Interview with Riot Girl: Cinder Block From Tilt , Retching Red And The Pathogens!

Cinder Block
 I am a timeless classic. I was born in 1961, you do the math.
I'll always be two inches taller and two years younger than Madonna!

Cinder is the legendary singer of the punk bands Tilt ,Retching Red and The Pathogens!
Shes also been in the band Fabulous Disaster.
And shes currently in the making of a new band , so we all have something good coming!
Cinders voice is a legend and is one of the most recognizable voices in the female punk music scene.
Her style is as awesome as herself ,  with her white blonde hair and blood-red lipstick , shes brilliant!

By the way my natural hair color is red. Even at my age it's still growing out bright red!

Can you remember when your interest for music started?

I am so old I remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I was a toddler running around singing "I wanna hold your hand" driving my mom nuts and telling her I wanted to marry John Lennon. Later my older brother introduced me to Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, The Fugs, Deep Purple, Iggy Pop, MC5 etc. he was the first FM radio DJ in our town and introduced big shows at the local auditorium. I saw 10 Years After when I was 8 years old.
and what made you wanna start playing music/sing? The Amercian dream of becoming a rock star was implanted in my head at a young age, to the horror of my dad! But seriously, I was a writer and I wanted to write and perform my own words. You can do that in the theatre but you have to have a lot of financial backing. I loved to sing so it was a no brain-er to start a band. You don't need much money to do that. You just have to have the drive and ambition to make it happen. Not that it's easy, but it's more feasible than starting a theatre company.


What made you choose the instruments you play? 

I just always sang. I have a picture of Jeffery with a guitar at 5 years old and there's a home movie of him at that age pretending to be Elvis, playing guitar and wearing a blue shirt & sunglasses.

Which  musicians has had the most impact on you ? 

I really loved the theatrical stage show of Alice Cooper. My mom took me to see Alice Cooper when he was on the Billion Dollar Babies tour. He chased a big tooth around the stage, battling it with a giant toothbrush. Female vocalists I loved were of course Janis Joplin, Grace Slick. Then later Poly Styrene, Patti Smith, Exene and Penelope Houston. Even later I admired Mia Zappata of the Gits. I even like Lady Gaga! I got into Patti Smith pretty hard in my late teens because she didn't care if her voice was technically good, it was the poetry of her words that drove her. She doesn't care about glamour or sounding pretty or even brushing her hair. She's still just a fucking rad queen bitch poetess for the ages. Plus she fuckin' had Fred Sonic Smith's kids! That's rad.


What does playing music means to you?

It is to me like I suppose religion is to other people. Or should I say spirituality. Singing is the closest thing I do to be spiritual. You use your body, your voice, your thoughts, your words. It's like crying out your love and hatred for the human experience all the same time. Like a tirade of anger but an orgasmic yelp and a beatific praise all at once - a hymn to worship and tear down this world all at once. And I'll sing and write till I die - it's not just some sort of career scheme to strike it rich and enthrall a generation of allowance spending teenagers. To me I have to sing and write to make sense of the confusing world around me. Punk rock, rock & roll is not just the sole possession of a youth market which will gobble it up and shit it out twice as fast. It's a gun-like force you can use as your medium for expression anytime you have the guts to pick it up and shoot a few rounds.


Can you remember and describe your very first instrument?

Ha ha!  think I played the recorder in 3rd grade. 


Are you ever influenced by old records & tapes?

I like to paw through my record collection every now and then. But Youtube is pretty amazing because anytime you think of a song you can just look it up and you can usually even find a vintage video or live performance that transports you back in time immediately. It's good to continually study music and find out things about the pioneers of whatever genre you are into at the moment. That's one wonderful thing about the free open internet - you can look this stuff up for free. Young people need to vote. And I mean in the mid-term elections as well as the general elections. We came really close to having the asshole conservatives take away free internet. Those same young people who don't vote will be the ones crying the loudest when they don't have access to their music and games anymore and they have to pay ridiculous amounts for internet access.


Which band have you played in / Are you  playing in?

Aside from Tilt I play a country acoustic set with Bill Collins. We play around the Bay Area. I'm also in a new band,The Pathogens, co-fronting with Jesse Luscious. We will debut April 3rd at the Golden Bull in Oakland. Punk-fucking-rock!



I know you have played alot of gigs , does it  ever happen that you  get nervous before a show?

I sometimes get nervous right before I go onstage but it doesn't last very long. It depends on how large the crowd is. I got pretty nervous when I played F.O.D. at the Dookie Tribute show on Feb 19th at Oakland's historic Fox Theater. It was a packed house but also, I was performing with an Orchestra so I didn't know if I could pull it off. But I did ok and people liked it. It was an amazing thing to play with an orchestra - they are called Awesome Orchestra and they were just that - awesome! Bill Collins sat in on guitar and Pete Rypins played bass to represent Tilt.

Video by : Philip Gangi


 What advice would you give to beginners who wants to start a music career?

Just stick you your guns and don't try to just copy other people. Come up with something new, interesting and make it your own.


What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

I like all kinds of music but I mainly go to small punk shows because I can usually get in free. I'd go to fancier events if someone would pay my way (wink.)


Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

No, but we've had venues turn off the power because we were too loud.


Is it difficult for  you  to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

It's the same thing really. I don't have kids so I don't have child rearing as a responsibility. I am lucky right now because I can devote a lot of time to music.


What is your best music related memory?

Starting out on a Tilt tour, driving down the freeway and our van ran into a cloud of money. We all jumped out and picked it up without even having to coordinate our movements. We just jumped back in and split up the proceeds and never found whose cash it was. We did talk about handing it over to the authorities but by the time our debate ended we were too far down the road to do anything that silly. I will never forget that. There was also the time in London when the promoter was smoking crack onstage and the ensuing fight between the bands and the club staff poured out onto the street. I could mention a couple of other things but I plead the 5th! Those were fun times.


Listening to your  records (Tilt / Retching Red)  , I can hear you have your own vocal  sound , is this something you have worked hard on to achieve?

I never consciously tried to create a vocal style. I just developed one organicall. I did try to polish certain aspects like having better vocal projection - directing a column of air from my diaphragm rather than pinching my throat. I also just learned how to sing in that gruff growl thing without hurting my throat. But if I had to teach that to someone else how to do that I wouldn't be able to do it. It's just something I learned by doing. Also, I've had some good recording engineers who ended up being more producers than just engineers. They helped me to recognize tone, pitch and tuning issues I had so I could work on them.

Photo by : Cinder block

As mentioned earlier , you  where/are the vocaliast in Tilt and Retching Red  .
How was/is that experience for you ? What was/is the best part about it?

I guess I really like having a solid band of hard rocking individuals behind me so we can tear the place down. There's nothing like the feeling when you know you are ripping it up with your buds.

Whats  the story about your new band The Pathogens?
How it was started ,whos in it ,genre etc?:)

Vocals : Jesse Luscious- Blatz, The G'rups, The Criminals and The Frisk

Vocals: Me

Drums: Markley Hart - Econochrist, Strichnine

Guitar: Sebastain Stewart - U.S. Bombs, The Divvys, The Undead Boys, The Twots

Guitar: Ronnie Shivers - Teenage Brain, Junk Merchants

Bass: Jovino Bunny - Man of Mystery


We just found each other within the scene. The time was right for a new hard rocking project. I've always wanted to sing with Jesse Luscious!


And how do you see the future for your new band that you are working on?

Hopefully we'll record, tour, do all that stuff.

Thanks to Cinder for this interview!

Check out her bands here! :

Retching Red :https://www.facebook.com/Retching-Red-164228873589964
The Pathogens :https://www.facebook.com/thepathogens

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Trendkilling Music

Trendkilling Music

2, Oslo

Trend Killing Music! The title says it all, this is a blog focusing on trend-killing music, both domestic and abroad! Interviews, music review's and alternative fashion are some of the things that will be regular topics . Stay tuned !