New Music Mondays: Cruise Director
Cruise Director is an Atlanta based band that describes themselves as “new-wavey, surfy indie psych rock.” The band consists of Evan Hynes (drums), Spencer King (guitar/vocals), Andy Harrison (lead guitar), and Josh Brook (bass). After meeting them recently in a recording session for a music production class, I decided to reach out to them and get to know them a little better.
Spencer and Evan met in high school where in their senior year they jokingly formed a band named Static Attic which was supposed to be a cover band of Social Cellar, a band Spencer was a part of at the time. They thought it was a funny idea but a couple days later they decided they wanted to actually start playing music together. However, they only ever played one show at an old bowling alley in Decatur and had merely two or three complete songs.
Later during their time in college Evan and Spencer continued to play music together whenever they were back home. After they graduated in December 2015 and moved back to Atlanta they decided it was time to form a band that actually had some substance to it. While studying acting at Kennesaw State University, Evan met Josh and Andy who later became a part of what is now known as Cruise Director. It was actually after a night of all four of them playing music together that Spencer and Evan felt like they had found two people who would complete the band. At that time however, Spencer and Evan had already recorded their EP, In the Driveway After It All.
VM: How did you decide on the band name?
Spencer: My sister, brother-in-law, and I really enjoy coming up with band name ideas, usually just based off of random phrases or words we see around. In January we went on a family cruise – in the lobby on one of the doors engraved on a gold plaque were the words “Cruise Director” and I had an “aha!” moment. Evan and I had been brainstorming band names for a bit, and when I pitched him Cruise Director, he emphatically agreed that it should be the name.
VM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Spencer: (As a band) Band of Horses, New Order, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys (Duh)
Evan: Can’t forget The Beatles. All four of us had huge Beatles phases in our youth. Also maybe Velvet Underground, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem to go a little broader. Personally I’m really inspired by reggae stuff, old “Highlife” jazz like E.T. Mensah, the early Modest Mouse records, and (Athens shout out) I f*cking love The Whigs –I’ve seen them a million times.
VM: Tell us about your EP.
Spencer: Most of the songs on In the Driveway After It All were written over the course of a few months that were exceptionally stressful and heartbreaking for me and for people that I care about. I hope that doesn’t translate to the EP though. Writing and playing music at that time were some of the rare moments of escape that I had – so rather than anxiety and stress reflecting onto the songs on the EP, I hope the absence of those things is what’s taken away from it.
VM: If you could go on tour with any artist, who would it be and why?
Spencer: Band of Horses. They put on such an incredible live show, and I feel like our sounds would match nicely with theirs.
Evan: Dude, that’d be so rad.
VM: Any exciting news or new music in the works?
Spencer: We’re writing a lot and really getting into what feels like the right places for us musically. We’re going to be booking more shows coming up soon.
Evan: Yeah pretty much since we finished Driveway we’ve been looking ahead to “LP ONE” which we’re all pretty excited about!
Check out what Spencer and Evan are currently listening to!
- Albatross – Besnard Lakes
- Primitive (The Way I Treat You) – Ambulance LTD
- Sister – Angel Olsen
- Hideous Towns – The Sundays
- No Big Deal – Cullen Omori
- Ooh La La – Faces
- Beautiful Blue Sky – Ought
- It’s Okay – Land of Talk
- Colored Emotions – Nightmoves
- Demon to Lean On – Wavves
- Ghana-Guinea-Mali – E.T. Mensah
- Let Me Be Mine – Spoon
- Fortune – Kristin Hersh
November 9th @ 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia
November 10th @ UGA’s WUOG Live in the Lobby in Athens, Georgia
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LISTEN TO AND BUY THE EP: