Charlie Played Cello – Emerging Artist Spotlight

Charlie Played Cello
September 20 2012 – Very few things are as exciting as finding something new you love. Much like archeologists that dig to find hidden treasures, we here at T-Mak World really enjoy trying to find new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favourites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Los Angeles named Charlie PlayedCello. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on Charlie Played Cello’s website reads:
Charlie Played Cello’s debut album has something for everyone. The sheer scope of the music spans from mainstream power-pop (“Tired of Playing Games”/”It’s a Hit”) to nostalgic jam band (“Fat Kid”/”I’m Not Dead”) to sinister post-punk anthems (“Save Your Tears”/”Nobody Leaves This Room”). Tracks like “The Rose Always Wins” and “Runaway with Me” summon the early days of Motown, with Wiebe’s torch vocals soaring above thick bass grooves and wistful chord progressions. The result is a debut effort that solidifies CPC’s place in modern rock.
Morais, Resch and Wiebe set the stage for CPC in 2009, when they played cover tunes for fun in a studio in downtown Los Angeles. Morais and Wiebe had played together on a previous project and Resch was brand new to music. Shortly thereafter, Resch started writing songs, pushing the band away from covers toward original material. The debut album is a mix of songs composed by Wiebe & Resch, Morais and former guitarist Lance Hickman. Morais moved from drums to keyboards, with Villafranca joining the band as a drummer and Scott taking up the lead guitar spot.
CPC spent two weeks recording with Grammy winning engineer Dave Bianco and producer Davey Meshell at “Dave’s Room” in North Hollywood. After this fruitful collaboration, the band wrote “It’s a Hit (Memories Collide),” tapping longtime friend Nino Moschella to produce, record and engineer the track to include on the debut.
Here is what they had to say to us:
1.    Hey Charlie Played Cello, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
 Chris Wiebe – vocals, rhythm guitar; Bill Scott – Lead guitar; Joe Morais – Keyboards; Mike Resch – Bass; Tommy Villafranca – Drums

2.      How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?

Charlie Played Cello: We formed the band in 2009, playing cover tunes from Muse, the Killers, etc. in a studio in downtown Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, Resch started writing songs, integrating more and more original material into the set. The debut album (under distribution as three EPs) is a mix of songs composed by Wiebe & Resch, Morais and former guitarist Lance Hickman. Morais moved from drums to keyboards, with Villafranca joining the band as a drummer and Scott taking up the lead guitar spot.

3.   Who are some of your musical influences?

Charlie Played Cello: Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Muse, Foo Fighters, Queen, The Smiths
4.     So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
Charlie Played Cello: Our music is a blend of 90’s power-pop and post-punk – no frills rock with nostalgic hooks and a sound that swings from edgy to feel good.
5.      Why should a music fan come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
Charlie Played Cello: In a music scene littered with one-dimensional acts, our set swings from dark, introspective tunes like “Nobody Leaves This Room” to upbeat, energetic hits like “Run Away with Me”. It’s like hanging out with a mentally unstable old friend for the unique pleasure of observing a full range of rich emotions.
Charlie Played Cello
6.      What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Charlie Played Cello: From “Memories Collide”: “See those faces, hear them screaming, this new song is the one they believe in” – because I think that’s every band’s goal: to give fans the sort of song that makes them stop in their tracks, suddenly surrendering an energy, spirit, and optimism that defies language and concrete thought. 

7.      What does the rest of 2012 and 2013 hold for you?
Charlie Played Cello: On the heels of the release of our debut EP “Red,” we will be pressing the second EP “White”. We’re looking for high visibility gigs opening for major touring acts.
8.    Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.  
Charlie Played Cello: Given our style of music, opening for Weezer’s back-to-back Blue/Pinkerton nights at Universal Amphitheater would have been a pretty sweet fit. But if we’re talking historical, opening for the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin would put us right in the middle of the most exciting times for live rock music.
Charlie Played Cello
9.    What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
Charlie Played Cello: Changing music distribution mechanisms have complicated musicians’ ability to make money directly off of their records sales. Emerging artists need to look for opportunities in movies, television shows, video games, etc. where there are royalties to be had. Merchandizing and touring also provide revenue flows. One good thing about changes in the way people listen to music enable bands to distribute their music directly to fans via web/iTunes without the middleman of a record label, but that presents a whole different set of issues with promotion.
10.      Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere? 
Charlie Played Cello: Our music is available on iTunes.
11.  At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What album do you think we should include in our top 10 albums of 2012 article? 
Charlie Played Cello: Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”
Charlie Played Cello
Not exactly a rock album nor an album released in 2012, but we’ll take it ;-) Thanks so much to Charlie Played Cello for the taking the time out to let Toronto know about their great music.
The band’s website is and, as you would expect, they are on Facebook. and on Twitter. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.

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