“Consider our faces melted,” wrote Outlaw Music Magazine about Hardin-Simmons-born hardcore band Close Your Eyes.
Outlaw wasn’t the only one impressed by CYE recently. The band shot a music video for its album, We Will Overcome, on Feb. 11, garnering attention from multiple music publications, fans all over Texas and the Abilene Reporter-News.
“The director, Dan Dobi, is from LA,” said CYE guitarist Andrew Rodriguez. “He’s done videos for Death Cab. He’s done bands like Big D and the Kid’s Table, Haste the Day and Paramore, and it was awesome to work with him. He hasn’t done a whole lot of videos recently because he hasn’t liked a lot of the tracks he’s been getting, but he liked us, which was awesome, so he decided to fly out and do a video for us.”
The video was shot in an abandoned warehouse on Treadaway Boulevard, and filming took 12 hours. The five-man band braved wind and snow to finish the video, and they expect it to be finished sometime around the first week of March.
“I’d never done a music video before, so it was pretty weird, but it was a lot like playing a live show all day long,” Rodriguez said.
ACU pop-punk band Swing the Lead, who opened the Close Your Eyes CD release show at Rose Park on Wednesday, was there for the video shoot, along with friends of both bands. Breanna Wise, freshman social work major from Escondido, Calif., said the shoot was a great experience.
“It was crazy to see everyday Abilene kids doing something big like this,” she said. “The message they wanted to share through their music is really being heard and spread, which is exciting.”
Close Your Eyes considers itself to be a Christian band, though their lyrics are not specifically message-focused.
“As a band, our desire is to give hope to the hopeless, give bread to the hungry, give love to the unloved and give life to those who feel there is nothing left,” says CYE’s MySpace band profile.
The band was discovered at Cornerstone, a weeklong Christian music festival in Bushnell, Ill.
“One of the employees at Victory saw our name on a flyer and noticed that we were playing main stage but were unsigned so he decided to check us out,” Rodriguez said. “He gave us a call, we went up to Chicago and played a showcase, and they really liked it, so it’s all gone up from there.”
When guitarist and vocalist Brett Callaway met lead vocalist Shane Raymond in the cafeteria, a more than four-year musical experience began.
“Brett’s from Houston, and he went to school at Hardin-Simmons, and one day he saw Shane wearing a band shirt that Brett recognized, and he was like, ‘Hey, maybe this dude wants to start a band,'” Rodriguez said.
The band is set to go on a small tour around Texas for the duration of February followed by a tour for a month and a half through the Midwest and the East Coast with hardcore band The Overseer. This summer, Close Your Eyes will be going on a two-month tour with hardcore band It Prevails.
Rodriguez said he is optimistic about the band’s future.
Everything is going really well for us,” he said. “The future just looks good.”