Interview with Andrew De Silva of CDB
AMNplify’s Gabrielle Clark spoke with Andrew De Silva of 90’s RnB outfit CDB ahead of their upcoming album tour for TAILORED FOR NOW. Jam-packed with a heap of their favourite 90s hits, Andrew says he had the pleasure of producing the group’s latest album from start to finish in two months.
Andrew talks about how much fun it has been re-visiting the 90s on TAILORED FOR NOW and takes about the world-wind of success that has come CDB’s way such as performing on TV shows such as Hey Hey It’s Saturday as well as sharing the stage with huge acts including Salt-N-Pepa, Montell Jordan, Imogen Heap, Tina Arena and more. Plus he shares his personal success’ such as winning Australia’s Got Talent in 2012.
What has it been like touring with huge acts such as Salt-N-Pepa, Montell Jordan and many more? Any funny backstage stories?
We probably do but those artists we performed with was probably over 15 years ago. One thing I do remember in general though is that we were kind of at that age of 19-21 so our mind-set back then is slightly different to what it is now. We cared about the shows we played but we didn’t worry as much and we used to rehearse so much as well. Sharing the stage at venues like Rod Laver Arena is just such a buzz for us. Supporting some Australian artists was just phenomenal, such as Tina Arena. The crowds are just so awesome and that’s what we really remember is just the crowds going off. And we’re ready to do that all again!
What are you looking forward to most about touring for this album?
It’s about reconnecting again with the people. I think now when we do these shows, the hard work for us is done. At the start it was about getting people to know who we were and what we were about. All that hard work and all those Hey Hey It’s Saturday performances, interviews and records we sold, that was the hard part. I think now it’s about just connecting with the people again and really giving back and showcasing that 90’s flavour, which I think for anybody my age, we just want to go back sometimes. It used to be the 80’s that was on trend, 80’s this and 80’s that but all of a sudden it’s all about the 90s and I think that it’s just what happens. Everyone wants to go out again and have a good time, bring their kids and let them listen to things we were listening to. I love sharing music with my kids such as Bobbi Brown, R Kelly and more.
What was it like performing on Television shows such as Hey Hey It’s Saturday?
To me, live TV was nerve-racking. But I miss those shows because right now there’s nothing really for bands to perform live on except for morning shows and it’s just not rock ’n’ roll anymore you know? At least with those shows like Hey Hey It’s Saturday, there was a chance to perform live so I miss those shows.
Where did the name CDB come from?
I think it was that time of the nineties where you all had names like that. Well it all started in high-school, before I joined. They were in year 10 or 11 and they used to graffiti and dance and back then our band name meant Critically Death Boys. And then when we signed to Sony, we came up with Create Dream Believe so that’s what it stands for.
Was it difficult to get permission to record covers of well-known songs for TAILORED FOR NOW?
Well the whole legal aspect to cover a song is really easy. You can cover anybody’s song as long as you don’t stamp anything of theirs, you can’t use their recording. So it’s very easy, I think what we wanted to do was to just make each of the songs sound like CDB song. So we took a song each time and gave it the full CDB treatment with the sounds, chords and production. I had the daunting task of producing the whole album, which we did very quickly in about two months. So it was all very exciting stuff and to just kind of live in the 90’s again was a lot of fun.
So do you write music as well or do you stick to the production side mostly?
Yes, so most of the albums back in the day, were written and co-produced by me. And the boys (Brad, Gary and Danny) write as well, so hopefully after this album and tour, we can do an original album as well.
So you guys have only recently re-formed as CDB. What have you been up to in the meantime and why did you guys re-form?
Yes we have been working individually. I do a solo thing for Boom Crash Opera at the moment and a Purple Revolution show; A Tribute To Prince. But we (CDB) have been doing a couple of one off shows here and there, and a few years ago after we performed with Salt-N-Pepa, where we sort of had a penny-drop moment. We thought, “we need to get out on the road again” and just give people the fun and show people the 90’s style again because Salt-N-Pepa were doing that and we thought we need to do that as well! We kind of had an authority to do it because we were kind of there, doing it ourselves, and we really understand that sort of music and that’s why we’re making this album. It’s just like my Dad making a rock ’n’ roll album, you know?
It’s a timing thing as well and for me it’s about the people as well. If there’s not a need for it, then it’s going to be very hard to make people come to the shows. But I mean I’d like to go out and see a 90’s band and just have a party.
Were there any tracks you weren’t able to cover and record on TAILORED FOR NOW that you really would have loved to?
I think there is a good selection of mega hits, but there’s also some songs on there (TAILORED FOR NOW) that are real RnB fans songs that didn’t quite make it to the radio here in Australia. Songs that any true RnB fan would know.
You’ve all kept busy as individuals working in the music industry. What personal successes have you met?
I guess for me it was back in 2012 when I went on Australia’s Got Talent. It was very left field for me and I found it to be very challenging and confronting. But I got to sing all of my original songs on TV and share my life with the nation, which those shows really make you do. But it was good for me to do that and even take my family along for the ride. Plus taking out the title was really nice.