[INTERVIEW] The Cuckoos on creating un​ique sound and being inspired by others

Synth-heavy keys, funky licks, and a haunting stage presence; The Cuckoos add a mischievous twist to decades of sound.

Standing in the crowd of a Cuckoos show had me reminiscing of a time period I wasn’t around for. With their debut, self-titled release ‘The Cuckoos‘, I was joyed to have unearthed a vigorous set of songs inspired by some of my all-time favorite artists. With this inspiration, the band has created a unique blend of sounds and tunes that form them as an entirely unique entity. Tune into this interview to learn more about their start, the writing process, and what the band has in store for the future. 


[WtMM] How did the band begin and where does your name come from?
[THE CUCKOOS] We just kind of met one by one and decided to make funky rock music. I was watching one fly over the cuckoo’s nest and thought the name looked good so I took it. 

Listening in on your music, you can hear a mix of a few different eras, how did you land your music on your current sound?
I think it’s always changing depending on how we’re all feeling at the time and what we’re listening to. There’s definitely a lot more danciness and a pop vibe going on.  I’ve been listening to a lot of disco and synth music from pornos. 

You’ve mentioned to me your love for The Doors, Alice Cooper, and Joy Division. Is it difficult to write unique music, while being strongly influenced by other artists?
I don’t think so. I think the influence makes it easier and gives you a good starting point. The hard part is turning it into something new and unique. Which hopefully we’re starting to crack. 

What’s your writing process like? As a band, do you have a main writer or do you share the role?
So far Kenneth has written most of the stuff. On our new record, Dave wrote a song and Kenneth and Eric wrote a song together. Our writing process will evolve I’m sure. Kenneth just wrote a bunch of songs before the band was a thing. 

In your self titled LP, do you have a theme across the record or is each song it’s own entity? 
That record really reminds me of high school and takes me back to the tail end of a phase in my life both musically and lyrically. I don’t know if that’s something that other people can share or if that’s enough to be a theme. But that’s when I wrote those songs and I was writing about what was happening. It’s like a personal snapshot or time capsule for myself ️ full of good and bad feelings. 

Does the band have a favorite song? What’s the song about?
Oo we got a lot of new stuff it’s hard to pick a favorite. I personally really like a new one called “Why Don’t You Ever Call Me Anymore?” It’s super dark and heavy, but super funky. Very rock and roll still. And the band really plays off each other with our parts it’s fun. And it’s catchy. 

Your image and sound comes across as a bit dark, night-time haunted house sort of feel, does this reflect on your personalities?
I wouldn’t say all the time. Maybe at certain hours of the night. But I feel like that’s just a lot of the imagery that attracts me so I shoot for that vibe. We’re not all that dark and haunting. 

As a newer band, what has been the most difficult part of creating?
Not being able to just work on music non stop all the time. 

It’s been two years since your last release, what does the band have in-lined for the future?
A bunch of music. We’re about to drop a new single and video for it on March 6th. And we’ve got a ton of other stuff so I’m sure it’ll be trickling out soon. We’ve just been playing and traveling and recording so we’re super ready to start dropping some stuff.

Kenneth, why do you do the things you do?
Cause that’s what I do.