Though Michał Wójcik and Jakub Pałka have been writing and playing music together for almost 14 years, this is the first year they’ve been able to embark on a Canadian tour.
On Sept. 15, Cinemon played at downtown cafe and bar Musiiki.
Since their 2006 start, the band—who plays often with various temporary bassists like current freelancer Tomasz Bysiewicz —have played their way through seven albums, in seven countries with several hundred gigs already under their belt.
Entirely self-made and -managed, the band is well-seasoned and comfortable in their own skin.
“If you really want to do something, you can make it happen for yourself”, Wójcik told the small crowd as he reminisced on his dream to bring Cinemon to Canada. “If there’s one thing I’d want you to take away from this show, it’s that.”
The band’s crafty nature was clear that night as they passed a VHS camera through the crowd to capture the show.
In an interview with The Journal, Wójcik gave more insight into what life on the road is like for the band.
He said the trio rented a small van to transport their instruments across the country for their series of self-booked shows.
Without a tour manager or crew to accompany them, the lead vocalist said he often finds himself unable to believe the band is able to make this lifestyle work. He’s channelled this appreciation into his music, adding layers of memory and experience to an already nostalgic sound.
Cinemon. Photo by Aleksandra Kucia
The band’s main musical influences include an eclectic blend of artists ranging from the 70s to the mid-90s. Older influences include King Crimson and Pink Floyd, which combines with Cinemon’s punk influence. The vocalist cites the “Seattle sound” of mid-80s grunge music as a recurring motif.
“I have to mention Neil Young,” Wójcik added. “We may not be akin to his song writing, but he’s definitely a huge influence.”
The band also draws on earlier music by Jimmy Hendrix and Pearl Jam, but consider their sound more grunge than blues, despite the lingering, jazzy guitar riffs and smooth bass lines featured in some of their songs.
There’s an intertextuality within their sound, as they blend alt-rock grunge, punk, and bluesy influences. It all filters into an absolutely original product.
“We want our music to feel down-to-earth, we don’t just want to make big sweeping statements,” Wójcik said.
That extends to the band’s title. When asked about the story behind the name, Wójcik simply said that they chose it because cinnamon makes you feel warm inside.
Cinemon’s music is stripped-back, old-school and organic. That combined with their originality translates to a fully engaging stage presence.
Their DIY music-making approach seems to be working just fine.