The C.I.G. (Punk)

Written by Jonny Havoc

The C.I.G.
Posted Oct 19, 2007.

Chad Sengstock-Vocals
Reuben Paul-Guitar
John Mayberry-Drums
Matt Morey-Bass

Any shows coming up for you guys?
Besides the Clinic on Oct. 19th? I think we are playing at a youth event in Pomona, but I am not sure when it is. Maybe Oct. 27th?

What do you think about the show your playing on October 19th at the clinic?
Well, I, personally, am super stoked. I have seen some great shows there. It's small, graffiti covered and the stage looks like it is about to fall apart. Who wouldn't be stoked to play there? After seeing Tipper's Gore there the first time, I wanted the CIG to play there. So the show is basically fulfilling a dream of mine.

How is the local music scene treating you guys?
I don't think the local scene knows who we are. We have played more out in the Inland Empire. But at most shows, most people just stand there looking dumbfounded trying to figure out what's going on.

How long has CIG been a band?
I am not sure of an exact date, but I would say we have been playing off and on for a couple of years. John Mayberry, Reuben and I (Chad) have been playing music together since 1997. John Woods and I were in a horror surf punk band called, The Night Grows Cold..., that we started back in 2000 or 2001. We all loved the 80's hardcore sound. I mean my first band (SOS) back in 1996 was basically a cross between Minor Threat and 7 Seconds. I have always loved that raw, aggressive sound. I had always wanted to start a old-school hardcore punk band again. Mainly because I love it, but also because I was getting tired of the "hardcore" music today. It all sounds the same and I was bored with songs built around "mosh" parts. I wanted to see circle pits again, not karate matches.

When was CIG's first show?
I am not positive, but I think it was April 23, 2005. It was at a Calvary Chapel in Santa Ana.

How did it go?
What's the worse band you have ever heard? Times that by 100. Haha! I wore a different hockey jersey for each song, a total of 4. We played the first song again as our last song. The looks we got, aw man, hilarious. I had a good friend of mine who came out to see us say that he had never heard me raise my voice before and he wasn't sure what to think. John Mayberry wasn't even in the band yet, but he was there at the show. My friend Alex was playing the drums at the time. Alex eventually went to lead guitar for awhile after John took over the drums. The Night Grows Cold.. played right after us. So John Woods, Alex and I played back-to-back sets. Alex was lead guitar in The Night Grows Cold... as well.

What inspires most of your lyrics?
Lots of things inspire my lyrics. I have written songs based on stories I have read, Bible verses, movies, etc. I love horror stories, ones mainly dealing with the supernatural and the battle between good and evil. Being a Christian, I believe that there is an ongoing struggle between God (good) and the devil (evil). So I take a lot of my life's struggles to bring God the glory in everything that I do and set in it a "horror" themed setting. I think writing using the horror genre works very well when dealing with spiritual matters. I also listen to the bands from the 80's and have drawn inspiration from them. I think our songs, Persevere and Poison, are good examples of something you might have heard back in the 80's. I also draw from observations I have made and just from life in general. I even turned a nickname that I was given into a song. I try and take what's in my heart and present it in way that will be beneficial to the listener.

What bands have influenced your music the most?
So many...but some are: Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Uniform Choice, The Nerve Agents, Blaster the Rocketman, Black Flag, Unity, Youth of Today. I would say our style is mostly drawn from these bands, but we are influenced by EVERYTHING. And I do mean EVERYTHING. Hardcore is probably the least listened to genre of music in the band. There is so much great music out there, so get out there and listen to it. I also think by listening to such a variety of music, it has helped us make our hardcore music a little more interesting and unique.

What bands did you grow up listening to?
Classical, jazz, golden oldies... I didn't "discover" punk until the mid-90's. My favorite bands were: Ninety Pound Wuss, Blaster the Rocketman, Unashamed, Focused, the Crucified, MxPx, Officer Negative, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Overcome, No Innocent Victim and that is about all I listened to for a long time. I am now trying to make up for all the music I missed out on. Take my advice, don't just listen to one style of music! Of course, this was all before myspace and the internet, so discovering new music and cool bands wasn't that easy. I know the rest of the guys listened to these bands as well. Mayberry liked Mortification, Gorilla Biscuits, Strife, Good Riddance and a lot of classic rock. Reuben listened to just about anything he could get his hands on. Woods listened to a lot of ska and punk. But I am not sure exactly what the other guys listened to growing up.

What is the title of your latest cd?
The Amazing C.I.G. Strikes Back!
It's basically an 11 song demo

When was it released?
2006, I believe? Or maybe early 2007

What religion are you guys and does that effect your music?
We are all Christians and it greatly effects out music. Most of the songs have spiritual undertones, but mainly dealing with my walk as a Christian. We are not about shoving our beliefs down anyone's throat. We love Jesus and we want to say at the end of the day, our lives have brought Him glory. We are people. We are not perfect and we don't expect anyone else to be perfect. Punk is about making a stand for your beliefs. We stand for Jesus. We would love to share with anyone who wants to listen, but we feel actions speak louder than words and that we can make a bigger impact by letting God show His love through us as lights in a dark place. I hope that makes sense.

Do you have any tours in the making?
I wish. Anyone want to take us on one? It is hard to even practice because Reuben is a med student and Mayberry is working on a doctorate in math at USC. Woods and I are also both pursuing careers in photography, so our time for the band is pretty limited.

Do you guys have any promoting secrets that you would like to share with us that have gotten you to the point that your at right now?
Do more than just sit by the phone or computer waiting for someone to ask you to play. That strategy hasn't gotten us many shows, haha!

What do you think of Big Smile Magazine?
I heard that I Shot Chad is one freakin' amazing photographer. I dig the magazine and I tell a lot of people to check it out. The guys at Big Smile Magazine care about the music and put in many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many hours making it best they possibly can for your viewing pleasure. Show them some love the next time you see them standing outside a concert hanging out flyers.

What is the one thing people should remember in this interview about The C.I.G.?
I would say that, it is important to listen to a wide variety of music. No matter what style of music you want to play, you can draw influences from other styles that will make you a better musician/band. Also, don't take things too seriously. Music is fun, so have fun making it. Even if you don't think you are any good, if you are having fun, get doing it. And lastly, Jesus loves you. No matter what you have done, where you have come from, what you are involved in, your thoughts, your feelings, anything. He loves you. Just remember that. Take care and God Bless!

Come see us play at the Clinic on Oct. 19th!!!!



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