Cockeyed Optimist
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Cockeyed Optimist

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Apr
13
Cockeyed Optimist @ Maricopa County Fair

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Music

Press


Southern California rock band Cockeyed Optimist will perform for UCSB next Monday as part of A.S. Program Board’s free afternoon concert series.

Hailing from Orange County, the four-piece band is travelling to different colleges along the coast, stopping in Santa Barbara between gigs at Mira Costa College and the University of LaVerne. All in their early 20s, CEO said they are excited to play to a crowd of their peers.

CEO includes Cynda Renae on lead vocals and songwriter, Sean Pierce Johnson on guitar and Renae’s songwriting partner, Jimmy Lee on drums and Eric Feliciano on the bass.

Renae describes CEO’s music as “real,” basing her songs off of past events. Even the name of the band, taken from the musical “South Pacific,” reflects her attitude about life — staying positive even when the world around you seems to be crumbling.

“I started writing the music myself after going through a traumatic, life-altering experience,” Renae said. “I write to emotionally heal.”

She said her songwriting process has evolved since she first started writing in 2008, and she is now able to draw inspiration from everyday circumstances. Renae and Johnson, who met at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, work well together when formulating lyrics.

“I think we found together a similar mindset when it comes to music,” Johnson said. “That was refreshing.”

The band’s EP titled, Undocumented, is a heavy-hitting compilation of rock, rap and deeply emotional lyrics.

“Band-wise, I try not to limit myself,” Johnson said. “I take inspiration from everything I listen to.”

Some of Johnson’s musical inspirations are Breaking Benjamin, Smashing Pumpkins, Jeff Buckley, Nine Inch Nails and Public Enemy. We can hear some of those influences in songs like “Blight,” which showcases Renae’s vocal versatility (watch out Linkin Park, this chick can rap her lyrics, too) and “Look at You,” where the band drops strong power chords and meaty percussion behind Renae’s raw vocals.

Renae said UCSB will be the first to hear CEO’s newest song, which is all about discovering the real Hollywood apart from the stereotypical glitz and glam.

“All of our songs are real,” Renae said. “Most music today, you can’t really tell. We are going to play all our songs and be completely real with them.”

She is definitely honest. Renae gives the listener a piece of her heart in songs like “Cry Wolf” and “Bandwagon Belief System,” with lyrics like these: “I’ve held your hand and wiped tears for you / Those days are over / I won’t be there” and “You think I’m heartless / but I mean when I say / I don’t care, I’ll live for today.”

CEO’s mission of staying true to themselves and preaching honesty are admirable qualities that they would like to share with others as they continue touring.

“We want to start playing high schools,” Renae said. “They need good influences, and we are.”

In addition to playing for high school kids, the band is preparing for their two-week tour kicking off in January 2012 and is booking gigs at county fairs.

“The thing I always wanted with the band is to constantly be playing,” Johnson said.

With passion and personalities as strong as theirs, it’s unlikely that CEO will stop playing in the near future.

Be sure to check out CEO on Monday in Storke Plaza. If the show is anything like the band members, it will be lovely.

For more information, visit www.cockeyedoptimist.net. - UCSB- The Daily Nexus


Southern California rock band Cockeyed Optimist will perform for UCSB next Monday as part of A.S. Program Board’s free afternoon concert series.

Hailing from Orange County, the four-piece band is travelling to different colleges along the coast, stopping in Santa Barbara between gigs at Mira Costa College and the University of LaVerne. All in their early 20s, CEO said they are excited to play to a crowd of their peers.

CEO includes Cynda Renae on lead vocals and songwriter, Sean Pierce Johnson on guitar and Renae’s songwriting partner, Jimmy Lee on drums and Eric Feliciano on the bass.

Renae describes CEO’s music as “real,” basing her songs off of past events. Even the name of the band, taken from the musical “South Pacific,” reflects her attitude about life — staying positive even when the world around you seems to be crumbling.

“I started writing the music myself after going through a traumatic, life-altering experience,” Renae said. “I write to emotionally heal.”

She said her songwriting process has evolved since she first started writing in 2008, and she is now able to draw inspiration from everyday circumstances. Renae and Johnson, who met at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, work well together when formulating lyrics.

“I think we found together a similar mindset when it comes to music,” Johnson said. “That was refreshing.”

The band’s EP titled, Undocumented, is a heavy-hitting compilation of rock, rap and deeply emotional lyrics.

“Band-wise, I try not to limit myself,” Johnson said. “I take inspiration from everything I listen to.”

Some of Johnson’s musical inspirations are Breaking Benjamin, Smashing Pumpkins, Jeff Buckley, Nine Inch Nails and Public Enemy. We can hear some of those influences in songs like “Blight,” which showcases Renae’s vocal versatility (watch out Linkin Park, this chick can rap her lyrics, too) and “Look at You,” where the band drops strong power chords and meaty percussion behind Renae’s raw vocals.

Renae said UCSB will be the first to hear CEO’s newest song, which is all about discovering the real Hollywood apart from the stereotypical glitz and glam.

“All of our songs are real,” Renae said. “Most music today, you can’t really tell. We are going to play all our songs and be completely real with them.”

She is definitely honest. Renae gives the listener a piece of her heart in songs like “Cry Wolf” and “Bandwagon Belief System,” with lyrics like these: “I’ve held your hand and wiped tears for you / Those days are over / I won’t be there” and “You think I’m heartless / but I mean when I say / I don’t care, I’ll live for today.”

CEO’s mission of staying true to themselves and preaching honesty are admirable qualities that they would like to share with others as they continue touring.

“We want to start playing high schools,” Renae said. “They need good influences, and we are.”

In addition to playing for high school kids, the band is preparing for their two-week tour kicking off in January 2012 and is booking gigs at county fairs.

“The thing I always wanted with the band is to constantly be playing,” Johnson said.

With passion and personalities as strong as theirs, it’s unlikely that CEO will stop playing in the near future.

Be sure to check out CEO on Monday in Storke Plaza. If the show is anything like the band members, it will be lovely.

For more information, visit www.cockeyedoptimist.net. - UCSB- The Daily Nexus


The Los Angeles based band, Cockeyed Optimist, entertained students at Saddleback College with the sounds and rhythms of pure rock and roll.
The four musicians performed at the college's student quad from noon to 1 p.m last Monday, Nov. 28.
Cockeyed Optimist (CEO) is made up of one guitarist, Sean Pierce Johnson; one bassist, Erick Feliciano; a drummer, Gus Cannizzaro; and lead singer, Cynda Renae.
When watching the members of CEO perform, one can sense the effort they put forth in order to present their music with passion and honesty, right from their attitudes on stage, to the lyrics that they sing.
"We're very honest with how we present ourselves, and how we approach our music," Johnson said.
Although their fan base is in L.A. and the Orange County scene, not all members of the band are California natives. Renae hails from Pennsylvania and Cannizzaro comes from Alaska, while Johnson and Feliciano grew up in California.
Music is the force which ultimately brought the foursome together.
Renae, Cannizzaro, and Johnson met while attending the Musician's Institute in Hollywood three years ago. Renae and Johnson's initial musical collaboration was the stepping stone that led to the formation of the band.
After writing music together, Renae and Johnson decided to take their efforts further into forming the band that came to be known as Cockeyed Optimist. They recruited two of Johnson's friends, drummer, Cannizzaro, and bassist, Feliciano.
Johnson's friendships with Cannizzaro and Feliciano began through their mutual loves of music.
After forming the band in 2008, the group performed their first live show in 2009, without a manager or a booking agent. They are a self-motivated group with a do-it-ourselves kind of mentality, and have managed to be their own booking agents and promoters since the very beginning.
While most bands seek desperately to get signed, CEO does not set its sights solely on the fame or fortune that signing with a label will bring.
"Our goal is to really build our band one fan at a time, and having a label won't help us do that," Renae said.
From re-locations, to several changes in the band's members, it is safe to say that the founding members of CEO have gone through numerous rough patches on their journey.
Despite several setbacks, Renae and Johnson kept pushing forward and never let any obstacle sidetrack them from their goals.
The name of the band itself, Cockeyed Optimist, gives way to the band's inspiration to keep going.
"Our band's name is a testament to what we have to do every day," Renae said. "We must remain optimistic, even when everything in life seems chaotic and difficult because there's always gonna be that light at the end of the tunnel. There's always hope, you never should just give up and give in."
The members of CEO are a unique breed of musicians, focused not on the perfection of their sets, but on what they can learn and take home from each show.
"We made some mistakes in our set today, and we're fine with that," Johnson said. "It's just room for improvement in the future. Every show we learn something new."
Johnson said that as a band he hopes that CEO will be unique in its music as well. The members do not seek to copy the trends of mainstream rock.
Cockeyed Optimist is set to embark on a two-month tour through several cities in California beginning January of 2012. Their EP "Undocumented" is also up on iTunes.
For more information on Cockeyed Optimist, visit their website at cockeyedoptimist.net or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cockeyedoptimistrock. - Saddleback College-The Lariat


The Los Angeles based band, Cockeyed Optimist, entertained students at Saddleback College with the sounds and rhythms of pure rock and roll.
The four musicians performed at the college's student quad from noon to 1 p.m last Monday, Nov. 28.
Cockeyed Optimist (CEO) is made up of one guitarist, Sean Pierce Johnson; one bassist, Erick Feliciano; a drummer, Gus Cannizzaro; and lead singer, Cynda Renae.
When watching the members of CEO perform, one can sense the effort they put forth in order to present their music with passion and honesty, right from their attitudes on stage, to the lyrics that they sing.
"We're very honest with how we present ourselves, and how we approach our music," Johnson said.
Although their fan base is in L.A. and the Orange County scene, not all members of the band are California natives. Renae hails from Pennsylvania and Cannizzaro comes from Alaska, while Johnson and Feliciano grew up in California.
Music is the force which ultimately brought the foursome together.
Renae, Cannizzaro, and Johnson met while attending the Musician's Institute in Hollywood three years ago. Renae and Johnson's initial musical collaboration was the stepping stone that led to the formation of the band.
After writing music together, Renae and Johnson decided to take their efforts further into forming the band that came to be known as Cockeyed Optimist. They recruited two of Johnson's friends, drummer, Cannizzaro, and bassist, Feliciano.
Johnson's friendships with Cannizzaro and Feliciano began through their mutual loves of music.
After forming the band in 2008, the group performed their first live show in 2009, without a manager or a booking agent. They are a self-motivated group with a do-it-ourselves kind of mentality, and have managed to be their own booking agents and promoters since the very beginning.
While most bands seek desperately to get signed, CEO does not set its sights solely on the fame or fortune that signing with a label will bring.
"Our goal is to really build our band one fan at a time, and having a label won't help us do that," Renae said.
From re-locations, to several changes in the band's members, it is safe to say that the founding members of CEO have gone through numerous rough patches on their journey.
Despite several setbacks, Renae and Johnson kept pushing forward and never let any obstacle sidetrack them from their goals.
The name of the band itself, Cockeyed Optimist, gives way to the band's inspiration to keep going.
"Our band's name is a testament to what we have to do every day," Renae said. "We must remain optimistic, even when everything in life seems chaotic and difficult because there's always gonna be that light at the end of the tunnel. There's always hope, you never should just give up and give in."
The members of CEO are a unique breed of musicians, focused not on the perfection of their sets, but on what they can learn and take home from each show.
"We made some mistakes in our set today, and we're fine with that," Johnson said. "It's just room for improvement in the future. Every show we learn something new."
Johnson said that as a band he hopes that CEO will be unique in its music as well. The members do not seek to copy the trends of mainstream rock.
Cockeyed Optimist is set to embark on a two-month tour through several cities in California beginning January of 2012. Their EP "Undocumented" is also up on iTunes.
For more information on Cockeyed Optimist, visit their website at cockeyedoptimist.net or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cockeyedoptimistrock. - Saddleback College-The Lariat


Discography

Undocumented-EP

Photos

Bio

To be unknown in this day and age is the kiss of death. With social networks populating most of our online activities, anyone can have their 15 minutes. Amongst all the potential is Cockeyed Optimist a rock band from Orange County, CA. Together they craft music that is both heavy in sound and subject matter and based in the reality of everyday life. “This band is about honesty,” says singer Cynda Renae. “I’ve never wanted to fake something to get by.”
And honesty and reality are exactly what she has experienced.
Cynda began writing music after a traumatic, life altering event. Through her pain she began writing her most meaningful music. While a student at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, she met Sean Pierce Johnson, her guitarist and songwriting partner. Together they crafted the songs featured on the band’s debut EP, Undocumented. “It’s not difficult to write songs with her,” Sean confesses. “We work well together, even when we disagree.”
This duo became the core of the group and while working with various bassists and drummers, they settled on Eric Feliciano on bass and Gus Cannizzaro on drums. “I’ve been friends with these guys for awhile,” Johnson says, “but I didn’t know that the right people were in front of my face.”
In May 2011, the group released their first EP, Undocumented. The title is a reflection of their first entry into the music world and the nature of being unknown in today’s world. The culmination of three years of work, it is an achievement just to hold the finished product in their hands. “What we went through to get here was a daunting task. Most people would have given up, but that’s what being a Cockeyed Optimist is all about--remaining positive when it seems all hope is lost,” Cynda says.