A weekend boating trip on the Mississippi River was where young brothers Robert and Scott first decided they wanted to put together a band. Robert would sing and Scott would play guitar, even though at the time Robert had never sung in his life, Scott had never touched a guitar, and both of them were almost never prepared for their piano lessons that their mom forced them to take. Instead of practicing what they were supposed to they wrote their own pieces and recorded them with a small cassette recorder, selling them at their high school for five dollars.
The house where they grew up during their high school years was located in a small town in rural Illinois. Robert and Scott would lock themselves in their upstairs bedroom, toiling away at their next creative project. They wrote dozens of songs, and played them whenever they had a chance at local cafes, friends birthday parties, and barns in the middle of nowhere. They put together a band with their close friends that started out as a high energetic punk group, then evolved into a more hardcore, metal mosh phenomenon. The band didn't last long.
After high school the brothers stuck together and went to the same college so they could continue writing and working together. Robert majored in music and was trained as a classical singer, while Scott studied a media degree, where he was given school credit to direct and produce a feature length film on a very small budget. Robert ended up playing one of the lead roles as well as scoring the movie, while Scott spent endless hours editing all the footage. During the production and completion of the film, their music had now turned to a more electronic sound.
Their shows consisted of the brothers switching back and forth between piano, guitar and synthesizer, while both operated the lab top that acted as their drummer. After awhile, the stage set up became so complex that they decided to get to the basics of songwriting, stripping their musical world down to a guitar and a voice. After focusing on crafting even better songs, they teamed up with their friends in The Giving Tree Band, and recorded their debut record under the name The Cerny Brothers in Yorkville, Illinois.
Their first album Dream was what they carried with them as they packed up everything they had and headed out to Los Angeles. Robert started to learn the banjo, and they would practice for hours writing new songs in their apartment. At this point they didn't know anyone, and on top of that started to receive complaints from the neighbors that they were being too loud. The brothers soon took to parking their van for hours on the side of the road while they rehearsed.
In a musical climate that was so bloated it was easy to get buried in the noise, Robert and Scott set out a for a sound that would project in the midst of it. They played for awhile with a drummer, which set apart their breed of folk rock from a lot of acoustic music happening in LA. The Cerny Brothers played all over the city, and soon found a bassist and a practice space in the basement of their church. They recorded an album in Ojai, California, which included popular songs like “Ohio,” and “Don't Run,” with “beautiful folk melodies and extremely catchy and chorus driven sing-a-longs.”
Buzzbands.LA call The Cerny Brothers “a group without any trendy gimmicks, a lead banjo player strumming with the same vigor as if on the electric guitar and simplistic lyrics delivered with strength.” This year marks the release of their new album Sleeping Giant, which they recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Seattle with producers Jerry Streeter and Ryan Hadlock, who are known for their work with Brandi Carlile and The Lumineers.
The album signifies a new direction for the band, as the music has turned from an acoustic, folk element to a more electric, American rock sound while still keeping the roots spirit in their earlier work. The songs on Sleeping Giant deal with becoming a man and finding identity in a constantly changing world, staying rooted in something that can be shaken but not moved, and realizing that we all have a sleeping giant inside of us waiting to be set free.