FAMILY of FRIENDS...Cheating Daylight
San Francisco – There is something to the age-old saying, “friends become our chosen family;” it has a certain flair that inspires all of us to appreciate and love the people we surround ourselves with.
Friends gained from work can turn out to be some of the best you’ll ever have. But what happens when your family is your work? This trend has become increasingly popular over the years, especially in the realm of music. Bands like The National, HAIM, and Arcade Fire all share familial relations within their respective ranks. While at times the family connection can be troubling and difficult, ultimately it results in a collective bond that drives each outfit forward. When it comes down to it, blood ties lead to the most honest music, and the Bay Area’s Cheating Daylight looks to be the next installment in a long line of musically talented families.
Cheating Daylight, who we discovered on ReverbNation, saw their synthesis when the three Crosson brothers joined forces with the two Gill brothers – under the diligent eye of shared manager Greg Bennett – and they “have never looked back.” As they joined forces, they mixed rock, early alternative, punk, folk, and country influences to create a cornucopia of sound of calculated variety.
In the beginning, it was notably difficult for the band to find their voice. “I would say that we have evolved from a more shotgun-style approach in our music to a more focused and honed sound,” says lead guitarist Jacob Gill. “In the early days, we wrote stuff that was all over the place, which is really fun. But we’ve worked hard to make everything – the live show, communicating with fans, and albums – something that can be identified as Cheating Daylight, without sacrificing our musical diversity.”
The band’s sound is admittedly difficult to pinpoint at first, as they boast such an eclectic blend of influences and sound. Their sophomore album, 2013’s Road To Somewhere, exhibits this scope, which ranges from brash responses to bubblegum punk to banjo-tinged sweetness. Road to Somewhere blasts the listener with such stylistic breadth that it is sometimes difficult to ascertain the underlying message, but the band executes each style of music with such ferocity and intention that the feeling still remains.
The band’s influences stretch across quite a impressive range, including favorites like Paramore, The Ramones, and Blink 182, while citing esoteric and unexpected artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Vaccines, Rocket to the Moon, and Twenty-One Pilots. The band members all feel that their tastes are unique, yet they all play a part in the composition of their shared tracks. As drummer Jaden Crosson remarks, “the music I listen to affects my style and creative process greatly! As I listen to let’s say, Of Mice & Men, I try to pick out different fills or bass drum rhythms I never could have thought of on my own. Then I sort of copy and paste them in our songs and see if it fits.”
His brother Jesse Crosson also cites influential eclecticism, saying: “We listen to everything, from punk rock to bebop jazz, and I’ve always thought that all music you’re exposed to affects what you create.” Jacob Gill agrees as well, saying, “You can’t come up with something fresh and exciting if you don’t embrace everything.”
The native Northern Californians also draw influence from their surroundings, especially the city of San Francisco. “Going to the city and seeing all the culture inspires me to want to be a part of it,” bassist Connor Gill remarks. Jaden Crosson feels much closer to his roots, citing his hometown of Vacaville, CA, as his biggest influence. “The support here is incredible and I just really want to show them that all of their support and encouragement was needed to be where we are today,” he says. “The culture in Northern California has played a great role in shaping our personalities more than anything,” his brother Jesse reflects. “We are all very family-oriented and we try really hard to stay grounded as people. That’s the way we were raised and we take pride in it.” Jacob Gill finds inspiration in other ways, including classic American authors like Steinbeck and Fitzgerald. Ultimately, however, he finds that “nothing is more inspiring and influential as just living and being human; plenty of good songs come out of those kinds of experiences.”
Cheating Daylight, like any other musical outfit, encounters difficulties from time to time. Nothing juicy or dramatic or Fleetwood Mac-like, but the members all live in different cities, which can cause a strain on the creative process. “It affects our rehearsals for sure,” says Jesse. “It’s tough living apart, but when everyone is committed to the project, we get a lot done and we can make progress like we’re in the same room.” Their creative process is somewhat unorthodox in terms of traditional songwriting, but modern technology keeps them together. “We write a lot of the raw ideas on our own,” remarks Jacob. “We use cloud storage to share all of our musical ideas, and then when it comes to a rehearsal, we spend all day working on everything.” Lead vocalist Kyle exudes confidence that distance isn’t an issue: “It doesn’t affect our creativity because we always bring our ideas together.”
So what’s next for Cheating Daylight? The band is currently at work on their next studio album, to be released in late 2014, and have been touring vigorously. Recently Cheating Daylight was crowned the winners of the Ernie Ball competition, landing them a spot at the Vans Warped Tour’s stop in Wheatland, CA in June. “I have been rehearsing about 2-3 hours everyday to get ready for VWT,” says Jaden. “I have dreamed of playing this gig for the past 5 years.” They are also testing out some new material on the road, namely the lead single off their new album, a track called “Anywhere But Here.” The song is a melancholy stomper, boasting pumping guitar strokes, gusty vocals harmonics, and syrupy organ tones that evoke images of sun-swept highways. The band also just released a new track called “Love You (All Around the World),” a tender, jaunty love song that blends playfulness and sentimentality together to create an all-around enjoyably heartfelt track.
“The new music we’ve written has come from a completely new process,” reflects Jesse. “This has been far more collaborative between the band members and we’ve really come together on what we want our music to sound like. That really helps make the songs more special and stronger altogether.” His brother Kyle, the lead vocalist, agrees that this is big step forward: “We have learned to write catchier hooks and better-developed songs.”
The new album features work with producer Isha Erskine, who’s worked with artists like Maroon 5 and Ziggy Marley, as well as producing Cheating Daylight’s earlier records. “He is great at getting us to think outside of the box and bring a song to life,” says Jacob Gill. “I think this one is different from previous releases because we’ve matured a lot as writers, but we’re still young and energetic. We want this record to embody who we are as a band.”
When asked what the ultimate goal of Cheating Daylight is, each member had something different to say. “We want to be a presence in people’s lives,” reflects Jesse Crosson. “When we’re all done with this musical journey, whenever that is, we want to have created something people will remember.” His brother Jaden shares a similar outlook, hoping to be a positive influence: “I hope to be someone’s influence and role model.” Jacob Gill finds solace in the band’s hopefully imminent longevity: “The goal of the band is to make music our entire life. I once had a conversation with a man who said, ‘It’s not about having money, it’s about not having to worry about the money.’ That’s so accurate. We just want to keep playing until our fingers fail us.” His brother Connor has less complex yet equally profound aspirations, stating simply, “I just want the music to be heard by people all around the world.”
The future looks bright for Cheating Daylight. With the Warped Tour—and countless other previous festival appearances—under their belt, as well as three LA Music Awards nominations, they have already started to make a splash in contemporary rock music. They look to the future with clear eyes, and credit their fans as the driving force that keeps them going. “The best part about being in Cheating Daylight is playing shows and looking out in the crowd and seeing all the faces of the people who have been there since the beginning, and seeing everyone just have a good time,” notes Jaden Crosson. His brother Kyle agrees: “Our fans love us. I feed off the energy of the crowd and I love it.”
Cheating Daylight is still honing in on their unique voice, but they seem to be getting closer every day. They would not have come as far as they have, however, without the constant support they give one another, as well as the limitless passion they feel for what they do. “The most personally appealing thing about being in a band like this is the opportunity to be something bigger than just one person,” reflects Jesse Crosson. “I love that I get to wake up knowing there are thousands of people out there who are with me and my brothers, sharing the experiences only music can provide. And it’s OUR music. That’s really something incredible.”
BestNewBands.com is pleased to present a series of articles about worthy artists that came to us via our Artist Discovery program with ReverbNation, the website that provides over three million music industry professionals with powerful easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper online. Look for additional artist profiles in the weeks and months ahead!
Posted Thursday, August 07, 2014
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12/18/2012: CHEATING DAYLIGHT FINALIST FOR BEST TEEN BAND
11/13/2012: Cheating Daylight Soars to Semi-Finals
5/3/2012: Cheating Daylight begins Tour
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11/8/2011: CROSSON BROTHERS...HEADING TO HOLLYWOOD
11/8/2011: CHEATING DAYLIGHT...A SPECIAL BLEND
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8/16/2011: Crosson Brothers make noise, Part 2
8/15/2011: Age is no Barrier
8/15/2011: Local Music Scene
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