Interview with Cynic The Old Man's Jonah Asher Feintuck
Cynic The Old Man is an experimental rock/post hardcore band from Needham, Massachusetts. I recently had the chance to interview their lead vocalist Jonah Asher Feintuck to find out what makes them tick.
Andy-Cynic The Old Man is certainly one interesting band name. How did you come up with that?
Jonah-Well, I was just writing down random names in my journal one day, I had other names like "The Sore Etidorpha", "Jailbait Trigger", "Palindrome Society" and "The Coelacanth Disease". And Cynic The Old Man was one of them, and I asked our-then drummer, Matt Aubry, which one he liked and he liked Cynic The Old Man. That, and there's this band I like called Old Man Gloom and I've somewhat thought of myself as a cynical person sometimes.
Andy-When, where and how was the band formed?
J-We formed in March 2011 at this teen band program called Plugged In, it's in Needham, Massachusetts. Pretty cool place, by the way. hahaha. But the way Plugged In works is that you're put together with a bunch of other musicians based on musical tastes and stuff, and we all got put together as a band, and then we started doing our thing from there. We went through a ton of lineup changes and I'm the only guy left from the original lineup, but we've had our current lineup since November, so I'd say that's an accomplishment and that we're starting to go somewhere now with a solid lineup.
Andy--What sort of bands or artists have helped shaped your sound?
J-Well I know people have compared us to System Of A Down and my friend Matt says that we sound like this post-hardcore/screamo band, La Dispute. But I feel like band's like At The Drive In and Glassjaw have certainly helped shape our sound with their whole experimental post-hardcore flare and stuff. And our stage show is pretty nuts, so you could say that artists like Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan have helped shape us too. We're basically like an eclectic punk rock band.
Andy--Last time we checked in I reviewed lyrics you sent my way. Do you find the words to be just as powerful as the actual music?
J-Sometimes they can. Our lyrics are rather surreal and cathartic, and our music itself is eclectic and at the same time, aggressive, so I feel like the two compliment each other, at least in our case.
Andy-Last great album you heard?
J-Jane Doe by Converge
Andy-Last great book you read?
J-We just finished reading Macbeth in school, but I guess a book that I could say I liked was Blank Confession. I read it over the summer. That and I also like Speak.
Andy-How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard the band?
J-Experimental punk or Experimental hardcore. Or if that's too sophisticated then I guess simply experimental or eclectic rock might do the trick.
Andy-If Cynic The Old Man was a business venture what would your mission statement be?
J-"vos contra me, et ratio" that means, "me and you against the system" in Latin.
Andy-Name that one band or artist that no one knows about and yet they are the greatest thing since the invention of beer.
J-There are many bands like that, but I have to say that Neurosis really got me where I am right now, so yeah, Neurosis are pretty amazing. Though I don't drink beer but still. hahaha.
Andy-What is the most inspiring song you've ever heard?
J-Locust Star by Neurosis, I'm listening to it right now. That song got me where I am today.
Andy-What is one food that you just have to have when on the road?
J- We've never toured before, but if anything I'd probably just eat tons of candy corn. I eat that all year around, I really don't care what people say when they're like, "It's only for Halloween" I'm like, "Nope." hahaha.
Andy-OK, your band has conquered the world with it's music. What next?
J-...can we conquer the world a second time?
Andy-If you could play with any band living or dead who would it be?
J-I'd probably wanna do some kind of show with The Dillinger Escape Plan. My friend Enzo said that our stage presence reminds us of them. And our friend, Madison, said that she wants to see us do some kind of crazy stage show like they do.
Andy-Who should play you in the motion picture?
J-The first person that comes off the top of my head is Leonardo DiCaprio. No idea why. I really have no idea, first person that came to mind. hahaha.
A-Favorite movie of all time?
Andy-Your given the chance to play one video game with any person in history. What game and what person?
J-Pokemon with Jesus. That would be SO sick.
Andy-Famous last words?
J-"They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, "Search for Paradise." - The opening lines of the anime, Wolf's Rain