Rockers work to add new touch to same old sound

Brittany Moseley

Rock band Cute Is What We Aim For debuts its new album and gets ready to rock Ohio at Warped Tour

Cute Is What We Aim For (left to right): Jeff Czum, Shaant Hacikyan and Tom Falcone. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN BOCZARSKI

Credit: DKS Editors

Jeff Czum thinks emo is long gone.

This is a surprising statement coming from the guitarist of Cute Is What We Aim For, the band Alternative Press labeled emo’s next great success story.

“People just like to describe bands as emo, just because . I don’t even know why,” Czum said, his voice trailing off. “I think of emo as, ‘Oh my girlfriend dumped me.'”

The members of Cute Is What We Aim For, which also consists of lead singer Shaant Hacikyan and drummer Tom Falcone, can try to escape the emo label, but the band’s music seems to fit right into it – cute guys who write songs that will inspire hundreds of screennames.

“There are a lot of bands that sound the same, and I’ll admit we’re one of them. That’s why we named the album Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch,” Czum said, referring to the band’s debut album. “It’s the same stuff, but we’re putting our touch on it.”

The band’s own touch seems to be working. Blood Rush sold 14,000 copies its first week – 4,000 more copies than fellow Fueled By Ramen labelmates Panic! At The Disco.

“When we wrote the first song we never thought of ourselves as the next Panic! At The Disco or the next Fall Out Boy,” Czum said. “We didn’t know where we were as a band with our first album.”

The members of Cute Is What We Aim For didn’t know where they were as a band because they didn’t have much time to figure it out. Czum and Hacikyan started the band in late 2005 and were signed to Fueled By Ramen in November. The band started recording in February 2006 (with former bassist Fred Cimato) and finished a month later.

With their quick ascent up the music ladder, Cute Is What We Aim For is an easy target for critics who say the band didn’t have to work to get at the level it’s at now. Although the members didn’t take the usual long and brutal path to fame that most bands do, it doesn’t mean they didn’t work hard.

“We worked our asses off on this album,” Czum said. “We did a tour before we released our first CD, and we were still unsigned.”

Now that the band has had time to come into their element and tour with bands such as Paramore and Hellogoodbye, Czum is ready to start recording the next album.

“I want this (album) to be more complex,” he said. “Blood Rush is kind of simple. I’m excited to see where this one goes.”

Czum may say emo is long gone, but Cute Is What We Aim For is just getting started.

Contact features correspondent Brittany Moseley at [email protected].