Pittsburgh-based band The Cynics have spent the last 35 years consistently delivering excellent, high energy garage rock and garnering a solid reputation in Europe, while remaining largely under the radar at home. Going back at least a century, many American artists have found success abroad while maintaining relative obscurity at home. What are the cultural and economic forces at play that often seem to keep the Americans from recognizing their own? And how can a band without financial bascking by a major record label survive decades on the road and still maintain consistency in their sound and performance in the face of indifference, economic hardship and interpersonal conflict? The Cynics’ life in rock and roll is a story of struggle and perseverance. In the end, the motivation behind that perseverance is a passion for the music alone.
For the past few months we have been gathering archival materials and footage, doing preliminary interviews and working on logistics for following The Cynics on a five show tour of Spain and France. While in Europe, the plan is to capture quality video/audio of the shows and interview as many fans, promoters, club owners, and other bands as we can in the short time we are there. Over this summer, we will seek out similar interviews here in the U.S. and hopefully capture a few shows stateside. Having solid coverage from both sides of the Atlantic will give us perspective on this story.
Note: if you have ever played in The Cynics – especially between 1985 and 1995 – and you have not heard from us, or are wondering “why didn’t these jerks want to interview me?” we would love to talk to you! Please reach out. It’s possible that our private detective just hasn’t found you yet, but your story and input is important to this project. We need you!
So to business: since the NEA and support for the arts in the US has become a thing of the past, and the new age of the benefactor is upon us, we are crowd-sourcing financing for this project. As of this writing, we are maxing out credit cards for the equipment and travel costs of following the band to Europe, not to mention covering our regular bills and income loss incurred while working on this project, instead of more lucrative client work.
Additionally, the next phase of this project will require financial resources we currently do not possess: accountant and legal fees to set up an LLC, licensing for music from both The Cynics and artists whose songs they cover, and usage rights for the archival footage we’ve sourced to tell the story.
Like The Cynics, we aren’t in it for the money. We are passionate about our art and think there is a universal story here to tell, one worthy of a place on the “rock docs” shelf.
No contribution is too small (or too big, either!)