios. We worked with him on our single, and we chose to work with him again because he really gets us and what we want musically. He has helped us with a few parts in the studio, he lets us know if we’re doing something wrong without sugarcoating it. He is super fun to be around, and very easy to work with.

BearlySinister: You’ve said that there is a very special guest vocalist on the EP… Can you indulge us as an exclusive or would you prefer to keep it a secret until the time is right?

I don’t see why not haha. Rory Rodriguez from the band Dayseeker will be doing guest vocals on our song titled “Wolf Creek”.

BearlySinister: You released the album art for the EP recently, who created the artwork for you and what about their style made you decide to work with them?

Alex Woods of Lifelike Creations did our album art, and we just really dug his art haha. Our manager Vinny found him out for us.

BearlySinister: Are there any tracks on “Munen” that you’re particularly excited for fans to hear?

We all have our own favorites for the EP. Personally, I am excited for people to hear the song “I Had My Doubts (When You Went South). Cyle is really stoked on Pluviophile, Jacoby and Dakota are excited for Wolf Creek as well.

BearlySinister: What are your plans for the future of Cathedral Hills and what are you hoping to accomplish through the release of “Munen?”

Cathedral Hills has become like a family to us. We want to do this for a living. We all love each other and the music we play and we want to make this our livelyhoods. We also hope that through our EP, people will see who we are, maybe get some insight into our lives, and take what they will from it. We hope that through our music we can help them help themselves.

BearlySinister: That’s about all I’ve got for you, unfortunately. Thank you for doing this again! Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans, our readers and the general public?

We just want to say we appreciate all the support we’ve seen since we released Farewell, it means alot, and we hope everyone enjoys Munen, we have worked very hard on it!

Keep an eye out for more info on Munen to be released very soon! In the meantime, catch the band at CAYA Fest this Friday!


“Farewell/Forgotten” (Official Music Video)
Buy Farewell/Forgotten – Single
iTunes | Amazon | Google Play | ReverbNation | BandCamp

Cathedral Hills is:
Cyle Ewbank-Vocals,
Jacoby Bezilla-Bass,
Aaron Yamamoto-Potts-Guitar/Vocals,
Cole McKenzie-Guitar,
Dakota McWilliams-Drums