Interview w/ Chris Cucinotto of Spo
Got an interview today with Chris Cucinotto, drummer for local up and coming Boston based group Spo. Chris himself is no stranger to the site, and he's been featured with his old bands The Truezoos and Bomb Pilot that demonstrated his exceptional ability to slay the drums on a consistent basis, and his growing stature as a multi dimensional performer capable of accomplishing everything that is put right in front of him. We catch up with him to find out more about his latest musical effort, their new video "Marky Mark", and his production company Chris Thomas Creative that he runs behind the scenes. Here is the full transcript of our chat:
What is your name and role in Spo?
I'm Chris Cucinotto and I'm the drummer in SPO. I also work with Dave Crespo, in handling our media needs.
Take us behind the formation of the group and how you guys all know each other?
The band formed much before I was ever in it under the name "Dave Crespo's After Party". I had met Dave when he was running Unregular Radio, when the band I was in at the time, The Truezoos, went in for a live session. Dave and I had really clicked and we stayed in touch. There was a show in NYC that Dave needed a drummer fill in for. He reached out and asked if I was available, and I was all in, and that was my start as a DCAP fill-in. I had played several shows with them in that role until the current drummer at that time, Alex Martin parted ways. At that point, Dave brought me in full-time. Everyone who knows DCAP, knows them as having many different members. In the time I had been playing with them, there were a few member changes to what we have now in SPO.
Describe the creative process that goes behind your music, is it all a collaborative effort or is it a sum of all pieces combined?
The creative process for SPO is pretty unique I'd say. Dave comes up with a lot of the ideas and brings them back to us. That's pretty much when we all get our chance to add our own spins and ideas to Dave's ideas, which then becomes the song. I like it because we're all from different musical backgrounds and all get to add our own influences to the song. I think it makes our music very organic and original.
Let's go behind the making of the video for "Marky Mark"? Talk about the process of making the video and what it was like to put it together from storyboard conception to the finished product?
The music video idea for Marky Mark came about when Dave and I were talking about how we really needed to make our first video for the band. We wanted to use what we thought was the single off of our latest record "Pulp Punk" and that song was Marky Mark. Dave and I brainstormed a lot about the ideas and how we wanted to make it more of a short story than just your usual performance video. I come from a background of film & video and I see so many performance videos that I really thought it would be best to do something that would be different and make ours stand out. The shoot was awesome. I hired some guys that I work with in the industry for lighting and assistant camera, and they were awesome. We sourced our actors from the local music scene which is what our band strongly believes in. Working towards, a community of musicians helping one another. And essentially my job as the director and DP was just to make sure that what we shot felt real and not forced. No one was a professional actor or actress which, you would think might make things difficult but honestly, I think it was better that way. Everyone was just who they were, only if they were being put in that situation, and that's the energy that I tried to harness on set and make it come to life in post-production.
What was your favorite part about shooting the video and do you have a favorite moment in the clip?
My favorite part about directing music videos is working collaboratively with the crew and talent. It's what got me into the film industry. I'd say my favorite moment was when Max, our child actor, threw a perfect spiral with a Panda to hit Mark (Will our lead guitarist) in the back. It was spot on!
Talk a little about your production company "Chris Thomas Creative" and what types of media productions that you're involved in?
Chris Thomas Creative is a production company I started about 2 years ago when I was working full-time. I've since gone the freelance route. It started by a musician friend of mine who I was working with on his bands video, asked me to film and edit a wedding for his cousin. I had never done one before but, his family was so stoked about the final product that I figured I might as well try and make more of these for couples getting married. So, I continued to do more weddings and also tried to keep doing more music videos, and small business highlights which is where we're at today. We continue to keep building our clients and services we provide, which is all I could ask for.
Do you enjoy the performing aspect of music more than the behind the scenes action with directing and photography, or do you enjoy a balance of both?
I honestly love both performing and directing equally. There's nothing that can compare to performing the shit out of a song with some of your best friends, being so locked in musically, and the feeling you get back from the audience, when they're in it just as much as you are. Going down and performing at SXSW this year, was definitely the definition of that. And with directing, my good friend and colleague, Mark Grassia, says it best. It's like directing a orchestra. You have all these different musicians and instruments playing these different parts so eloquently and to precision, that when all those notes and musicians are perfectly in sync, what you get in return is incredible. Both of those feelings are why I do what I do.
Lastly, how can people find out more about your band?
Anyone who wants to see our music video can go to YouTube here and they can hear our latest record on Spotify by searching "Pulp Punk". And we're of course on Facebook here. Thanks Pete!
Thanks once again to Chris for being so rad in taking some time out to do this interview. He is one of the most insanely hard working and dedicated musicians that I ever come across in my travels, and his ability to be so passionate and creative about everything he does speaks volumes about his character as a person who can always be depended upon to give 110% of the effort he can to give the best performance possible. Check out Spo at the aforementioned links directly above and check out some behind the scenes moments from the video shoot directly below in these exclusive pics: