Interview: Collective Answers from Robert E. McDonald, Guitar/Vocals in Cinema Sleep



BS: I’m sitting here with the Robert E. McDonald, guitarist of Standby Records band, Cinema Sleep, who have just released their debut full-length album “Truth for the Seeker”!
First of all, thank you for doing this! How’s it going guys?

R.E.M: Awesome man! Thanks for your time, we really appreciate it

BS: Truth for the Seeker is an album that far exceeded my expectations and has gotten some raving reviews so far. Tell me a little bit about what brought you to that title?

R.E.M: We wanted something that directly correlated with what we’re trying to do. It’s kind of hard to explain. The music we create is no B.S, it’s exactly what we come up with and truly love. It’s the truth. No gimmicks or doing anything just to do something that is trendy or what not. So we feel if you’re looking for TRUE rock music, we have it here.

BS: You worked with Kris Krummett on production and Jeremy Stimpert on recording your new album. How did the album come together and what was your experience with these guys?

R.E.M: Both were great. We spent about the same amount of time during each recording process. Both guys have different methods, so it was definitely cool to see each one hard at work putting together our final product.

BS: Everyone draws different meanings from songs, most not truly what they are meant to be taken as. Is there a universal meaning to your songs or are there meant to be certain feelings/meanings drawn from each track? What’s your favorite track(s) but lyrically, musically, and to play live?

R.E.M: Off of our new album, we all collectively love the song “Wanted”, both to play and what it means to us. Really it’s about going after something and getting it. Never give up and be relentless. It’s also fun as hell to play live because we get the entire crowd jumping up and down with us.

BS: You’ve done a lot of touring lately, including some dates with TRAPT and just finished a tour as direct support for mainstream rock titans Chevelle. How has your experience been with these bands and as a touring band in general so far?

R.E.M: Man, both are bands we’ve all listened to for years. It was awesome getting to see them both do their thing and get to hang out with them. Chevelle is on a whole different caliber, though. They’re still selling out venues of 2,000+ people, which is amazing. Touring has its perks , getting to reach new fans in a personal way during the show and after. We try to spend as much time with new fans as possible after we play. We love to connect with people. The driving can suck sometimes!

BS: This is a question I ask everyone I interview. We’ve all heard of or seen videos of bands pranking each other or their management. Is this something that Cinema Sleep takes part in? If so, what is the best prank you’ve pulled and what is the worst prank that has been pulled on you?

R.E.M: We’ve never pranced our management, they work too hard for that! As far as each other, that’s a whole different story! It’s always fun to hide someone’s phone when they aren’t looking and watch the confusion, which leads to rage when they realize what’s going on.

BS: If you had to use one word to describe how you guys are as a band, what would it be and why?

R.E.M: Real. We are who we are all the time. We don’t bull shit with people online then act different in person. We write the music we want to write, we treat everyone with respect who approaches us. That’s how it should be.

BS: How did creating “Truth for the Seeker” stack up against how “Make Your Way” was created?

R.E.M: Honestly, we had less time to put together the record than we did the EP. We wanted to keep the “Cinema Sleep” sound that we feel we created on “Make Your Way”, but we wanted to mature the sound a bit, which you can hear in tracks like “Wildcard”, “Wanted” and “Misprint”.

BS: All bands have that little extra something they like to do before they play or record, what are some band rituals you guys perform prior to going out and kicking butt?

R.E.M: We all huddle up at the drum set before every show. Brady says the same thing each time, then we go and do our thing. We can’t tell you what we say though 🙂

BS: I’ve talked to you guys quite a few times on Facebook, so it’s obvious that you guys are very actively involved with your fans, are you gamers as well? What games do you like to play and do you play multiplayer with fans?

R.E.M: Brady is a big fan of Battlefield, Call of Duty and Far Cry! Kevin is into all of that as well. Robert is a PS3 guy, but only really plays the Uncharted Games. All of us spent a lot of time in the studio playing MLB home run derby and Need for Speed. Good times

BS: That about wraps it up, I guess. Thanks so much for doing this with me and I look forward to what’s next for you guys! Hit me up if you come to Kansas, haha!

R.E.M: Thanks so much man! We’d like to thank the great dudes over at Reverend Guitars and Basses, Omega Enclosures, Aftershock Designs and TRX Cymbals.

Truth for the Seeker was released today and is available on iTunes, Amazon and Merchnow through Standby Records!