How much have your friends and families played a part in your career so far?
Brian: My wife is very supportive of my music and has encouraged me to take it as far as I can.
Craig: Same as Brian; My family’s understanding is irreplaceable; It nurtures the ability to step out, travel far from home where our network of friends/outstretched community takes us when we are able to travel. All the while remaining responsible. As you get older, you value that understanding more and more, when not all contain that type of flexibility of relationship.
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
Craig: After growing up with music constantly in my house, not played—my folks weren’t musicians—yet surrounded in (my mother and father owned juke boxes, collected 45-rpm records, always (and still do) go out dancing at Doo-Wop shows), then my brother engaging in classic rock, learning to play some guitar, it wasn’t until 11th/12th grade in high-school, that music seemed irresistible to me. However, I view it less as a decision. “Career” most people define by dollar sign success and failures, unfairly. When songs consume your mindset every day, you commit to an inexplainable, constant drive and creation, it can’t quite be a “hobby” just because you’re not paying your bills with it. When most, would love to be afforded that opportunity and try extensively at not only creating music yet also what needs to be done to perform it, distribute it, etc., well…is a carpenter not a carpenter if they’re behind on rent and with credit card debt?
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
Craig: Anything or anyone that moves me, sways my actions, stirs emotions, sets it’s influence upon me whether wanted or unwanted. I don’t think of specifics when creating, it feels pure when the song just naturally evolves (lyrically, or in a rehearsal room when writing parts collectively).
What song of yours best describes you and why?
Brian: “The One That Got Out” - It creates and mood and intensity without getting loud. The lyrics tell a story of leaving a desperate area for something better.
Craig: That’s neat to know Brian, I can see the relativity, now that you pointed that out; I’m going to have to say ‘something from all of them’ in regards to having no specific. Choosing one would change by how I wake up any given day; a feeling of yelling out the window versus windows shut and shades drawn. Some songs are lyrically more direct, while others are metaphorically more elusive than others—yet each pulls from who we are—whether it be for me lyrically, to the ebb and flow in the instrumental tone & how the music was played.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
Craig: I’d personally say the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville would feel like an achievement. We’re not the kind of band to do so, but one can place oneself in a setting and dream with a question like this, right? Ha ha.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would like to achieve in the future?
Craig: For the group, the EP you’re holding right here. We accomplished what we set out to do and have it stand apart from our previous releases, thematically. For Brian and I as the duo, meaning what we’ve done over time, he or I would probably say our overseas tours. We cherish those times, dearly.
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
Brian: You can literally take silence - air - nothing and turn it into something you can hear and hold forever.
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Craig: If you face an obstacle in your life path, be the one to figure out how you can best move around it. Laying those expectations unto others often leads to a feeling of disappointment when they do not align with your own. It’s easy to place the blame, yet will often ultimately still lead to your stagnation. Progress happens from within. It’s more of a mental state of personal content, versus what you are perceived as by others.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Brian: Everything and everything.
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
Craig: I love to travel and do it often. Inspiration of land, scenes, communities unfamiliar, interaction with the unknown. Spend time doing so with my family is irreplaceable. Once you’re used to it, it’s part of who you’re made of. Spend a few hundred dollars upgrading a television versus traveling to somewhere I’ve never been, I’ll take the latter.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry and how do you cope with using social media to build a profile in music?
Brian: I do not, but it is the way and it is not going to change. Before the internet people (the scene) was closer and tighter knit. Talking to people on the phone or in person created better relationships and music flourished as a result. It was easier to get noticed, people had to hear, you could not just ignore a band. More people bought music and held onto it unlike streaming.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
Craig: Tough question I don’t think about. As no one should… however, talk is cheap and we are humans and humans look at other humans and cast judgement whether we know we are or not. No image, is often still a decided upon image. Social circles often dictate one’s perception of themselves… I’d say, it matters if you want it to, or does not if you don’t.
Can you tell me as much as you can about any new releases gig or anything else you have coming up soon?
Craig: Well, we’re talking about our new release at the moment, and we’re very proud to have our first full-band record/CD available at this time (The Hidden Cabins Band out on Engineer Records & Pyrrhic Victory Recordings). Brian and I have recorded as Hidden Cabins in small batches since inception (something I’m not as personally used to the brevity we’ve done). Two, three, even single song sessions…which in turn, helped our familial vibe as three of these small releases worked out to be “split” releases on either CD or vinyl with other musicians. With a communal release, it’s more than one artist, sometimes more than one indie record label—it makes a family out of few songs with multiple entities celebrating it. Fast-forward to now, we felt The Hidden Cabins Band was overdue—which is 5 songs done full band style in the studio, as opposed to just Brian and I recording everything as a duo. Nothing direct coming up soon to follow, but we’ll see what the future brings.
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
Craig: Thank you for finding the time to listen to an album, drive to a gig, use their time on what we’ve created. They could be doing limitless other things, yet chose a moment on us. That’s irreplaceable.
How would you answer the questions who are Hidden Cabins?
Hidden Cabins are a group of guys that grew up in varied NJ underground, D.I.Y. scenes, who’ve kept their passion to write and play music where music is first, community involved is cherished (we have great, great friends near and far!), and where genre clichés and playing the “cool card” isn’t part of the equation.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
Brian: Under Wraps by Jethro Tull from the super savers cassette bin when I was like 11 or 12. My friend’s brother listened to them a lot while I hung around and it turned into a lifelong love affair of Tull.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Craig: Of course, do it. Give it your all. Be sure to thank everyone along the way that lends you an ear, advice or a helping hand.
What things make you uncomfortable?
Craig: Racists, Chauvinists, Sexists, Homophobes. Arrogance.
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
Craig: I really don’t think I could warrant a reason to do such a thing. An autobiography, at least personally speaking, would seem more as a diary to leave behind to connect to a loved one perhaps I’d be unable to reach, who would desire to know who I was. Since I’m fortunately in touch with my most personal loved ones, they know me for who I am. I couldn’t see myself writing a direct story about myself for any other reason. Many musicians leave songs behind to give strangers some ideas on what the songwriter’s life, ideas, concerns or desires might look like—I’d like to include myself in that—not everything can be taken direct, as certainly there is fiction and storytelling, yet there’s usually a bit of it’s author within the poetry, even when the poetry can be read as prose—neat thing about that is the listener holds the brush.
What has the rest of year got in store for you?
Craig: Since Brian and I now live 11+ hours apart, we will be take the Winter off and hope to plan some trips for 2019. We used to keep busy, gigging all of the time regularly in our region, as well as planning trips sporadically, abroad. Now, the regularity will diminish yet not disappear. In the interim, we both play music in other situations, so we’ll still keep active. Thanks for asking!