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A Superhuman Major Label Debut
Cinder Road
The Daughtry guys are great to us and the fans are incredible. You couldn't put us in front of a better audience for our type of music. - Mike Ruocco
by Josh Davidson
Cinder Road
Cinder Road

In its debut album, SuperHuman, Cinder Road attempts to tackle a feat that is rarely pulled off nowadays. The band's singer Mike Ruocco said it hoped to create a high-quality album from start to finish, with no throwaway songs.

"I have always had music around our house," Ruocco said. "Very early on, I took my mother's Def Leppard Hysteria cassette and they changed my life. I knew rock 'n' roll was my calling after that. So, when we made SuperHuman I wanted to create an album similar to Hysteria, an album that you could listen to from start to finish. An album with no filler; up-tempo songs, ballads, run the range of emotions musically."

SuperHuman dances across the emotional spectrum from song to song with raw and dirty rockers and meaningful ballads. It follows suit with some of the better hard rock albums made recently by bands like Hinder, with biting guitar riffs, melodic and meaningful solos and Ruocco's smooth, yet raspy vocals.

Cinder Road's consistent delivery of quality tracks has paid huge dividends, most specifically with a slot touring with the band Daughtry. The band earned the spot after its manager let the music do the talking.

"Our manager played SuperHuman for the Daughtry guys and they liked the music," Ruocco said. "So, we basically earned our spot the old-fashioned way, through the music."

The Maryland band was formed in September of 2005. Aside from the slot on Daughtry's sold-out winter tour, the band has played shows in Japan, South Korea, Guam and Greenland during the United States military's Armed Forces tours.

Cinder Road
Cinder Road

"The Daughtry tour has been an unbelievable experience for us," Ruocco said. "The Daughtry guys are great to us and the fans are incredible. You couldn't put us in front of a better audience for our type of music. We have been able to make a ton of new fans and hopefully they stick with us for the long run."

The creation process behind SuperHuman, slated for release on May 15 on EMI/Union records, involved Ruocco, the band's producer Marti Fredrickson (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne) and a pair of acoustic guitars.

"When we sat down to write SuperHuman, Marti Fredrickson and I teamed up and co-wrote the record at his studio in California," Ruocco said. "It was basically just him and I, with a couple acoustic guitars, throwing ideas around. The chemistry worked with Marti and I, so the songs came pretty easily."

Ruocco has no specific method for songwriting. His song lyrics are generally spurred off of an initial idea αΎ’ either a melody or riff.

The toughest challenge for a hard rock band in today's music industry is reaching the masses through one's music, Ruocco said.

"Unfortunately, fewer and fewer bands are getting the opportunity to release records on a large-scale and, fortunately, we will get that opportunity," he added. "Hopefully, we will also be able to have some success at radio. That is also becoming a harder and harder medium to break."

Preview tracks from SuperHuman are available on Cinder Road's Myspace page at www.myspace.com/cinderroad.

[ Website: www.cinderroadmusic.com ]

Josh Davidson
Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and njcoast.com. He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.
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