Coming of Age: An Interview with Cry Baby

Photo courtesy of Mia Naome

The local music scene of Charleston, SC is incredibly tight knit, so much so that the members of Cry Baby had all unknowingly met at the same local music festival performing as openers for Briston Maroney.

They had all spent time around each other throughout college, playing together or separately in different bands. When Josh Kozic and Joey Haines made a transition into more pop music, they knew the local scene wouldn’t let them down.

DIY spaces were the perfect opportunity for them to tour and meet people in a casual setting. Basements, living rooms; anywhere that was genuinely invested in supporting local musicians became a special place to them.

“It's super special to see so many people come out and make not only these bands feel like someone actually cares, but also more of a communal and shared experience at shows,” Haines said. “You actually get to hang out with the band you are seeing. This translates into the whole online experience too because the people who hear of you at a show or word of mouth end up being the ones that engage with your music on Instagram or Spotify. The community helps sustain itself, which we owe everything to.”

From the start of Cry Baby, they knew their sound was channeling older music and eventually settled on the late 90s/Y2K era.

“[We wanted to] try to bring in some influences we heard growing up on the radio that hadn't really been re-explored in a modern way fully,” Haines said. “Groups like Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears hadn't really been taken seriously musically in a minute, but now it seems like this era is coming back around a little. Once we started experimenting with this and going back and forth, we realized some really different pop music was coming out of our studio that didn't sound exactly like what everyone else was making.”

Their latest EP, Everything I Didn’t Say, took a full DIY approach as they created it in their bedroom studio. The beginning of the band focused on traveling and playing shows, but with the restrictions of the last year and a half they finally had the time to chip away at the collection of songs they had been working on for two years.

“I think as a band we all come from such different musical backgrounds that it's easy to have varying different envisions for songs, which leads to a give and take until the final version of something pops out,” Haines said. “When we finished the record it felt really right, like these songs were exactly what they needed to be.”

Everything I Didn’t Say was their attempt at creating the perfect Cry Baby mixtape. They wanted to harness the energy of that first time a mix is handed to a crush: the nerves, the meticulous placing of the track list, the anxiety slipping away as the urge to get up and move triumphs. These songs are a temporary escape from the world, complete with that nostalgic feeling of coming of age.