Singer/songwriter and former Remy Zero frontman Cinjun Tate returned to The Viper Room last Thursday for an evening of intimate acoustic tunes and “Storytellers” worthy tales before a packed house. No stranger to The Viper, Tate and his former band cut their teeth here on The Sunset Strip before being propelled into mainstream consciousness when their single “Save Me” became the opening theme song for the hit TV series “Smallville.”
Get the rest of the back-story from Cinjun himself as he reflects on his travels from early childhood traumas to finding success with Superman. (AND flip through the amazing photo gallery from the show, including a special guest appearance from Zach Braff.)
First off, your name — August "Cinjun" — what's the origin? Any traumatic childhood stories of teasing or rhyming with your unique name?
My name was not conducive for a little boy in the ghetto South. I heard all kinds of rhymes that you could have imagined. But I was proud of it. Plus I like that my initials spell ACT. That's what I'm going to call my next band.
What can new fans expect from your solo material versus what they may have heard from Remy Zero?
It's different because it's just me—a lot more esoteric and not as bombastic. If I want three choruses, or one chorus that's what I'm going to do.
What are the positives and negatives of "Save Me" being forever associated with the “Smallville” TV series?
No negatives… At the time people weren't doing that as much—the licensing. But I was happy to have it out so people could hear it.
I don't care about the vehicle as long as the music gets out there.
To date, which of your songs would you say that you are most proud of? Could you please share the story behind it?
The songs I'm most proud of nobody's ever heard; but I guess I would say “Perfect Memory.” The story is not the song itself, but that I got to make it with my friends and it was a special time in my life. It's just about everything that slips through your fingers.
For this show, you will be returning to The Viper Room on The Sunset Strip, a place where you played many of your early gigs with Remy Zero. Is there one particularly pivotal show that sticks out in your mind, where you had a performance that you feel really helped launch your career?
Even with the shows that were tragic at The Viper Room, I have always felt at home at that place. I love the people there, the sound...
No particular show sticks out; they were all pivotal for me. They all were one giant collective show that was spaced out. We would always come back there, whether there was one person in the audience or the room was packed. There are many beautiful memories that made us who we are today, from the people we met, to the surreal experiences we had. I want to always come back to play there. I love it there.
Photos courtesy Genie Sanchez, www.totallylikeduh.com