High Fives with … Cinders

We chat to Salt Lake City indie-pop outfit Cinders. 

When several members of Cinders met attending high school in Salt Lake City, they were unaware of the adventures that would unfold to complete their group: which continues to push the boundaries of Independent and Alternative music coming from Utah.

Formed in 2015, Jordan Zabriskie, Montana Smith, Adrian De La Cruz, Chelsey Powell, Austin Harris, and Brad Bennett are attaining success across the United States, as well as continuously growing success internationally. The band strive passion for their music, hard work, and a desire to create a bond between their fans and themselves like no other. With millions of streams, the success of their career is only beginning.

All sound pretty good, doesn’t it? We wanted to get to know the band a bit more so we sat down and chatted to Cinders about all things music.


How did you get into music in the first place?
I don’t know if there was ever a defining moment that got us into music. It has sort of always been a passion of ours. We all started in some kind of music lessons when we were kids and just never stopped playing. The idea that you can make a living doing what you love and inspire other people to follow their dreams at the same time is insane! It has been a huge blessing in our life and we are stoked at the success we have had so far and can’t wait for the future!

If you had to describe your sound in 3 words, what would they be?
This actually fits perfectly with what our genre has been called. Our favorite description is definitely Rowdy-Acoustic-Pop!

When on tour, what’s the ONE thing you always need to have with you?
Our van has the worst sound system in the world. Or an average sound system for a 2006 Ford E-350. Ha, I zinged them. So we can’t leave the studio without a big blue tooth speaker. We recently had to make a 13 hour drive from Seattle without any music and it was rough. That is something that we will never forget again.

What was your favorite ever on-stage moment?
It was probably the first time we played a sold out show in our hometown. The crowd was nuts and they were all singing along so loud! Hearing hundreds of people screaming the lyrics to one of your songs is a feeling like no other. Jordan and Montana crowd surfed one time though and that was pretty sweet.

How would you describe your songwriting process? Do you have any rituals?
So Jordan and Montana usually write small parts of songs whether they’re verse’s, chorus, or instrumental and they record it and throw it on our band google drive. Then Brad jams a long to them at his studio and records drums for them and uploads them into a separate folder. We have TONS of random crap on there. Then some of them that we like will get a structure and each member in the band will kind of throw in there parts as we work together. It’s really rather messy and every song process is very different. Sometimes a horrible 20 second demo will turn into an album worthy song. We couldn’t do it without every single member of the band and our secret rituals that we can’t share with you.

What would your dream festival line-up be, including yourselves playing?
We would love to play ACL with Grouplove, The Head and The Heart, The Front Bottoms, and really anybody from the Alex Rainbird music catalog! Just to be on the same poster as those bands would be incredible.

What has been your biggest challenge as musicians?
A huge challenge at all points of a music career is overcoming rejection. It is hard to be told no when you are working so much on something. But that is a part of all passions. For every 100 no’s there will always be a yes though! The main thing is to stay positive and always be pushing forward. Don’t listen to those that try to bring you down. Learn from your failures, focus on your successes and work for your fans!

Stories from the road – what’s what funniest thing that ever happened to you on tour?
Montana and Adrian were outside the venue walking around playing Pokemon Go when a group of girls walked by all wearing Cinders Shirts. Adrian and Montana made eye contact with them and walked right by and not one of them recognized them. I’m pretty sure The guys even said hi to them and they ignored both Adrian and Montana. The funny part of this story is that Montana and Adrian still play Pokemon Go.

What was the first album you ever owned?
One of the first albums that I owned as a kid was a birthday gift from my mom. She got me The Doobie Brothers Greatest Hits. That record was awesome! I remember blasting China Grove over and over in my room until my parents regretted ever giving me the album.