Cutting Grass on Creating New Things

 

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When The War Is Over was written after I saw this article in a newspaper about soldiers with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It disrupted his whole life. The story was about a family with kids. It really did something to me. Some of my friends, including our guitar player, were in war zones. It is a whole lot of pressure and cooping with it is difficult.” @Cutting_Grass 

Listen to the interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2015/09/17/episode-258-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photo

GETTING TO KNOW CUTTING GRASS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Our process of creation…
Usually both Dennis (the guitarist) and I come up with new musical ideas. He has the gift to record almost the whole song at home and then deliver it to me. I can start writing the lyrics on it. The latest songs we recorded, I wrote, but that is just because I had inspiration and we decided to go in that musical direction. Normally, I start of by writing a guitar line and after that the lyrics. And sometimes, I get ideas for other guitar and bass lines also, but together as a band we do the rest. It works out petty well and everyone is satisfied. For the music video, I asked my friend Geert (he’s our main photographer) to do the filming. I wrote the storyline with him. Our drummer Frederik knew the actors except for the boy; he is Geert’s son. One of the actors is a full-time actor and director. He helped us with his knowledge.

We continue to challenge ourselves by…
Making new songs since it is always a challenge. To create something, no matter what the outcome is, is the coolest thing about making your own music. Together, with the band, playing something we created is the best feeling ever.

We are most afraid of…
I don’t know, but maybe it is being forced to stop what we love to do most: creating music.

Our personal definition of success is…
what we have now. We can create music without depending on it for a living. We all have jobs besides this. Creating something we all love, such as a new song is our own success.

We are most proud of…
the things we did so far. We overcame changes in the band. Musicians left and came. We grew and we did not sit back. We go on and look forward. We want to create more and enjoy all we do, whatever happens. And doing other things like creating music videos also feels like a success. But we also got dreams about playing the big festivals and doing a tour around the world. Every musician has that dream.

Our overall professional and personal goal is…
enjoying creating and playing music and living a good life. Even though we want to really bad, making money through music is too difficult. If things go well… then, that is awesome, but if things do not, we still enjoy what we do.

We challenge ourselves to move forward towards our goal by…
1) Writing new stuff! We sit down and let creativity come! Play and write and record.
2) Becoming known! Connect on the Internet, find the right people and do not be afraid of what will happen. Go for it!
3) Giving a hell of a gig! First of all, get into the mood. Sort out the best setlist, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and be relaxed, but focused on stage. Enjoy every moment!

I got into music when…
My mother who plays guitar encouraged me to play an instrument. We had albums from bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, CCR and acts like Elvis and Johnny Cash. As a teenager, I listened to a lot of different bands from different genres such as grunge, hard rock, Britpop, Metal, New Wave, etc. I started to sort out the cords on my guitar and then sang along with it. Later on, when I went to college, I met a friend at a party who played his own songs. He showed me how and we started a band. Much later, I met Dennis (guitarist) and Frederik (drummer). They were looking for a singer-songwriter. We met and we found out that our musical interest was pretty similar. We started to call ourselves Cutting Grass.


“When The War Is Over”…
I saw this article in a newspaper about soldiers with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It disrupted his whole life. The story was about a family with kids. It really did something to me. Some of my friends, including our guitar player, were in war zones. It is a whole lot of pressure and cooping with it is difficult. I took my guitar and made the chorus and after that, the verses came by telling the story about this soldier coming home. He cannot function as a normal dad or as a partner any more. After the song was recorded, I asked one of my best friends to shoot the video. It turned out real good. The guy acting as a father played it so real that I was completely shocked during the scene where he started yelling at his wife.
What you can expect from us…
First of all, we have already finished 5 songs this spring and you can find them on the Internet. We changed the idea of getting the music printed on cd, because cd’s sell bad nowadays. So, we had the music put on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, etc. There are at least two more songs on the way for this fall. We want to join them with the other songs and release a small order on vinyl. Vinyl is just awesome. It sounds good and gives you a touchable music item. The songs we recorded are about different issues such as water pollution, the financial crisis, voodoo, PTSD, drugs. One of the new songs is about love. Most of the songs are built around guitar riffs, but the latest songs are more singer-songwriter songs and more like our single “When the war is over”. Sometimes I get the lyrics first, but other times the riff just comes in.

We are from the city of Groningen, in the north of Holland…
It is a student town with lots of places to go out and do gigs. The music scene is large and quite diverse, but we have a large number of good rock bands. In our city, there are a few real cool venues. Once in a while, we like to go out as a band. About a year ago, we went to see “Bad Religion”. The guitarist and the bass-player were just looking and enjoying the music while I was in the mosh and the drummer was leaning over the stage and screaming along. We had the best night out. It explains the diversity within our band too! Every year, there are couples of huge festivals in Groningen. One of them is: Eurosonic (with tons of bands from all over Europe playing in all the bars in town). It is like south-by-southwest, but then a lot smaller. It is refreshing to see other bands play.

There is been a change in music business…
Years ago, it was harder to get in contact with our audience. Okay, kids went out more to see gigs than nowadays, but today you can conquer the world by just using your own music and the computer. The world has become much smaller. We can build a fan base on the other side of the world by sitting on the couch. We never had to argue about what kind of music to play. We do what we do and we do not let others decide what we should play. If people dislike it, that is okay. Others do and that’s super! And diversity is a good thing. We played on stoner-rock festivals, but we can do acoustic sessions also.

Social media helped us a lot…
It takes some time to get the right contacts, but when you have built a network of people, things can go fast. Besides that, we found out that it’s wise to post stuff well dosed so you get more and longer exposure. Building a website was a challenge. You have to think about the layout, the right amount of information and about branding (what you want to look like). Getting the right people together in a band is also a big challenge. We had some problems with band members, but who doesn’t, right? To stimulate each other, becoming better musician or doing the best thing for a certain song is always a challenge. We grow each day, week, and year.

Releasing singles vs. an album…
People used to release albums more, but nowadays, I think it’s better to release singles. You get more exposure because you have the opportunity to do something extra around every new single. For example, we released our single “When The War Is Over”, together with a music video. Shooting a video adds something to the music. We are already brainstorming for ideas for the new video. And of course, we also had a release party. But, you can do so much more with every song you release and the song gets complete attention. If you release an album, some songs just don’t get played. That’s a shame for all the hard work you put in it.

I still have this thing against the whole marketing idea…
It has nothing to do with making music, but if you want more publicity and if you want more people to hear your stuff, it’s inevitable. About marketing, I have the tendency to write about heavy subjects and besides that, we create music, which adds the same feeling. Therefore, we have chosen to do, for example, a photo shoot in the same entourage. And the artwork that accompanies the songs (album cover, etc.) contains the same feeling. It has to be one. You have to be constantly thinking: If people see us for the first time, what kind of first impression do you want them to get? But music has to stand on it’s own. Without photo, video, etc.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
the Dalai Lama. Like many, I have had a lot of questions about life in general. I have a connection with Buddhism. Maybe he can teach me some more. The rest of the band would probably ask for Eddie Vedder or David Gilmour (Pink Floyd). But, also in for a laugh, I could ask John Cleese also.

 

 

 

Bio:
Cutting Grass is a Powerrockband from Groningen situated in the north of Holland. Rock bands that were hot in the 90s influence their music. UP magazine, the coolest rock magazine in the Benelux, compared CG’s sound to bands such as Bush and Silverchair. A real compliment! Pop, rock, metal and grunge are all genres fused and made current in their music. CG creates a sound that is dynamic, catchy and also emotionally charged. After the release of their first E.P. “I Need Some” in 2011, CG successfully played at venues and festivals in the north of Holland. 2015 will see the release of their second E.P. called ‘Black Candle’. CG has crafted a new E.P. with more melodic songs. It still has several rock songs, but also an acoustic based sound. Their core remains the same: creating good rock songs and performing in awesome places! “Dynamic, catchy and emotionally charged … Cutting Grass”

Cutting Grass Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cuttingg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cutting_grass
Website: www.cuttinggrass.nl