Date: April 29th, 2007
Venue: NIA, Birmingham
Interviewer: Zach Redrup
The date is April 29th 2007, and it’s now 5pm. Zebrahead have just finished their 30 minute set for Give It A Name, and DEAD PRESS!‘s Zach and Ruth are being led backstage to interview Cute Is What We Aim For. Upon arriving in a small room, which has nothing but a table with a laptop, a couple of chairs, and a box full of water bottles, they find the band’s manager. A few minutes later and Cute Is What We Aim For frontman Shaant Hacikyan enters the room, wearing an ordinary pair of jeans, a bob hat, white shirt and a red jacket. He greets them both friendly with a handshake and introduces himself before starting the interview.
Zach: So, you’ve played a few of the Give It A Name shows this year already, how were they for you?
Shaant: We played one yesterday, and it was the biggest show of our entire lives. It was incredible. We had a really good time.
Zach: You’ve recently signed to Atlantic Records, haven’t you?
Shaant: It was a while ago really, it was about a year ago or something.
Ruth: Well done, Zach.
Shaant: No, no, no. It’s not your fault. A lot of people misperceive it online as if we just did it.
Zach: So, what’s next in the future for Cute Is What We Aim For?
Shaant: We’re gonna go home after this and, after doing some New Found Glory dates, probably write, hopefully, and do Warped Tour. Then take some time off going over to Japan Warped Tour. Then take some time off, write some more, then a world tour, so all of Europe. Erm, we were gonna play Reading and Leeds but we said no, it’s just ’cause we’d have to drop off the last 3 Warped Tour dates, those are some of the best dates. Then we’ll tour throughout the Fall, and record in the Winter, and release next Spring.
Zach: What’s your favourite meal?
Shaant: Either sushi, or chicken wings.
Zach: I like chicken wings.
Shaant: They’re delicious, and I’m from Buffalo man. Buffalo wings. That’s where they were invented.
Ruth: That’s the thing that Jessica Simpson thought were buffalo.\
Shaant: Yeah, idiot.
Zach: How does playing in the UK compare with playing in the US?
Shaant: It’s better, all the time.
Zach: How’s it better?
Shaant The kids are just, just… they enjoy it, you know? The US is so spoilt for the fact that you can see your favourite band maybe five times in six months or something sometimes.
Ruth: Yeah, I had to wait for New Found Glory to come over for two years.
Shaant: Seriously, right, you have to wait incredibly long, and you guys appreciate it more and really enjoy it and show it. And it just makes all the bands, all the bands I can guarantee you will say they play better here, just because the energy’s there. It’s a lot of fun.
Zach: You broke the record when you were signed to Fueled By Ramen, with over 13,000 copies within the first week with your album. How did you feel about that?
Shaant: It was incredible, It was the most amazing feeling in the world. You see, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your first week is, it matters where we’re going to be a year from now. That’s what my manager told me, and I’ve lived by it since. So yeah, but it was, sorry, I was jumping on a bed when I found out, you know.
Zach: When did you get given your first ever bike?
Shaant: My bike?
Shaant: Erm, my bike? Probably three or four, I only had training wheels on for about a good few days really, I just went right into it. It was sick, and then I took it apart ’cause I was convinced at like eight I could put it back together, and then I ruined it and no-one fixed it for me.
Zach: Not the mechanic then?
Shaant: Well, now more so, but not at eight. I guess I was a little over my head.
Zach: Do you suffer from any fears or phobias?
Shaant: Of course, tons, where shall I begin?
Zach: The most common one?
Shaant: Yeah. Spiders, snakes, pretty much anything that will hurt me. I hate flying. Not because I’m scared of dying, just because it’s so uncomfortable and ugh. sharks, pretty much anything harmful. Oh, and heights. Woah, heights. I can’t touch heights. Ugh, yeah.
Zach: What’s the best fan experience you’ve had so far as a band?
Shaant: Oh god, I don’t think I should tell you that. We’ve had a lot. Wait, did you say what’s the best fan experience, or the worst?
Zach: The best fan experience, but we’d like to hear worst as well.
Shaant: Oh, the worst is just like getting into huge fights. But the best, I’d wanna say yesterday, you know. You had Fred who’s our best friend, the first time he’s ever flown overseas, played in front of 12,000+ people. I mean, we were all together looking at each other, smiling, like you can only imagine what that’s like to truely do it, and it just felt great you know, like we were all there together experiencing something so fantastic. So I’d say yesterday, other than like crazy drunken moments I’d say yesterday.
Zach: Isn’t Fred your new temporary replacement bassist?
Shaant: He’s a replacement, yeah. He’s chilling. We’re not sure. You know, it’s still in the air. We don’t wanna rush, you know, things are going really well with everything, and we don’t have to. Our fans are awesome, so everyone’s been really understanding, and no-ones even complained. Everyone likes that he’s back, and it just sounds a lot better. But we’ll see how it works.
Zach: If you had to choose to have sex with George Bush or Tony Blair, who would it be?
Shaant: Tony Blair.
Zach: Tony Blair? And why’s that?
Shaant: ’cause I hate George Bush, and Tony Blair just has that sexy accent.
Zach: Sexy British accent.
[The band’s PR and manager look at Shaant oddly]
Shaant: Okay! Alright!
Shaant: No, erm, I’d like to say neither. But…
Ruth: Aren’t they both married as well?
Zach: Erm, blonde or brunette?
Shaant: It was brunette, but I’m turning a new leaf so I’ll say blonde.
And after those 6 and a half minutes of questions, ranging from discussions about sex with politicians, to record sales, from new label signings to buffalo wings, the interview is over. Shaant bids Zach and Ruth farewell with yet another friendly handshake and they head back out into the arena floor, to watch and enjoy the rest of the Give It A Name festival.
Written by Zach Redrup