The Cry Room

The Cry Room


Original, orchestrated art-rock - influences: Radiohead, U2, Sigur Rós & Pink Floyd. Band blends elements of Musique Concrete, Electronica and Psychedelic Rock. Extremely visual performances on par with the greatest Arena-Rock bands of all time - angst-ridden, wistful, theatrical, epic!


Formed in the winter 2002, The Cry Room offers a progressive, orchestrated art-rock sound that draws from a wellspring of influences including Radiohead, U2, Sigur Rós, Duran Duran and Pink Floyd. The band’s sound blends elements of Musique Concrete, Electronica, Emo and Psychedelic Rock for performances and recordings that are on par with the greatest Arena-Rock bands of all time…angst-ridden, wistful, theatrical and truly epic.

Seeking to make their livelihoods as musicians, Free Will Puppet drummer, Brian Manifold, and guitarist, Aaron Esche, left Anderson, Indiana to pursue educations in the Recording Industry at Middle Tennessee State University. A magnet for Recording Industry hopefuls, MTSU, with its state of the art recording studios and electronic music labs, also attracted Limbo vocalist/guitarist Chris Gillis from Memphis, and classically schooled violinist and Coleman bassist Carl Hofstrom from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. John Sparks arrived from Paducah, Kentucky playing keyboard and Theremin, first studying Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville, and later continuing his education at MTSU.

Friends from an early age, Gillis followed Sparks to MTSU so that they could continue jamming and writing songs together. Gillis invited Hofstrom, whose violin could be heard throughout the dorm, to jam with him and Sparks, and Hofstrom began playing bass with them soon after. Sparks also worked as a technical assistant in the electronic music lab, and it was there that he met Manifold and Esche. All became good friends, and benefiting from the creative environment and professional studios available to them, the music of The Cry Room, at first experimental, matured quickly.

In time, the band began performing at clubs near campus, and eventually they ventured into nearby Nashville, where they developed a loyal following, and benefited from alliances among music industry professionals. Journalists favored the band also, and although media-labels such as Indie Rock and Emo largely misrepresented them, they nonetheless became wildly popular at clubs in and around Nashville, playing to enthusiastic, standing room only crowds.

However, The Cry Room delivers a sound that is far more diverse, intelligent and compelling than media-labels can contain, and the band’s depth and passion are clearly evidenced in its influences, which include Aaron Copeland, Tori Amos, Moby, Radiohead, U2, Victor Wooten, Bela Fleck, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Nirvana, Smashing Pumkins and others. Additionally, prolonged feedback, heavenly drones, and the compulsion for outer space typified by the band HUM (and first emulated by Chris’s band Limbo), are still evident in the music of The Cry Room.

Combining elements of musique concrete, electronica, Emo and psychedelic rock (not unlike the aforementioned Smashing Pumkins), the band delivers a carnival of well-orchestrated sight and sound on a par with Pink Floyd and Yes, but which is fresh and wildly intriguing. Further defined by Chris’s guttural to sweet vocalizations and sympathetic vocal harmonies, the band brings ‘70s album-oriented-rock to the forefront once again, creating a signature sound that is (at once) familiar and unique, and unmistakably, “The Cry Room.”


The Cry Room, "self titled" 2005

Set List

Smashing Pumpkins, "1979"

Otherwise all originals, 60 to 90 minute sets including:

Rest Easy CroMagnon
On The Median
The Clock Ticking
Come Back Now
Farewell To Arms
The Axe Head Floateth
The Runs
A to D
Sometimes it's Easier
It's A Long Road
Kennedy In '64
The Alamo
Newborn Baby