Back in 2005 in Kenmore, New York, Cute Is What We Aim For started out. 2005 was the prime beginning for emo/power-pop music and it was on the rise.
The band had started when they were in high school. Since then they have released two full-length albums, have broken up & gotten back together several times and did a 10-year tour for “The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch.” This tour happened in 2016.
As of now, the band is not doing anything and has no plans of getting back together. All of the original members except the very egotistical vocalist, Shaant Hackiiyan, have removed themselves from being associated with CUTE.
Jeff Czum, guitarist and backing vocalist for most of the bands’ career, has stayed on the outskirts when it comes to being a performer. Since CUTE’s success periods (2006-2010; and then a little bit more in 2012) Czum was an editor for ArtVoice magazine for a period of time and now drives for Uber.
Czum took me through a little more in-depth trip of the bands success, regrets, touring, and more!
The band had started when Czum was only 17 years old and attending high school. He had to arrange things with his teachers at the time to assure he was going to be able to graduate with his class.
He says that when the band started, he had no idea it was going to blow up so fast.
“Shaant and I started the band when we were both in High School and initially we just expected to be another local band (This was when Buffalo had a very strong local music scene). We just put some low-quality demos on a PureVolume page and it took off very fast.”
Their biggest song to date is “The Curse of Curves” and that wasn’t even the band’s intention.
” It’s pretty funny, we needed to write 1 more song in order to make it a full-length album so we quickly wrote Curse as a filler. We didn’t even put too much thought into the writing process since it was so last minute,” Czum comments.
Back in the day, the band had toured with big groups in their genre like Jack’s Mannequin and Fall Out Boy.
With every great band comes regrets. For Czum, it was the fact that he didn’t know and value what he had at the time. Everything had happened so fast that no one in the band had time to process what was going on.
When it comes to musicians who are just starting to get their feet wet in the music scene and touring, the former rockstar had a lot to say:
“I think the greatest advice I can give is to remain consistent in whatever your is you plan on doing. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged (especially when it comes to music) but you really have to set goals for yourself and stick to it. It’s always going to be a rough start and there will be people who doubt your abilities, but there is no greater feeling than proving someone wrong. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if you stick with something long enough, things have a way of working out.”
Towards the end of 2017, Kevin Lyman, the man behind Warped Tour had announced that the 2018 tour will be their last. CUTE has played the nation-wide, summer-long festival several times.
“Over the years, it changed a little bit in order to fit with the direction music was headed but it’s always been a great outlet for up and coming bands. I absolutely loved playing Warped Tour. Back in 2007, we had a lot of friends on the tour and it was just like summer camp. It’s a total circus and you’re surrounded by some really amazing people.”
If you want to relive 2006-2010 as much as I do, travel back in time with some of Cute Is What We Aim For’s most popular songs: