Interview: Tom Lescovich [Cindy Cane]

The Left Bank Buzz blog, The Creative Class, is our way of getting face-time with some of the greatest artists and creators of our day. One of these creators is Tom Lescovich, event producer, and frontman of the music and multi-dimensional art project Cindy Cane.

Photo credit John Clouse

What exactly is Cindy Cane? Is it a person? An idea? A personification of something?

Cindy is my attempt at building some sort of a production house. It’s not just a band. Right now it is because it’s so very new to the world – but hopefully, it is an outlet to exercise my ambitions. I want to make multimedia art. I want to make films. I want to make soundtracks. I want to make a million bands inside of one band. I want to shift shapes and sound. Hopefully, Cindy is the creature that allows me to do that. 

How long has it been around/how did it get its start?

The idea of Cindy has been around for a while. It started out as my karaoke moniker five years ago – which was given to me from a friend at the Vegas Lounge in NE Minneapolis circa 2015. I toured with Sloppy Jane and Stuyedeyed for five weeks each, pretty much back to back in early 2018. When I got back from the second of those two tours I went on a crazy creative bender and wrote four records in a week. The first Cindy show was in Nashville on September 17, 2018 … so just a little over a year ago. I played some slow sad songs from one of those four records called All My Ex’s Live in Bushwick across the country on a 1938 Gretsch REX Playboy. I think it was fifteen shows on the tour then I came back to Brooklyn and started playing solo shows. I played almost once a week in Brooklyn with as many different bands as I could from October 31 to December 28. 

In December I curated a lineup of absolute all-star’s to bring the record NEW YORK STRANGERS to life. Shane O’Malley Firek of The Ferdy Mayne on bass, Evan Eubanks of The Jackettes on the kit, and David Van Witt of HNRY FLWR on guitar. We’ve recently added Sharif Mekawy of Looms on the synths. I am so fortunate to have the support of these incredible musicians. They not only get it, but they are super hard-working and total pro’s. They have really elevated the experience. We introduced the band in February with a four-week residency at Baby’s All Right (Brookyn). 

Photo Credit: Liz Smalls

What is your goal with your project (s)? What would success look like?

The goal of this project is to use Cindy as a creative writing course. I want to use different exercises for different assignments. I want to push my limits. With NEW YORK STRANGERS I challenged myself to use different instruments. I never really recorded using drum machines or synths before so I decided to soundtrack the story of a vampire living in NYC using those instruments.

I would really like to be able to play as many instruments as possible so that I could create relentlessly. I think that the goal with Cindy is to really push me to learn – expand – execute. 

Success to me would be accomplishing those things and hopefully inspiring others along the way to push themselves to their full potential. 

Let’s talk about the Haunted House this weekend. How many of these now have you done?

This weekend will be the sixth and seventh haunted house shows. We did three days in Austin during SXSW earlier this year and then May 10th and 11th in Brooklyn. SXSW Haunted House was fucking insane. We had two stages. Eighty-six bands played in three days haha. So many great bands that are doing great things right now. We had eighteen bands play in Brooklyn. It was super special—a lot of friends [played] that weekend. This one is the most scaled back of them all with only nine bands in two days. We started the summer with two nights back-to-back on the roof of Our Wicked Lady and we are going to end the summer with two nights back to back on the roof of Our Wicked Lady. 

What’s next for you and your projects?

NEW YORK STRANGERS will be the first record to officially come out under Cindy Cane. We are pretty much done with the tracking. We’re in the team-building phase right now. I truly believe this record has something special about it. I want to do it right, but I need $ome help. I would like the record to come out early 2020 and take that product door to door.

2019 was all about being relentless. I wanted Cindy’s rookie season to be non-stop. We have the haunted house this weekend and then we play Rough Trade on Halloween with Evolfo, Ghost Funk Orchestra, and VAMANOS. After that we are going to chill out for a little bit. I am heading to Los Angeles for the winter. CC has been super fortunate to have had the year we have in New York. I want to go shake it up over there for a little bit. I need to spread the message and not just through the internet. I need to sit a winter out for once. 

Shameless plug(s):

October 4 – Brooklyn • Our Wicked Lady • Haunted House 2

October 5 – Brooklyn • Our Wicked Lady • Haunted House 2

October 11 • Manhattan • Lola

October 12 • Detroit • Outer Limits

October 16 • Los Angeles • Hyperion Tavern

October 28 • Saratoga Springs • Desperate Annie’s

October 31 • Brooklyn • Rough Trade NYC

Featured Photo Credit: Sarah Craig

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